The aquarium cookies are a beautiful twist on the classic stained glass cookies with treats filled in between two cookies. Made with my delicious shortbread cookie as a base, these will melt in the mouth while you explore the treats.
Have you seen the recent buzz about these cookies?
The other day, I was at Meatland, a local shop where I usually buy all my baking supplies. The manager Lisa is a very sweet lady and we often exchange notes on what's trending or share good recipes.
She was so fascinated with these cookies and told me that they were a huge buzz. I was surprised because I didn't know. These are the same stained glass cookies we've made forever. Remember my Christmas Snowflake cookies?
Later that day, Aadi came home from school and said: "mom can you make some aquarium cookies for me and my friends?" Apparently, his friends have seen these and so he promised to make them some.
We did it
I had my shortbread cookie dough in the fridge and guess what? We made it!!
Well, it was a fun afternoon activity with the kids. So, they aren't perfect but who looks for perfection when you have kids and candy in the same room right? Warning!! Make sure you have extra candy for the cookies and some for the little chefs. My Aadi get's away with - I'm the tasting chef!! If you have been on my blog for a while you know exactly what that means..ha!
The concept is simple. And yet, it's quite fascinating to that see someone took the stained glass cookies and turned them into these so-called aquarium cookies. I think it's so cool. The cookies are quite simple and exactly the way we made the Christmas Snowflake cookies. And yet, instead of adding candy to the center of one cookie we add candy to both cookies and then combine the cookies together creating a transparent glass window. So, you can see what's filled in between. I did take some fun shots and I have some tips to share with you if you plan to make these cookies.
Ingredients and substitutes
- Cookies recipe - I am giving you my shortbread cookie recipe, which is quite firm. Yes, that what you want in a cookie. That it won't crumble, and yet is capable of holding on to the thin candy layer in between. So, a sugar cookie works great too. You can use this shortbread cookie here or you can use my sugar cookie recipes too. The Best Vanilla Sugar Cookie recipe, the best Chocolate Sugar Cookie recipe.
- Candy - You want to use hard candy that will melt in the middle. You do not necessarily need to crush them. But, my kids love the multi-color effect, so we always crush them.
- White chocolate - Chocolate can be messy, so I recommend you use white chocolate so it will blend with the vanilla cookies. Dark chocolate will show thru unless you make these with my Chocolate Sugar Cookie recipe.
Hot and humid weather
I know this is a going to make you sad, and yet if you live in a hot and humid climate like me ... well, you know what happens to candy right? Yes, it gets sticky and tacky in summer. So, that's what will happen with the candy in the center if the weather is warm. I did crank up the AC when making these, but the stuff added in the center still got stuck when the AC was not on high. And yet, while it lasted the kids had fun shaking the cookies and watching the center jiggle.
The other way to go about it would be to use Isomalt. And yet I'm not going to go that route. I think I'll just wait for winter to come and make these again with the kids. I will surely share more on Instagram with you.
Step by step instructions (pin)
Making the cookies
- Prepare cookie dough as directed in the recipe below.
- Wrap in cling wrap and let chill for at least two hours.
Roll and cut cookies
- Working with one disc at a time, roll dough on a lightly floured surface.
- You want to roll the sheets thin about ⅛ inch.
- Cut the cookies using a 3-inch cookie cutter.
- Cut the inner circle out with a 1-inch cookie cutter.
- Do the same with all the rest of the dough.
Fill and bake
- Space the cookies evenly on a parchment-lined baking tray.
- Fill the inner center with a single full candy or several crushed candy into pieces.
Bake the cookies
- Preheat the oven at 170 C / 340 F.
- Bake the cookies on the center rack - 7 to 8 mins until the edges are ever so slightly golden.
- Remove the pan from the oven and let the pan cool completely.
- Do not touch the cookies when they are hot. The candy is now a hot sugar syrup that needs to cool (hot sugar syrup can scald your hand).
- When completely cooled remove cookies from the baking tray using a spatula.
- Working with two cookies at a time.
- Add sprinkles into the center of one.
- Add melted chocolate on the cookie of the other.
- Glue the two cookies together - Let the melted chocolate set.
- Do the same with all the rest of the cookies.
- The cookie dough recipe can be halved or doubled successfully.
- The cookies will stay fresh at room temperature in good weather (not hot and humid climate) for up to 2 weeks.