Several stained glass cookies on a white plate.
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Stained Glass Cookies

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If you are looking for an impressive cookie to make for the holidays, make these homemade stained glass cookies. I just love these!

When it comes to the Holidays, one thing I love is the assortment of cookies. No cookie plate would be completely without these amazing stained glass cookies. And if you want you can even turn them into Christmas tree ornaments.

These are perfect for Christmas time or stick to the hearts and make them for Valentine’s day. Stained glass cookies are incredibly easy to make, if I can I do it, you can do it. Let’s get baking!

Step 1: Gather the ingredients

Several ingredients in glass bowls on top of a wooden table.

In order to make these cool stained glass cookies you need just a handful of easy to find ingredients:

  • Flour – All purpose/plain flour, do not use self-rising flour.
  • Salt – Half it if you used salted butter.
  • Butter – Softened/room temperature, unsalted or salted.
  • Sugar
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla extract
  • Jolly Ranchers – Or use any other hard candy.
Stained glass cookies on a white platter.

Tools

  • Bowls
  • Hand mixer or stand mixer
  • Spoon
  • Spatula
  • Bags
  • Rolling pin
  • Meat tenderizer, optional, for mashing the candy
  • Sheet pan or cookie sheet
  • Parchment paper or a silicone baking mat
  • Cookie cutters

Step 2: How to make stained glass cookies at home

Dry ingredients being whisked in a large glass bowl.

Begin by making the cookie. It is pretty much a basic sugar cookie without the baking powder and an additional egg.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and the salt.

Wet ingredients creamed together in a large glass bowl on a wooden table.

In a large bowl, add the softened room temperature butter and the white granulated sugar and mix until just combined. Mix in the eggs one at a time and then the vanilla extract. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed with a spatula to ensure everything is well combined.

TIP: IF you forget to take the butter out of the fridge to soften, put it in the microwave on the defrost setting for about 45 seconds.

TIPA stand mixer with a paddle attachment works great as well as a hand mixer. If you don’t have a mixer, use a sturdy whisk or wooden spoon.

Large bowl full of stained glass cookies dough.

Gradually add in the flour mixture, about a third of it at a time, until it is all mixed in. Again, scrape the sides of the bowl as needed. Put the mixer away and clean the beaters. And just like that the cookie dough part of the stained glass cookies is done. Super easy right?

Stained glass cookie dough wrapped in plastic wrap on a wooden table.

Place the dough onto a counter or table and shape it into disc or rectangle and wrap it with plastic wrap. You may need a little bit of flour on the counter, to keep it from sticking.

Set the wrapped dough in the fridge and chill for about an hour.

Step 3: Break the candy

Blue Jolly Ranchers in a bag being smashed by a meat tenderizer.

While the dough is chilling you can break up that candy. Place the Jolly Ranchers or other kind of hard candy into sandwich bags according to their color. You will only need 7 to 8 of each color.

Smashed up jolly ranchers in glass bowls on  a white cutting board.

Now smash those candies with a meat tenderizer or rolling pin. Don’t break them completely into a powder, just so they are small pieces.

Step 4: Cut out those stained glass cookies

Rolled cookie dough on a floured wooden table.

After the dough has chilled, remove it from the fridge and take out of the plastic wrap. Flour the work surface and cut the dough in half and wrap up one of the halves and place it back in the fridge to use later. The dough can also be frozen if you like and be used several days later.

Roll out the dough with a rolling pin until it is between 1/4th and 1/8th of an inch. It doesn’t have to be exact. Make sure to add flour to the rolling pin as well, especially if the dough is sticking.

Cut out stained glass cookies on a sheet pan lined with a silicone baking mat.

Now time to make the cookie shapes. There are so many different shapes you can do, with one large shape and one small shape in the middle.

Cut the cookie shapes with the cookie-cutter, and pull away the scraps, and ball those up to be re-rolled. Use a spatula to lift up the cookies as needed and place it on a cookie sheet lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.

Then cut the middle out with a smaller cookie cutter. Which is where the candy glass will wind up going. You can bake the inside piece of dough as is to make a small cookie or just form them all together and re-roll to make more of the bigger ones.

Place the pan of cookies back in the fridge and allow them to chill for 15 to 20 minutes.

Step 5: Bake the homemade stained glass cookies

Stained glass cookies ready to be baked on a sheet pan lined with a silicone baking mat.

Preheat the oven to 350 F/176 C. Set the main rack in the middle position.

Remove the pan/s of cookies out of the fridge. Then use a small spoon and add a small amount of crushed candy into the center of each cookie. Don’t overfill them, if so they will bleed on the top, which you will see an example of that. They only need to be about two thirds full.

Freshly baked stained glass cookies on a sheet pan lined with a silicone baking mat.

Bake them on the middle rack in the oven for 12 to 14 minutes. Closer to 12 if you like softer cookies, closer to 14 minutes if you like browner crunchier cookies.

Once they are done baking the candy will have melted in the middle. Allow the cookies to cool completely before removing them and serving. Enjoy!

