Stained glass cookies are easy to make and so fun for the holidays. The cut-out cookies have crushed hard candy in the center, which melts and creates a smooth glass-like hard candy center after they’re baked. They’re festive, and you can make them in many different shapes with different candy flavors.
A while back, I was looking for ways to decorate cut-out sugar cookies in cute ways and learned how to make a stained-glass effect using crushed hard candies.
I love this method because my family and I don’t love frosted cookies, but leaving cookies plain is a little sad sometimes. This stained-glass cookie recipe is a great way to dress up cookies without dealing with the frosting. I think they would be great for cookie platters.
When I first saw these pretty sugar cookies, I thought they must be really complicated to make, but they’re not! They’re actually pretty easy.
- Softened unsalted butter
- White sugar
- Large eggs
- Vanilla extract
- All-purpose flour
- Baking powder
- Crushed hard candies
You will need hard candies in colors that you like. I used lifesavers in a variety of colors. You can also use jolly ranchers.
You will need a resealable bag and something heavy to crush the candy, like a meat mallet, rolling pin, or a heavy pan.
For the cut-out cookies, you will need two cookie cutters with the same shape, but one needs to be bigger than the other. I used two Christmas tree cookie cutters – a large one to cut the cookies and a smaller cookie cutter that’s the same shape to cut out the center of each cookie.
Line baking pans with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix to combine. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill the dough for at least one hour. Or, you can refrigerate it overnight.
Roll the cookie dough out to a thickness of 1/2”. Cut out the dough using the large cookie cutter and place the cut-outs on a prepared baking sheet. Use the smaller cutter to remove the middle of the dough.
Fill the middle of the cookie where you made the cut out with crushed candy. Bake the cookies for six to eight minutes at 400°F.
When you bake the cookies, the candy melts, creating a smooth glass-like filling. When you take them out of the oven, the candy might be bubbling, but it will smooth out as it cools. Just handle the baking sheet carefully, so the filling doesn’t spill out over the cookie.
The cookies keep well for a few days at room temperature. Keep them in an airtight container, and I also think it’s a good idea to separate the layers of cookies with wax paper. The candy part of the cookie does get a little sticky, and this will prevent the cooking from sticking together.
I loved how they turned out – so cute and festive for the holidays. I gave some away and kept a few for us. I will definitely add these to my favorite Christmas cookies recipe collection.
More Christmas Cookie Recipes
If you want even more ideas, be sure to check out my post with 34 holiday cookie recipes.
Stained Glass Christmas Tree Cookies
- 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter softened
- 2 cups white sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 5 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- hard candies in red green and orange I used life savers
- Preheat oven to 400°F. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Add in eggs and vanilla and mix until completely incorporated. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight).
- Roll out dough on floured surface 1/2 inch thick. Using the larger christmas tree cookie cutter, make cookie cut-outs. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Use the smaller Christmas tree cookie cutter and place in the center of each cookie to create a small christmas tree cut-out. If you don't have a small Christmas tree cutter, you can also use a knife and cut out a small triangle from the middle of each Christmas tree cookie shape.
- Take a few red hard candies and crush into pieces. (I used a mallet.) Fill the middle of some of the cookies with the red candy pieces. Repeat with other colors. I only used one color per cookie.
- Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely. When the cookies come out, the melted candy may still be bubbling. Once it is cooled, it will set into a thin layer.
- Sugar cookie base adapted from All Recipes
The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.