I came across this recipe last year. I've been looking forward to making it for about as long. It's a little more complicated and time consuming than I like, but there's a cookie swap coming up next week and I want to bring something impressive...
1/2 c Crisco
1/2 c sugar
1/4 c brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 c flour
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking powder
20 hard candies (I used Jolly Ranchers. Lifesavers will work fine, too.)
Remove any wrappers from your candies and separate them by color.
Put the candies in a Ziploc bag. Using a hammer or meat mallet or whatever, crush the candies. I'm supporting Breast Cancer research while baking today. What can I say? I'm a multi-tasker.
Set candies aside.
Heat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl, cream together Crisco and sugars until fluffy. An electric mixer makes this process much easier. Mix in vanilla extract. Add egg and mix until light and smooth.
Sift flour, salt, and baking powder over mixture. Using a rubber spatula, fold dry ingredients into mixture. Divide your dough in half. Wrap one half in waxed paper and refrigerate while you work with the other half. (Dough will keep for up to two days in the refrigerator.)
Place the dough between two sheets of waxed paper and roll out with a rolling pin until the dough has a 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out your shapes. I did stars and Christmas ornaments. Transfer cookies to the cookie sheet. Use a smaller cookie cutter or a knife to cut out the middle of your cookie. Remove the inner shape.
Using a spoon, sprinkle the crushed candy into the hollowed out centers of your cookies, filling in the edges.
Bake cookies for 7-8 minutes. Watch your cookies closely. They burn quickly. The candy should be melted and bubbling and the cookies will be just barely beginning to brown. Remove baking sheets from oven and place on wire racks to cool. After the cookies have cooled for about 10 minutes you can remove them safely from the cookie sheets. If you try to remove the cookies from the cookie sheet too early, the candy will separate from the cookie. Store in air tight container.
This recipe makes about 3 dozen cookies. I decorated them with some Sparkle Gel left over from the unicorn poop cookies because I was feeling pretty fancy!