Stained Glass Cookies

Stained glass cookies are so much fun to make for Valentine’s Day or during Christmas. Really, these cookies are great for any festive holiday! These cookies are fun to make with kids, and you can dress the cookies up or down depending on how fancy you want them to be.

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stained glass cookies

What are Stained Glass Cookies?

Stained glass cookies are cut out sugar cookies that have the center cut out, and then they are filled with crushed hard candy that melts during baking. When the hard candy melts, it looks like stained glass. Fun, right?

stack of stained glass cookies

Best Hard Candy for Stained Glass Cookies

If you are making these stained glass cookies for Valentine’s day, I highly recommend using red Jolly Ranchers, specifically the cherry ones for the best flavor combination. If you are making them for Christmas, then a variety bag of Jolly Ranchers works too for various colored centers.

While many other types of hard candy will work, the flavor of the cherry Jolly Ranchers best complements the flavor of the almond cutout sugar cookies.

jolly rancher stained glass cookies

How to Make Stained Glass Cookies

  1. Crush the cherry Jolly Ranchers(or other hard candies). This might seem like a caveman way of doing things, but put the candies in a quart freezer bag, place a towel under them, and use a hammer or meat mallet to break them up. (Do it on a safe surface that won’t chip if it gets hammered, not on your counters please!)
  2. Make the dough. Sprinkle some flour on top of the dough, and then roll the dough out on a piece of wax paper.
  3. Cover the dough on a half sheet pan and chill for 30 minutes. Chilled dough holds its shape really well when cutting out the cookies.
  4. After cutting out heart cookies or other cookie shapes, place cookies on the tray and cut out the centers of each cookie with a smaller cutter.
  5. Fill each center with crushed candy. Chill the cookies for 10 minutes and then bake.
  6. For super soft and delicious cookies, do not brown the cookies more than a tiny bit on the edges. If you can avoid browning on the edges altogether, your cookies will be much softer and more delicious.
  7. Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet until the stained glass candy hardens. The candy will be bubbly and runny when the cookies come out of the oven. It should harden within 10-15 minutes though.
  8. Once cooled, transfer the cookies to a piece of parchment or wax paper on the counter. Do not use a cooling rack because the candy centers tend to stick to cooling racks.
  9. Let cool completely before icing. Use either royal icing or this amazing buttercream frosting Either work well, but the buttercream is especially good with the flavor of the cookie and stained glass candy.
stained glass cookies with jolly ranchers

Essential Baking Tools for These Cookies

Try these other recipes too! You’ll love them!


Stained Glass Cookies

jolly rancher stained glass cookies

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  • Author: Camille
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 9 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 9 minutes
  • Yield: 30 cookies 1x
  • Category: Cookies


  • 2/3 cup unsalted butter, cool but softened slightly
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. almond extract or almond emulsion
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • A bag of red Jolly Ranchers, preferably cherry (or any flavor of your choosing!)
  • 1/2 recipe of buttercream frosting


  1. Crush hard candies in a freezer bag with a hammer or meat mallet. Place a towel under the bag while crushing in case any candies poke holes in the bag. (Don’t crush them on the counter, choose a safe surface)
  2. Cream butter and sugar on medium low in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.
  3. Add eggs one at a time, making sure the first egg mixes in before adding the second.
  4. Add vanilla and almond and mix. 
  5. Add all dry ingredients and mix just until the dough comes together.
  6. Fit a piece of wax paper to the length of a rimmed half sheet pan. Remove the wax paper from the tray, place the dough on the wax paper, sprinkle some flour on the dough, and roll the dough to 1/8 or 1/4 inch thick. For softer cookies, make them 1/4 inch thick. Thinner cookies tend to bake faster around the edges, and therefore they aren’t always as soft.
  7. Place the wax paper and dough on the half sheet pan, cover, and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  8. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Remove dough from fridge and cut out desired cookie shapes. Space cut out sugar cookies 2 inches apart on baking trays lined with parchment paper, and then cut out smaller centers.
  9. Fill each center with crushed candies. Bake for 7-9 minutes. Edges may be slightly golden brown when done, but it is best to take the cookies out before they are golden. This ensures that the cookies will be soft.
  10. Let cookies cool on baking tray until the candy centers harden, and then transfer the cookies to a clean piece of parchment paper. Don’t transfer to a wire rack because the hard candies can stick to the wires!
  11. Make buttercream frosting and pipe a border of icing on the cooled cookies. Store cookies on a baking tray or in a container lined with parchment so the stained glass centers don’t stick. 


This is a Baker Street Society original recipe.

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