This Christmas, I decided not to send out any Christmas cards. I had the idea of making stained glass cookies and giving them out instead of the more traditional paper option.
Starting out with a mixed bag of boiled sweets, Katrina and I crushed the colourful sweets and placed them in little pyrex ramekins to urge us on with this fiddly, but exciting baking job.
We listened to some music and worked hard together, waiting to see the end result. It was a satisfying feeling to see the shortbread cookies turn out looking like stained glass. They looked unlike jammie dodgers but in your mouth, the cookies had the unique texture of being both hard and soft.
I’ve always loved the look of sweets. Sugar is wonderful tool for producing edible art (think Papabubble).
I placed mine in little clear bags tied with some Christmassy ribbon and felt a little pride giving them out, knowing that they were homemade delights.
In the world of multiple-course dining, people generally fall into two categories. Those preferring starters to desserts, and those preferring desserts to starters. I fall into the third category, which means if I had my way, I’d have a starter and dessert.
Main courses tend to fall short of starters, and desserts look like sweet dreams. How do you resist?
I love how pretty pudding can look. The problem with pudding is that it looks better than it tastes. But that doesn’t matter. Although it is why cakes, ice-cream and all manner of candy look great on clothes and accessories.
Cupcakes are so popular because they look so good. I love baking ’em because I love how they are presented. Baking allows me to disguise my messy cooking in a pretty package in the form of a treat.
I remember In Barcelona, I stood in Papabubble. I was captivated by the magic-making of beautiful candy to the cools sounds of Lemon Jelly. I watched as the candymakers, these sugar-dreamweavers pulled colourful sugar into long strips, on which they built more layers of colourful sugarstrips.
And there it is: a piece of candy. Bite-sized and pretty much edible art.
When the candy sits in glass containers and the sun rays reach out, the shop walls are hit by a stained glass effect. They are sugar candy kissed.