Stained Glass Cookies

Stained Glass Cookies are sure to impress people of all ages! These crisp buttery cookies are cut into festive shapes and filled with hard candies, then they’re baked and the candy melts into an even layer for a beautiful stained glass effect.

A delicious cookie to add to the cookie tray this year, and save a few for the Christmas tree or window!

Stained Glass Cookies

Stained Glass Cookies

I made several batches of these over the Thanksgiving holiday and I’d have to say I don’t think I’ve ever gotten so many ooh’s and ahh’s.


My kids, my nieces and nephews, the neighborhood kids and even the kids at school thought these were the coolest cookies they’d ever seen. And believe it or not they really aren’t difficult to make.

You simply cut a larger star (or other shape) from the cookie dough transfer it to a baking sheet, cut the same smaller shape then fill that with crushed Jolly Ranchers. Bake them and the candies melt into an even layer and leave you with a such fun yet striking cookie.

I’ve been wanting to try these cookies for years and I’m so glad I finally did! This year I’ve actually been on a Jolly Rancher kick (you can find hidden stashes in my purse and pantry) so maybe that’s what finally inspired me to make them.

Nostalgic childhood candy meets classic shortbread style cookie for a treat everyone will love!

Stained Glass Cookies

Ingredients You’ll Need for This Recipe

  • Unsalted butter
  • Granulated sugar
  • Salt
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla extract
  • All-purpose flour
  • Jolly Ranchers

Stained Glass Cookies

How to Make Stained Glass Cookies

  • Unwrap and separate Jolly Ranchers into each color then place in separate small resealable bags. Crush into bits using a meat mallet, set aside.

Stained glass cookie dough in rectangle shape in plastic wrap.

  • In the bowl of an electric stand mixer cream together butter, sugar and salt until well combined.
  • Mix in eggs one at a time then blend in vanilla.
  • With mixer set on low speed slowly add in flour and mix until well combined.
  • Scrape dough out and shape into a rectangle, wrap in plastic wrap and and chill 1 hour.

Showing how to make stained glass cookies. Rolling dough out on floured surface for stained glass cookies.

  • Cut chilled dough into thirds. Leave one portion out to work with and chill remaining.
  • Roll dough out onto a floured surface (about 1/5-inch thick). Cut out as many large stars as possible using a star shape cookie cutter (approx. 3.5 – 4-inch stars).

Cutting star shapes from cookie dough for stained glass cookies.

  • Transfer cut stars to baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
  • Cut a smaller star from the center of each and remove (using a 1.5-inch star cutter). Re-roll and cut scrap dough.

Cutting center portion from cookies with a small star cookie cutter.

  • Fill cut out centers about 3/4 of the way with crushed jolly ranchers. Chill cookies in refrigerator 15 – 20 minutes Meanwhile preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Bake cookies until set and candy center has melted, about 12 – 14 minutes.
  • Let cool on baking sheet until jolly ranchers have hardened. Repeat process with remaining refrigerated dough. Store in an airtight container

Filling center of cut out cookies with jolly ranchers for stained glass cookies. Shown before baking.

Can I Use Different Shapes?

Yes absolutely. I actually was planning on making snowflakes, gingerbread men and Christmas trees as well but I thought the stars were cute so I just did all stars.  As long as you have a large cookie cutter then a smaller one to cut the center it should work great.

Can I Use a Different Type of Candy?

I did also test these with Life Savers and they do work but the colors weren’t quite as pretty. Maybe it’s just my oven but they seemed to melt quicker and therefor came out a little darker.

I’m also curious if they’d work with a butterscotch or cinnamon hard candy? They might not be as glassy but they sound delicious if they’d work.

Stained Glass Cookies on a white serving plate.

How to Cut Holes for Hanging

I’m sure theres a few ways you could go about making a hole at the top of the cookie so you can tie them with a ribbon to hang them, but the method that I used was just a plastic straw.

It was the perfect size and the dough would stick to the straw so you don’t have to try and pick it out. Just be sure to stamp the hole out before you bake them.

Stained Glass Cookies hanging from ribbon in a window.

More Christmas Cookie Recipes to Try

  • Gingerbread Cookies
  • Butter Cookies
  • Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies
  • Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
  • Peanut Butter Blossoms