Southern Living DECEMBER 1998
Cut 1 (9X5-inch) patter, 1 (6- x 3 1/2-inch) pattern, and 1 (3- x 3 1/2- inch) pattern from poster board or cardboard.
Roll gingerbread dough to 1/4 inch thickness on a lightly floured surface; cut 4 (9- x 5-inch) rectangles using pattern. Transfer rectangles to parchment paper or lightly greased aluminum foil-lined baking sheets.
Cut designs from rectangles with desired shapes of small cutters and remove leaving a 1/2 inch border around edges. Reserve dough scraps.
Reroll dough scraps to 1/4 inch thickness, and cut 4 (6- x 3 1/2 inch) rectangles using pattern. Repeat transferring and cutting procedure as directed.
Reroll dough scraps to 1/4 inch thickness, and cut 4 (3- x 3 1/2-inch) rectangles using pattern. Repeat transferring and cutting procedure as directed.
Cook sugar and 1/2 cup water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Cook, without stirring, 10 to 12 minutes or until a candy thermometer reaches hard crack stage (300º) and mixture is light golden brown.
Pour into a lightly greased 15- x 10-inch jellyroll pan; cool. Coarsely crush candy.
Fill cutouts in gingerbread rectangles with candy, making sure candy touches cookies round edges.
Bake at 350º for 15 to 20 minutes or until sugar melts and cookies are golden. Cool in pans on wire racks.
Pipe rectangle edges, and fit corners together, holding sides of large votive in place for 5 to 10 minutes or until dry enough to adhere. Repeat procedure with remaining rectangles, making medium and small votives.
Spoon icing into a pastry bag fitted with a star tip; pipe edges of votives. Let stand 8 hours. Place votives over candles.
NOTE: Coarsely crushed Butter Rum Life Savers may be substituted for crushed sugar syrup candy.
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