Stained Glass Cookies

11.27.2018

Stained Glass Cookies are sure to impress people of all ages! These crisp buttery cookies are cut into festive shapes and filled with hard candies, then they’re baked and the candy melts into an even layer for a beautiful stained glass effect.

A delicious cookie to add to the cookie tray this year, and save a few for the Christmas tree or window!

Stained Glass Cookies

Stained Glass Cookies

I made several batches of these over the Thanksgiving holiday and I’d have to say I don’t think I’ve ever gotten so many ooh’s and ahh’s.

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My kids, my nieces and nephews, the neighborhood kids and even the kids at school thought these were the coolest cookies they’d ever seen. And believe it or not they really aren’t difficult to make.

You simply cut a larger star (or other shape) from the cookie dough transfer it to a baking sheet, cut the same smaller shape then fill that with crushed Jolly Ranchers. Bake them and the candies melt into an even layer and leave you with a such fun yet striking cookie.

I’ve been wanting to try these cookies for years and I’m so glad I finally did! This year I’ve actually been on a Jolly Rancher kick (you can find hidden stashes in my purse and pantry) so maybe that’s what finally inspired me to make them.

Nostalgic childhood candy meets classic shortbread style cookie for a treat everyone will love!

Stained Glass Cookies

Ingredients You’ll Need for This Recipe

  • Unsalted butter
  • Granulated sugar
  • Salt
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla extract
  • All-purpose flour
  • Jolly Ranchers

Stained Glass Cookies

How to Make Stained Glass Cookies

  • Unwrap and separate Jolly Ranchers into each color then place in separate small resealable bags. Crush into bits using a meat mallet, set aside.

Stained glass cookie dough in rectangle shape in plastic wrap.

  • In the bowl of an electric stand mixer cream together butter, sugar and salt until well combined.
  • Mix in eggs one at a time then blend in vanilla.
  • With mixer set on low speed slowly add in flour and mix until well combined.
  • Scrape dough out and shape into a rectangle, wrap in plastic wrap and and chill 1 hour.

Showing how to make stained glass cookies. Rolling dough out on floured surface for stained glass cookies.

  • Cut chilled dough into thirds. Leave one portion out to work with and chill remaining.
  • Roll dough out onto a floured surface (about 1/5-inch thick). Cut out as many large stars as possible using a star shape cookie cutter (approx. 3.5 – 4-inch stars).

Cutting star shapes from cookie dough for stained glass cookies.

  • Transfer cut stars to baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
  • Cut a smaller star from the center of each and remove (using a 1.5-inch star cutter). Re-roll and cut scrap dough.

Cutting center portion from cookies with a small star cookie cutter.

  • Fill cut out centers about 3/4 of the way with crushed jolly ranchers. Chill cookies in refrigerator 15 – 20 minutes Meanwhile preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Bake cookies until set and candy center has melted, about 12 – 14 minutes.
  • Let cool on baking sheet until jolly ranchers have hardened. Repeat process with remaining refrigerated dough. Store in an airtight container

Filling center of cut out cookies with jolly ranchers for stained glass cookies. Shown before baking.

Can I Use Different Shapes?

Yes absolutely. I actually was planning on making snowflakes, gingerbread men and Christmas trees as well but I thought the stars were cute so I just did all stars.  As long as you have a large cookie cutter then a smaller one to cut the center it should work great.

Can I Use a Different Type of Candy?

I did also test these with Life Savers and they do work but the colors weren’t quite as pretty. Maybe it’s just my oven but they seemed to melt quicker and therefor came out a little darker.

I’m also curious if they’d work with a butterscotch or cinnamon hard candy? They might not be as glassy but they sound delicious if they’d work.

Stained Glass Cookies on a white serving plate.

How to Cut Holes for Hanging

I’m sure theres a few ways you could go about making a hole at the top of the cookie so you can tie them with a ribbon to hang them, but the method that I used was just a plastic straw.

