Hard-Candy Syrup


Instructions Checklist
  • Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. Cream butter and sugar with a mixer on medium-high until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to medium; add eggs and vanilla, scraping down sides of bowl often. Reduce speed to low; gradually add flour, and beat to combine. Shape dough into 2 disks; wrap in plastic, and chill until firm, at least 1 hour or up to 2 days.

  • Heat oven to 325 degrees. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/8 inch thick. Cut out shapes with 3-inch cutter; transfer to parchment-lined baking sheet. Cut out inner "windows" using smaller cutters. Reroll scraps and cut out. Transfer baking sheets to freezer until dough is firm, about 20 minutes.

  • Bake until slightly golden around the edges, 14 to 16 minutes, rotating pan halfway through. Let cool on sheets on wire racks.

  • To fill centers, place cooled cookies on parchment-lined baking sheets. Make hard-candy syrup: Stir sugar, corn syrup, and the water in a medium pan over high heat until sugar dissolves and mixture boils. Boil without stirring until it registers 300 degrees on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat; add food coloring and flavored oil (syrup will steam and bubble up). Transfer to a glass measuring cup; pour syrup into centers of cookies. Let cool and set completely before moving cookies, about 30 minutes.