Southern Living DECEMBER 1998
Cut 1 (9- x 5-inch) pattern, 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. Reserve scraps.
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 (300°) 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 cookie around edges.
Bake at 350° for 15 to 20 minutes or until sugar melts and cookies are golden. Cool in pans on wire racks.
Glue together long edges of large rectangles with a hot-glue gun to form large votive. Repeat procedure with remaining rectangles, making medium and small votives.
Spoon Royal Icing into a pastry bag fitted with a star tip; pipe onto 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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