Anyone who's been to Barcelona and has visited Sagrada Família and Casa Batlló will probably relate to the emotions that I will be expressing in this post - my respect for Gaudi.
[For some of you who don't know much about it, here's a link to one of his books - Gaudi: The Complete Buildings (Architecture & Design)]
Only if I had visited Barcelona as a child, I don't know where I would have ended up today and what I would be doing. Would I have been a crazy passionate artist or would I have ended up being an architect who loves taking risks like Gaudi. Que Sera, Sera..... I would go with the former if I had a choice. Only if I had a choice...I would have either been an artist or a singer or a designer or some sorts...oh how my creative soul weeps! Oops, where was I? I get distracted so easily that I literally have to apply brakes on my thoughts! So anytime you see an 'eeeeeeeeeee! DIVERSION!' mentioned in my post, it's not meant for you but for me to take a breather and focus!
So the point that I am trying to make here is that Gaudi's structures are so inspiring and artistic. A true artist's work indeed! What he thinks in his head actually looks wonderful in reality! SA few friends might be able to understand why I'm saying this. :) I have a tendency to drift in my thoughts and then trying it out in real life...hasn't worked so far for me!
Eversince I've been back from Spain, I've been wanting to pay a tribute to Gaudi's work in my own little way.
One of the things that really left an impression was how the stained glass has been incorporated so well in the building in such a modernistic way. Is this a word, really? I have to admit that I am not too too fond of stained glass, atleast not the very traditional kind. But here I saw such wonderful colors coming together and hence, I decided to bake some stained glass cookies. This were then used to create some random pieces of art. You know I have to keep my creative mind busy or atleast that's how I defend myself.
The recipe that I used for the stained glass cookie was from realsimple.com. I made some minor changes to the recipe as mentioned below.
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
- 6 to 8 ounces assorted fruit-flavored hard candies, such as sour balls or Life Savers—unwrapped, sorted by color, and crushed (about 1 cup total) ....I used jolly rancher hard candy.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes; beat in the egg, vanilla, and salt. Reduce speed to low and add the flour, mixing just until combined (do not overmix).
- Divide the dough in half, shape into two disks, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm, at least 3 hours.
- Heat oven to 350° F.
- On a lightly-floured surface, roll out each piece of dough to an ⅛-inch thickness. Using 2- to 2 ½-inch cookie cutters, cut the dough into shapes and place on parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing them 1 inch apart. Using a ¾- to 1-inch cookie cutter, cut out the centers from each cookie. Reroll and cut the scraps as necessary.
- Spoon ½ to 1 teaspoon of the crushed candy (depending on the size of the cutout) into the center of each cookie. Bake until just golden at the edges, 7 to 9 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
Before putting the cookies in the oven, I filled the cut outs with the crushed candy, filled them to the top.
Bubbling in the oven!They look so pretty, don't they.
Pull the cookies out within 7-9 minutes, I went a little over for my first set. You'll notice that the candy might still be bubbling when taken out. Worry not, it will set eventually!
Now starting with some random designs. My goal was to make the stained glass window, but it was quite difficult to do it with the cookies, hence these designs..BTW, these cookies were slightly tough to eat and the candy makes them a little harder. I have some dough saved in the freezer and am going to try making a different kind of cookie. If you really want to make the stained glass cookies, you can during the holiday season and hang them on your christmas tree.
Getting on with the cookie sculptures or as I like to call them. In order to do this, I had to stick them together and I started with glue. Silly me! And of course, this was not meant for eating. The glue idea did not work at all and then suddenly a light bulb lit up in my head. I thought why not attach them together with royal icing, yeah! That worked wonderfully. So I decided to make one structure to put a tea light candle in it and another one to come up with a bicycle. OK, I have to admit the latter piece kind of happened by fluke, but I so enjoyed making it. Couldn't believe that I could do this with cookies! So much fun!!