Stained Glass Cookies are cut-out sugar cookies with a beautiful windowpane feature! Add crushed Jolly Ranchers candy to the center of your cookies to make these easy Christmas cookies with jewel-toned windows.
These Stained Glass Cookies almost look too good to eat, right?
I’ll let you in on a little secret: They aren’t difficult to make! They look fancy, but it’s easy to make stained window cookies.
All you need are some Jolly Ranchers and one or two cookie cutters to cut small shapes out of the inside of the cut-outs.
Crushed candy placed inside of the cutouts before baking will melt and become smooth again, creating gorgeous crisp windows in your cookies.
Why You Will Love This Christmas Cookie Recipe
- An Easy Cookie Recipe – I’ll show you how simple it is to make these cookies, and give you tips and tricks to keep mess to a minimum while you do it.
- They’re so pretty! I just love the way the stained glass panes look, and the light travels through them in cool ways too. You could get creative and tie a few of these up on your Christmas tree this year if you want.
- Fun to Make – get the whole family involved in making the dough, cutting out shapes, and crushing up candy for this recipe. Make new holiday traditions in the kitchen!
Complete list of ingredients with quantities and instructions is located in the recipe card below
- Flour, cornstarch, and salt: these are the dry ingredients for our stained window cookies. You may notice that there isn’t any baking powder or baking soda. You are correct! We don’t want these to rise very much. We want the shape of the cookies to stay the same so that it doesn’t cover our beautiful melted candy windows.
- Butter: Use unsalted butter in this recipe, and allow it to come to room temperature before mixing the dough.
- Granulated Sugar: Sugar makes cookies sweet and crispy!
- Eggs: Eggs are the only leavening used in this recipe, and they help to hold everything together.
- Vanilla Extract: An ingredient in almost every cookie recipe, this is the thing that makes baked goods taste and smell amazing.
- Jolly Ranchers: You need around 25 pieces of Jolly rancher candies to make this recipe. You can choose your favorite colors. I am partial to the look of the red ones, but any flavor of Jolly Ranchers can be used.
How To Make Stained Glass Cookies
- Mix the Dry Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, combine together the flour, cornstarch and salt. Mix well and set aside.
- Cream Butter and Sugar: In a separate mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar using an electric mixer. Mix until smooth. Add in eggs and vanilla and continue to mix slowly until well combined.
- Add the Flour Mixture to the butter mixture and mix until a soft dough forms.
- Chill: Remove the dough from the bowl, form it into a disc, and wrap it with plastic wrap. Place in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
- Roll Out: Preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C when the dough is done chilling. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat. Then roll out the dough on a floured surface to a thickness of about ¼ inch.
- Cut Shapes: Use cookie cutters to cut shapes from the dough. You want to cut an outer shape first, then use a smaller cutter to make an inner shape (that will be the window).
- Crush Candy: If you haven’t already, now’s the time to crush the jolly ranchers. Add one color of candy to a heavy-duty ziplock bag, and crush with a hammer or mallet until you have small pieces. They will likely poke holes in the bag, this is ok, just be careful!
- Fill and Bake: Drop the crushed Jolly Ranchers into the spaces of the cookies, filling about halfway. No need to over-fill. Bake in the preheated oven for 11-13 minutes, until lightly brown on the bottom. Allow the cookies to cool completely on the pan before removing them.
- A Silicone Baking Mat is Key. Use a Silpat or off-brand silicone baking mat to bake these. If you don’t, the candy will stick to your pan. It will also stick to parchment paper. With silicone, the cookies will peel right off.
- Crush up the Candy Ahead of Time, or while the dough is chilling. Pounding candy into shards with a hammer can be a fun kitchen task to do when you have some stress to burn off!
- To easily remove the inner cut-outs, pinch the dough from the center and then pull up the cookie cutter.
- Try to Keep all of the Candy Inside the Spaces. You also want to avoid overfilling the spaces. The candy will melt and fill in the space. Too much candy can create very thick windows, which can be difficult to eat.
- No Need for a Cooling Rack. Let the cookies cool completely on the silicone mat, on the pan. When they are completely cool you will be able to peel them off. Easy!
- When Storing These, you want to keep them with parchment or wax paper underneath and between any layers. Stained glass cookies will stick to each other.
Storing Stained Glass Cookies
Keep these cookies in a sealed container at room temperature, separated with parchment or wax paper, for up to 1 week. I don’t suggest placing these in the refrigerator, as the extra humidity in the fridge will cause the stained glass to get sticky.
You can freeze the dough for these cookies, wrapped well, for up to 3 months. Allow it to thaw in the fridge before rolling it out to bake.
More Easy Christmas Cookies to Try
These cookies can be made with other brands of hard candy, but you’ll find that Jolly Ranchers are the clearest. Others, such as life savers or butterscotch candies are a bit cloudy but still tasty.
Use a straw to make a small circular punch at the top of your shape, and don’t fill it with candy. After the cookies are cool, gently thread a ribbon through the hole for hanging.
Sure! I didn’t blend the colors here, but you can put two different colors next to each other in the spaces. They’ll melt together giving an ombre effect.
These stained glass cookies are so pretty and easy to make when you follow this simple recipe. Enjoy them for Christmas, or make them for birthdays or other fun occasions too! Be sure to Pin this recipe so you always have it handy.