NOTE: Sometimes the candy part of the cookie sticks to parchment paper. Usually it is because the cookie wasn’t completely cool when it was removed. But if you are having issues, I recommend just using a silicone baking mat.

TIP: This same technique can be used to make stained glass windows for gingerbread houses, only use gingerbread instead. Or you can use this dough as well along with the gingerbread.

How do I make Christmas Ornament stained glass cookies?

Hand poking a hole in the cookies with a straw.

If you would like to make ornaments out of the stained glass cookies, before you bake them, poke a hole in the cookie with a straw. Then after it bakes and cools you will have a nice hole that you can tie a narrow ribbon or string too.

Why did my cookies bleed candy on the top?

Four stained glass cookies on a pan, lined with parchment paper.

If you have candy that bled on top, it just means that you overfilled the hole a bit, and while the candy melted it flowed on top of the cookie instead of only in the middle.

How long do stained glass cookies last?

If stored in an airtight container or ziplock bag these cookies will last about a week at room temperature. If it is warm and humid, the candy will get a bit sticky.

Stained glass cookies pin for Pinterest
(Pin it!)

Here are some other holiday desserts you may like:

Oreo Balls

Red Velvet Cake Mix Cookies

Candied Orange Peel

Gingerbread Cookies

Pumpkin Roll

Stained Glass Cookies

Stained glass cookies are awesome for the holidays. And they can even be made into Christmas tree ornaments if you like. Pretty awesome! I love how super easy they are to make with just 7 ingredients. If I can do it, you can do it. Let's get holiday baking!
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time13 mins
Chilling Time1 hr 30 mins
Total Time2 hrs 8 mins
Course: Cookies
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Christmas, easy, Holidays, kids, soft, sweet
Servings: 28 cookies
Calories: 147kcal
Author: Matt Taylor

Equipment

  • Bowls
  • Hand Mixer or Stand Mixer
  • spoon
  • Spatula
  • bags
  • rolling pin
  • Meat tenderizer, optional, for mashing the candy
  • Sheet pan or cookie sheet
  • Parchment paper or a silicone baking mat
  • Cookie Cutters

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of all-purpose flour 360g
  • 1/2 tsp. of salt 2g
  • 1 cup of softened room temp butter unsalted. If you use salted reduce the salt in half (226g)
  • 1 cup of white granulated sugar 200g
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp. of vanilla extract 7ml
  • 20 to 30 jolly ranchers/hard candy smashed

Instructions

  • Add the flour and salt to a medium bowl and whisk them together.
  • In a large bowl, add the softened room temperature butter and the white granulated sugar and mix until just combined. Mix in the eggs one at a time and then the vanilla extract. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed with a spatula.
  • Add in the flour mixture a third of it at a time until it is all mixed in. And just like that, the easy cookie dough is finished.
  • Place the dough on a table or counter, you may need a little bit of flour on the surface. Then shape the dough into a disc or rectangle and wrap with plastic wrap. Store the dough in the fridge for about an hour.
  • Sort the individual colors and unwrap them, and place them in a sandwich bag. Then mash away with a meat tenderizer or rolling pin. You don't need to make a powder from it, just until the pieces are fairly small around a sixth of the size of a full one or something.
  • Flour the work surface and cut the dough in half and wrap back up one of the halves and place it back in the fridge. Roll out the dough until it is between 1/4th and 1/8th of an inch.
  • Use the larger cookie cutters and cut out the shapes, peel away the excess dough, and put together and re-roll. Place the cookies onto a sheet pan or cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Use a smaller cookie cutter and cut out the middle of the cookies. Place the pan back in the fridge for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 F/176 C. Then use a small spoon and fill in the middles of the cookies with the candy pieces. Don't fill them up too much otherwise, they will bleed on the top. About 2 thirds full is great.
  • Bake them in the oven on the middle rack for 12 to 14 minutes, until the cookies are slightly golden brown and the candy melts. If you want the cookies softer, 12 minutes is about right, if you want them a bit crunchier and more brown, 14 minutes.
    Allow them to cool completely on the pan. Before serving, enjoy!
  • To make ornaments, there needs to be a hole in the cookies. Use a straw and poke out a hole, before baking. Then you can put a string or narrow ribbon on it so it can hang on the tree.

Video

How to Make Stained Glass Cookies | Easy Homemade Stained Glass Cookies Recipe

Notes

TIP: A stand mixer with a paddle attachment works great as well as a hand mixer. If you don’t have a mixer, use a sturdy whisk or wooden spoon.
Note: This recipe makes 25 to 32 cookies depending on the size you make them.
Troubleshooting: If you bake them too long they will start to get really brown on the tips and edges of the cookie. These aren’t too bad. If you fill the middle up too much with candy, it will bleed on the top. The taste will be the same, but it won’t present as nicely as the others. 🙂
Stained glass cookies nutritional facts

Do you like this recipe? Share and Pin it! Please give it a rating and comment down below, I really appreciate it. If you make it tag me on Instagram @inthekitchenwithmatt. Also, sign up for the newsletter so you won’t miss out on any of my new posts and recipes.

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