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Stained Glass Cookies Recipe & Video

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Sugar Cookies are a sweet and tender cookie with wonderfully crisp edges. They are an American favorite and are especially popular during the Christmas season. You can turn Sugar Cookies into Stained Glass Cookies simply by cutting out the centers of the cookies and filling them with colorful crushed hard candy. The transformation takes place in the oven, when the candy melts making it look like colored glass. Pretty to look at and delicious to eat.


Stained Glass Cookies are a cookie and a candy all in one. You can use any hard candy. Good choices are Jolly Ranchers, Lollipops, or LifeSavers. Keep in mind that the flavor of the Stained Glass Cookie changes with the flavor of the candy that you use. The candies do need to be crushed before you fill the centers of the unbaked cookies. To do this, first separate the candies by color. Next, unwrap the candies, and place each color of candy in a separate plastic bag. Crush the candies until they look like coarse sand, using a mallet, rolling pin, or even a hammer.

You can cut out the cookies using any shape of cookie cutter. Normally I use a cookie cutter that is about 3 inches (7.5 cm) for the actual cookie and then a 1 inch (2.5 cm) cookie cutter to cut out the centers. While I have used tree shaped cookie cutters for both the shape of the cookie and the cut out center, you could use star, round, square, snow flake, gingerbread men, or even a heart shaped cookie cutter.

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Stained Glass Cookies: In a bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder and salt. 

In the bowl of your electric stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter until smooth. Add the sugar and vanilla extract and beat until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides and bottom of your bowl as needed. Add the egg and beat until combined. Add the flour mixture and beat until you have a smooth dough.

Divide the dough in half and then roll each half between two sheets of parchment or wax paper until it is about 1/8 - 1/4 inch thick. As you roll, periodically check the top and bottom sheets of parchment and smooth out any wrinkles. Place the dough on a baking sheet (along with the parchment paper) and place in the refrigerator until firm (about 30-60 minutes).

Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place the oven rack in the center of the oven.

Once chilled, remove one half of the dough from the refrigerator and peel off the top piece of parchment paper. Using a 3 inch (7 cm) tree shaped cookie cutter, cut out the cookies. Place the cookies on a baking sheet, lined with parchment paper, spacing the cookies about 3 inches (7.5 cm) apart. Then use a smaller tree shaped cookie cutter to cut out the centers of the cookies. (Gather up the scraps and again, roll out the dough, chill, and then cut out the cookies.)

If you want to hang the cookies, make a small hole in the top of each cookie with the end of a wooden skewer.

Separate the hard candies by color. Unwrap and place each color of candy in a separate plastic freezer bag and crush (until it looks like coarse sand) using a mallet, rolling pin, or small hammer.

Fill the entire cut out of each cookie, right to the top of the dough, with the crushed candy. (See video for demonstration.) Try not to get any candy crumbs on the top of the cookie dough as it will color the cookie.

Bake cookies for about 10 minutes (depending on size) or until the edges are just starting to brown and the candy has completely melted. Rotate your baking sheet front to back about halfway through baking. Remove from oven and let the cookies cool completely on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack.

Makes about 24 - 3 inch (7.5 cm) cookies.

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Stained Glass Cookies:

1 1/2 cups (195 grams) all purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) baking powder

1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) salt

1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated white sugar

3/4 teaspoon (3 grams) pure vanilla extract

1 large egg (50 grams), at room temperature

1/2 cup (90 grams) crushed hard candy (Jolly Ranchers, Lollipops, or Lifesavers)

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