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Learn how to make Stained Glass Window Cookies with a buttery sugar cookie and a center of the cookie looks like stained glass windows made with colorful hard candies. They’re the prettiest cookies that go great on a holiday cookie platter.

For our favorite cut-out sugar cookie recipe be sure and try these Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies – they never disappoint!

Baked cookies with a stained window in the center made of candy.

Stained Glass Cookies Recipe (Church Window Cookies)

These stained glass windowpane cookies are cut-out sugar cookies with glass windows made out of melted jolly rancher candies. