Stained Glass Cookies

Stained glass cookies

sn’t it funny how life has a way of teaching us what matters most. A few days    before Christmas my mom was hospitalized. We soon learned that her condition has left her unable to return home and care for herself. The girls and I have been busy managing her needs with our crazy schedules. This has left no time for baking or blogging.

We are now in the process of finding a new normal. This week as we got back to baking I realized something. No matter how busy life gets and the demands placed on us we need to find balance, make time to center ourselves and find our happy place. My happy place is in my kitchen with my girls by my side covered in flour asking if anyone remembered to set the timer.

Stained glass cookies are very popular around Christmas. They were on our “to-bake” list but as our holiday baking was abruptly cut short we have decided to switch holidays. I think the vibrant color in these decorative cookies lend themselves perfectly to Valentines Day. The heart shape cut out with sparkling red and pink jewel-toned centers are the perfect home-made gifts.

Traditionally stained glass cookies are made by pouring hot candy cooked to hard crack stage in the center of a butter cookie. As much as I love the look of these beautiful cookies, who has time to make hard candy every time they want to make cookies? My mother was a master at making homemade suckers and hard candies…my mom had time for many things that as a working mom I do not. This recipe is the solution for those of us who have limited baking hours in our day. Bake the butter cookie from scratch…then cheat a little on the stained glass portion. By crushing store bought hard candy you can cut an hour off the time these cookies would normally take to make. We love the flavor of Jolly Ranchers and used them in this recipe but you are welcome to substitute for another hard candy if you have a favorite.

Ingredients:Stained glass ingredients

1 cup salted butter

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

1 egg

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 tsp. salt

2 1/2 cups flour

1/4 cup corn starch

decorative sanding sugars (optional)

Jolly Rancher hard candies


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer beat with paddle attachment the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the egg and extracts and beat until well mixed.
  3. In a separate bowl sift or whisk together remaining dry ingredients.
  4. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients.
  5. Beat on medium speed just until well incorporated. Do not overwork the dough.
  6. Cover dough with plastic wrap and chill at least 3 hours.
  7. On a lightly floured work surface roll dough into 1/3 inch thick slab.
  8. Cut cookie shapes and place them on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.
  9. Place cookie sheet in the refrigerator and chill at least 10 minutes.
  10. While cookies are chilling, pulverize the desired color of jolly rancher candies in a food processor.
  11. Remove cookie sheet from refrigerator and carefully fill the cutout shape with Jolly Rancher powder.
  12. Return cookie sheet to the refrigerator and chill another 10 minutes.
  13. Bake in an oven preheated to 350° for 8-10 minutes. Cookies are done when cookie edges just begin to golden and the candy center is melted.
  14. Allow cookies to cool on cookie sheet for 10 minutes.
  15. Remove from cookie sheet with spatula and place on a cooling rack until completely cooled.


  • Be careful to dust off any misplaced or spilled Jolly Rancher powder. This will stain the cookie. I like to keep a small paintbrush handy to brush off any spilled hard candy.
  • We often like to sprinkle the cookies with sanding sugar or spray them with luster dust before filling the shape with jolly rancher powder.
  • Try different shapes, sugars and candies…these cookies can be as individual as the baker creating it.

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