It was the perfect size and the dough would stick to the straw so you don’t have to try and pick it out. Just be sure to stamp the hole out before you bake them.

Stained Glass Cookies hanging from ribbon in a window.

More Christmas Cookie Recipes to Try

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Stained Glass Cookies

5 from 3 votes
Stained Glass Cookies are sure to impress people of all ages! These crisp buttery cookies are cut into festive shapes and filled with hard candies, then they're baked and the candy melts into an even layer for a beautiful stained glass effect. A delicious cookie to add to the cookie tray this year!
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Stained Glass Cookies
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
Servings: 30
Calories: 144 kcal
Author: Jaclyn

Ingredients

  • Jolly Ranchers hard candies (approx. 20)
  • 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups (382g) all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for dusting

Instructions

  1. Unwrap and separate Jolly Ranchers into each color then place in separate small resealable bags. Crush into small bits (not powder) using a meat mallet, set aside.

  2. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer cream together butter, sugar and salt until well combined. 

  3. Mix in eggs one at a time then blend in vanilla.

  4. With mixer set on low speed slowly add in flour and mix until well combined.

  5. Scrape dough out and shape into a rectangle, wrap in plastic wrap and and chill 1 hour.

  6. Cut chilled dough into thirds. Leave one portion out to work with and chill remaining.

  7. Roll dough out onto a floured surface (about 1/5-inch thick). Cut out as many large stars as possible using a star shape cookie cutter (approx. 3.5-inch stars).

  8. Transfer cut stars to baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Cut a smaller star (using a 1.75-inch star cutter) from the center of each and remove*. Re-roll and cut scrap dough.

  9. Fill cut out centers about 3/4 of the way with crushed jolly ranchers. Chill cookies in refrigerator until firm, about 15 - 20 minutes. Meanwhile preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

  10. Bake cookies until set and candy center has melted, about 12 - 14 minutes.

  11. Let cool on baking sheet until Jolly Ranchers have set and hardened. Repeat process with remaining refrigerated dough. Store in an airtight container.

Recipe Notes

  • *You can use a toothpick if needed to help remove the center piece.
  • *If you'd like to be able to hang them with a ribbon then cut a small hole using a standard size plastic straw near the top before chilling and baking.
Nutrition Facts
Stained Glass Cookies
Amount Per Serving
Calories 144 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 9%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 27mg 9%
Sodium 24mg 1%
Potassium 19mg 1%
Total Carbohydrates 19g 6%
Sugars 9g
Protein 1g 2%
Vitamin A 4.1%
Calcium 0.5%
Iron 3.6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

11 comments

  • Kathleen: Can you make these with crushed candy canes or will the colors run together? December 5, 2018 at 9:53am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’ve seen a them online and they don’t look as good as the other colored hard candy. A bit splotchy. December 5, 2018 at 4:56pm Reply

  • Lucy: Looks soooo good. Keep up with different cookies. Thanks. Lucy December 4, 2018 at 4:19pm Reply

  • Lori: Can you mix up the candy colors November 28, 2018 at 7:57pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I have seen people do multiple colors, I think it would work best to do no more than 2 colors, and keep sections with same color (if that makes sense). So I’d fill the center with say half green then the other half blue. November 28, 2018 at 9:39pm Reply

  • 2pots2cook: Beautiful, so beautiful ! November 28, 2018 at 9:52am Reply

  • Jennifer Collins: Thanks for the visual instructions. November 28, 2018 at 6:54am Reply

  • Carol Manty: These look beautiful but won’t they be difficult to eat..jolly ranchers are very hard candy!! November 28, 2018 at 6:22am Reply

    • Jaclyn: It’s actually such a thin layer in the center so they aren’t too difficult to bite through. November 28, 2018 at 8:18am Reply

  • Laura | Tutti Dolci: Gorgeous cookies, the stained glass design is so pretty! November 27, 2018 at 11:10pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Laura! November 27, 2018 at 11:27pm Reply

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