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Easy Stained Glass Cookies

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These Stained Glass Cookies are fun, festive, and cheerful, perfect for holiday cookie trays and gifting.

These brightly colored cookies are made with a delicious sugar cookie base and baked with hard candies in the center, making them look like stained glass. Kids love these, and the cheerful designs are guaranteed to brighten up any holiday table.

stained glass cookies

Stained Glass Cookies

Crisp, buttery sugar cookies with hard candy centers make a perfect holiday treat!

Using a basic sugar cookie recipe as a base and filling them with colorful hard candies turns them into bright and colorful cookies you can eat or even decorate the tree with.

These stained glass cookies are great for cookie exchanges or holiday cookie platters. They’d also make awesome homemade gifts for neighbors and friends. I am pretty sure Santa would even like one, or maybe two.

You can easily make up a batch of these cookies in advance and get them off your to-do list. You can pop them in the freezer for a few weeks until you are ready to serve them. Make a double batch and keep some on hand for those unexpected guests over the holidays.

Why You Should Make Stained Glass Cookies

  • Fun and festive – These cookies are fun to make and celebrate the shapes and colors of the season. Kids love the hard candy center of these cookies!
  • Easy to prepare – The basic sugar cookie base makes preparing these cookies a cinch.
  • Customizable – Use any shape you like or change up the sugar cookie flavor.
stained glass cookies

Stained Glass Cookie Ingredients + Tips

(Ingredients at a glance, find the full recipe in the printable card at the bottom of the post.)

ingredients in stained glass cookies
  • Basic sugar cookie ingredients | Butter, granulated sugar, one large egg, vanilla extract, all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt.
  • Jolly Ranchers | These candies give the cookies their stained glass appearance. You’ll have to unwrap and crush them. (Lifesavers don’t melt as well as jolly ranchers.)
  • Optional glaze | Powdered sugar and milk.

How To Make Stained Glass Cookies

1 Preheat oven to 350º Fahrenheit.

2 Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl, and set aside.

3 Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla.

how to make stained glass cookies

4 Stir in the flour mixture until the dough comes together. 

how to make stained glass cookies

5 Roll the dough out on a floured surface (or parchment paper) to ¼-⅓ inch thick, sprinkling a little flour on top as needed to keep the dough from sticking to your rolling pin. Cut out with a circular cookie cutter. Then cut the center out with a smaller cookie cutter*.

cutting the cookies from the dough

6 Arrange on a silicone baking mat or parchment-lined cookie sheet, so none of the cookies are touching. Lining the pan is important so that your melted candy doesn’t stick to the pan. Sprinkle crushed candies in the cookie center. 

how to make stained glass cookies

7 Bake in the center of the oven for 10 minutes, until the cookies look set and the candy has melted and spread out. It may look bubbly, but it will settle as it cools. 

8 Remove from oven and let cool completely before removing from pan. The candy can take a while to set, so once it’s mostly cooled off, you can pop the cookie sheet in the refrigerator to speed it up.

9 You can mix powdered sugar and milk together and drizzle over the cookies for a glaze.

add optional drizzle to the stained glass cookies

Recipe Tips

  • When measuring your flour, give it a stir, (in the canister) and then spoon the flour into your measuring cup, then use a butter knife to level it off.
  • I used a 3 ½ inch circular cutter, and a 1 ½ inch cut out. Mine happened to be a wide-mouth canning jar ring and some miniature cookie cutters I found at TJ Maxx similar to these: https://amzn.to/3UyogZj.
  • We tried using whole Jolly Ranchers, which worked alright, but crushing them is better as it allows the pieces to spread all the way into the various corners of the cookie. (more you crush them, the better they melt.
  • Spread the equivalent of one Jolly Rancher on each cookie. Overfilling can result in candy overflowing onto the rest of the cookie, which isn’t very pretty. Better to go thin than thick. Thinner “stained glass” is easier to eat.
  • Try not to get any of the crushed jolly ranchers on the actual cookie. (It will leave a mark and won’t look as pretty.)
  • Let the cookies completely cool before removing them from the baking sheet the candy centers need time to cool and set.
  • High humidity can affect the melted candy centers and make them stick. These are best made on low-humidity days. (so, I apologize to those of you on the texas gulf coast – you man never get to make these cookies, lol.)

