Stained Glass Cookies

It was time for our annual neighborhood cookie exchange and I needed a new recipe to try! I saw that the Tuesdays with Dorie group was making Stained Glass Cookies so that sealed the deal.

Stained Glass Cookies | Adding a little crushed candy to your sugar cookies makes for a fabulous holiday cookie!

Stained Glass Cookies

I’ve seen a Stained Glass Cookie few flops across the Internet, so I did some research.

  • Jolly Ranchers work better than Lifesavers (but Lifesavers will suffice in a pinch)
  • A non-spreading roll out sugar cookie is imperative.
  • A small silicone brush is the perfect tool to remove any candy crumbs that spill over onto the cookie dough.
  • A pointed grapefruit spoon helps place the powdered candy into the window openings.

I went to Alton Brown for his sugar cookie recipe and the dough worked beautifully!  I also read through Dorie Greenspan’s recipe in Baking Chez Moi and used some of her tips and her baking times. 

Stained Glass Cookies | Adding a little crushed candy to your sugar cookies makes for a fabulous holiday cookie!
Jolly Ranchers

I pulled out the cherry, sour apple and blue raspberry candies from the bag of Jolly Ranchers to use for my windows. The fruity aromas reminded me of hiking the trails near Aspen with my family. My dad would always have a stash of lemon drops and Jolly Ranchers in the exterior pocket of  his backpack. I was partial to grape and needed a continual supply of as we huffed and puffed our way over switchbacks, through meadows and forests to our destination.
Stained Glass Cookies | Adding a little crushed candy to your sugar cookies makes for a fabulous holiday cookie!

Festive and Impressive!

So smashing them to smithereens definitely brought those familiar scents to the forefront. To make sure the candies melt properly, they need to be pulverized to nearly a powder. A few slightly bigger pieces seemed to be fine. Be prepared for a mess. I placed the candies inside of two ziplock bags and pounded with my metal meat mallet. The shards of candy broke through both thick layers of plastic so beware. You can cut any shape of cookie you’d like, then find a smaller cookie cutter that works well with your shape to cut out a window or two. Also, make sure to bake on parchment paper or a silpat so that the melted candy doesn’t adhere to your baking sheet. My friends were quite impressed with these Stained Glass Cookies. They’re so VERY festive!!! Merry Christmas to you all!!!

Stained Glass Cookies

Serves 4 dozen     adjust servings

Prep Time 40 mins
Cook Time 8 mins
Total Time 48 mins

Perfectly festive cookies for the holidays! Sugar cookie recipe adapted from Alton Brown.


  • 3 cups flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • Powdered sugar, for rolling out dough
  • Jolly Ranchers candies, separated into colors and smashed into a powder (about 15-20 total)


  1. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In a stand mixer, beat together butter and sugar until light in color. Add egg and milk and beat to combine. With mixer on low speed, slowly add flour, and beat until mixture pulls away from the side of the bowl. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 350º.
  3. Sprinkle surface where you will roll out dough with powdered sugar. Roll out dough to ¼-1/8-inch thick. Cut into desired shapes, then cut out a center section with a smaller cookie cutter. Place about 1-inch apart on a parchment lined baking sheet. Carefully spoon some of the crushed Jolly Ranchers into the middle of each cookie. Brush any that lands on the dough towards the middle with a dry pastry brush (or clean paint brush).
  4. Bake for 7 to 8 minutes or until cookies are just beginning to turn brown around the edges Cool for a few minutes on baking sheet, then move to cooling rack to finish cooling.


Recipe Notes

You will need coordinating cookie cutters, one smaller of a similar shape to cut out the opening for the "window."
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per ServingAs Served
Calories 970kcal Calories from fat 433
% Daily Value
Total Fat 48g74%
Saturated Fat 30g150%
Transfat 2g
Cholesterol 162mg54%
Sodium 239mg10%
Carbohydrate 125g42%
Dietary Fiber 3g12%
Sugars 53g
Protein 12g

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs:

Total FatLess than65g
Sat FatLess than25g
CholesterolLess than300mg
SodiumLess than2,400mg
Total Carbohydrate300g
Dietary Fiber25g
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Stained Glass Cookies | Adding a little crushed candy to your sugar cookies makes for a fabulous holiday cookie!

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  1. Your stained glass cookies are purty – I especially like the blue ones.

  2. Liz these are PERFECT! You obviously did not make them with 11 year old boys 😉 (though I love our imperfect offerings!) Merry Christmas, I hope 2016 is a sweet year for you xox

  3. Lynn@Happier Than A Pig In Mud says:

    Very pretty! I love the snowflake cookies, they’d be great for all winter:@)

  4. These are so perfect for Christmas
    Wishing you Merry Christmas

  5. Wow, flying candy shards! Sounds dangerous. 😉 But it’s worth it for such a beautiful cookie!
    BTW, was looking at a couple of your other posts. Are you in Indianapolis? Because that’s my hometown and I haven’t been back in a very long time. I miss it!

  6. wow gorgeous colour! A perfectly festive cookie recipe, Liz.
    Merry Christmas!

  7. If anyone could make utterly beautiful cookies, I knew it would be you! These are stunning. 🙂 Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Wonderful New Year 2016 my friend! Have a delicious holiday with your family. 🙂

  8. Wow Liz!!! These stained glass cookies are perfect and look like delicious works of art!!! Love these! Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  9. Simply beautiful. You’re right, the Skinny Chick can bake.

  10. When I saw these on Facebook I was wondering about the color. They are beautiful!

  11. So pretty! And so perfect for the season. Speaking of which, Happy Holidays!

  12. These are lovely, look so neat Liz. Merry Christmas to you and your family and happy holidays.

  13. c

  14. Yeah awesome, please delete that previous error lol. Gorgeous cookies I am so impressed and so cool the flavors bring up great memories. Happy Holidays!

  15. What a gorgeous plate of cookies, Liz! Happy holidays.

  16. Beautiful cookies, Liz! I love Jolly Ranchers too. I ate them all the time as a kid.

  17. So so SO impressive, Liz!! Your treats always blow my mind and get me so excited to start baking again (which is saying something, since I always swear that I’m going to avoid the kitchen for weeks after my baking splurges). I’m saving this one for the books. LOVE!

  18. Mary @ Fit and Fed says:

    Pretty! I like the blue snowflakes the best. Merry Christmas!

  19. I LOVE Stained Glass Cookies, Liz. Thanks for the tip about the Jolly Ranchers. I wonder why that is though:)

    Thanks for sharing Liz…Wishing You and Yours a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy & Healthy New Year!!!

  20. What beautiful cookies and so festive as well. Hope you and your family had a wonderful Christmas 😀

  21. These cookies are so gorgeous! Can’t wait to give them a try 🙂

  22. These are perfect! When my kids were little I tried a recipe for these from a Betty Crocker Christmas Cookbook. It called for Lifesavers and the results were less than stellar. The next time I will use your recipe!

  23. I’ve always been so enchanted with stained glass cookies, these are beauties!

  24. Lizzy,
    I’ve wanted to make stained glass cookies but thought it was too difficult. These look so festive.

  25. I believe you should mention somewhere in the recipe about adding the crushed Jolly Ranchers after you cut out the center of the cookie… 🙂

  26. The cookies are amazing.. you are an artist…

    Please visit:

  27. These came out incredible! I used a cake pop straw to punch a hole at the top of each one and loop a ribbon through, so I could hang them like ornaments on a mini tree!


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