Stained Glass Christmas Cookies are beautiful, delicious, and easy to make Christmas cookies. This Christmas cookie recipe is soft butter cookie dough, rolled out and cut into holiday shapes. The cookies are filled with melted candies so the center looks like stained glass. They’re the perfect addition to any holiday cookie platter!
Part of the magic of the Christmas season for me is enjoying it through the eyes of children. My heart melts when I watch their wide-eyed awe the first time they experience snow, or the way they giggle with glee when they see a Christmas tree light up. Their little hearts are filled with so much happiness that it becomes contagious to everyone around them!
STAINED GLASS CHRISTMAS COOKIES
Aren’t these the prettiest Christmas cookies ever?! Making this delicious Christmas cookies recipe couldn’t be any easier, and it’s fun, too! Making stained glass Christmas cookies is a great way to share holiday baking with your kids or grandkids. They make wonderful holiday food gifts, either to eat, or to hang as homemade Christmas tree ornaments!
The most difficult part of this recipe is being patient while the dough firms up in the refrigerator. That will be the perfect time to sip on a mug of homemade hot chocolate and maybe share your Christmas wishes with one another, or explain what Christmas means to you.
How to Make Stained Glass Christmas Cookies
Start with a basic cut-out style cookie recipe. You can use butter cookie dough, shortbread, gingerbread, or even plain sugar cookie dough. Make things even more convenient by using refrigerated sugar cookie dough if you want to!
You can use any cookie cutter shape that you’d like, but keep in mind that you’ll need to find a similar shape, in a smaller size, to create the stained glass portion. Since it’s easy to find various sizes of , that’s what I used.
After you have cut out the basic shape and removed the inner portion, chill the dough so that the shapes don’t spread during baking. That’s a great time to crush up the Jolly Rancher candies to place into the center of the stained glass cookies. Kids can definitely help with this!
To create the “glass” for the stained glass Christmas cookies:
Place 6-8 pieces of a single color of candy into a gallon sized plastic bag. Make sure that the bag is completely sealed, then cover it with a dish cloth. Use a rolling pin or meat mallet to hit the bag, crushing the candies. Don’t crush them too finely – you want tiny shards of candy, not a fine powder. Repeat this step for each color you want to use.
Remove the cookies from the refrigerator and let your oven preheat the oven. Meanwhile, place the crushed candies into the centers of your cut-outs. Use a toothpick or small knife to push the candy into any tight corners.
After the cookies are finished baking, keep little fingers away from them, at least until the center has cooled.
A couple of things you’ll need to make STAINED GLASS CHRISTMAS COOKIES:
Stained Glass Christmas Cookies
- 3 cups (13 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup (7.5 ounces) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1 Tablespoon milk
- 2 teaspoons clear vanilla extract (almond or lemon extract work, too)
- Powdered sugar, for rolling out the dough
- Assorted colored hard candies, such as Jolly Ranchers or Lifesavers
- Select two cookies cutters, making sure that one is small enough to fit inside of the other with at least 1/2 inch of cookie border around it.
- Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- Place butter and sugar into large bowl of an electric stand mixer and beat until light in color. Add egg and milk and beat to combine. Turn mixer to low speed and slowly add flour, mixing until the dough pulls away from the side of the bowl. Divide the dough in half, wrapping each in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (or as long as overnight).
- Sprinkle surface where you will roll out your dough lightly with powdered sugar. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Remove 1 wrapped pack of dough from refrigerator. Sprinkle rolling pin with powdered sugar and roll out dough to 1/4-inch thick. Move the dough around and check underneath frequently to make sure it is not sticking. If dough softens too much during rolling, place a cold cookie sheet on top for 10 minutes to chill, or place the dough back into the refrigerator.
- Using the larger cookie cutter, cut dough into desired shape. Use smaller cookie cutter to cut out the middle of each cookie. Transfer cookies to prepared cookie sheets, spacing them at least 1 inch apart. Place cookie sheet into refrigerator for 10-15 minutes while you prepare the candy to become stained glass centers.
- Heat your oven to 350 F.
- Unwrap and separate the hard candies into various colors, placing each color into a small zip top bag. Seal each bag tightly. Place a light dish towel over one bag.
- Using a rolling pin or something similar, carefully smash the candies into small pieces. Don't smash too hard, as you want "shards" of candy, not a fine powder.
- Repeat the above steps with the other refrigerated ball of cookie dough.
- Fill the center of each cookie with ½ to 1 teaspoon of crushed candy. Use a toothpick or tip of a small knife to work the candy into the corners.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until cookies are just beginning to turn brown around the edges and candy is hot and bubbling, rotating cookie sheet halfway through baking time.
- The candy will be bubbling when it comes out of the oven. This is normal and it will spread out and the bubbles will disappear when they cool down.
- Let baked cookies stay on baking sheet for 3 minutes after removal from oven, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week or freeze for up to a month.
This stained glass cookies recipe first appeared in 2016, as a guest post on Around My Family Table.