Storage Suggestions

Cover and store these stained glass cookies at room temperature for up to 1 week.

stained glass cookies

Variations

  • Use different shapes of cookie cutters.
  • Add flavor to the cookies by using mint or lemon extract.
  • Drizzle the cookies with glaze or dust with icing sugar.
  • Poke a hole at the top of the cookie to use as an ornament.
  • Use other candies such as butterscotch, cinnamon, peppermints or other hard candies.
  • Try a different cookie dough, such as gingerbread or a chocolate sugar cookie.

FAQs

How do you crush the Jolly Ranchers?

To crush the Jolly Ranchers I suggest you place them in a plastic bag and use meat mallet or rolling pin to crush them.

Can I use different shapes to make Stained Glass Cookies?

Yes you absolutely can use different shapes to make these cookies.

Can I use a different candy to make these cookies?

If you don’t have Jolly Ranchers, you can try using another colorful candy. Note I have not tested these cookies with different candies. I have heard that some lifesavers don’t melt as prettily. You could also try lollipops.

Can these cookies be made ahead of time?

You can make the dough up to 3 days ahead and store it, wrapp the dough in plastic wrap a store it in the fridge.

Can this recipe be doubled?

Of course, you can makeas many as you want.

how to make stained glass cookies

Looking for more festive cookie ideas?

Did You Try These Stained Glass Window Cookies?

Please leave a star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating and/or a review in the comments section below. If you share an image on Instagram or Facebook, be sure to tag me and use #scatteredmomrecipes!

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stained glass cookies

Stained Glass Cookies

  • Author: Jamie Sanders
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 15 cookies 1x
  • Category: desserts
  • Method: oven

Description

Stained Glass Cookies are so Festive! Made using a simple sugar cookie recipe, the glossy stained glass centers make them perfect for holiday cookie trays.


Ingredients

Scale
  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 15 jolly ranchers, unwrapped and crushed
  • ½ cup powdered sugar (optional, for drizzle)
  • 12 tablespoons milk (optional, for drizzle)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350º
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl, and set aside.
  3. Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla.
  4. Stir in the flour mixture until the dough comes together. Roll the dough out on a floured surface (or parchment paper) to ¼-⅓ inch thick, sprinkling a little flour on top as needed to keep the dough from sticking to your rolling pin
  5. Cut out with a circular cookie cutter, Then cut the center out with a smaller cookie cutter
  6. Arrange on a parchment-lined cookie sheet, so no cookies are touching. (Parchment is important so that your melted candy doesn’t stick to the pan.)
  7. Sprinkle crushed jolly ranchers in the cookie center. 
  8. Bake in the center of the oven for 10  minutes, until the cookies look set and the candy has melted and spread out. It may look bubbly, but it will settle as it cools 
  9. Remove from oven and let cool completely before removing from pan. The candy can take a while to set, so once it’s mostly cooled off, you can pop the cookie sheet in the refrigerator to speed it up.
  10. For a glaze, you can mix powdered sugar and milk together and drizzle over the cookies.

Notes

  1. Number of cookies is based on using a 3 ½ inch circular cutter, and 1 ½ inch cut out. Mine happened to be a wide mouth canning jar ring, and some little cookie cutters I found at TJ Maxx similar to these: https://amzn.to/3UyogZj
  2. We tried using whole jolly ranchers, which worked alright, but crushing them makes sure they spread all the way into the various corners. 
  3. Spread the equivalent of one jolly rancher in each cookie. Overfilling can result in candy overflowing onto the cookie, which isn’t very pretty. Better to go thin than thick.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 cookie
  • Calories: 143
  • Fat: 7
  • Carbohydrates: 19
  • Protein: 2

Keywords: stained glass cookies

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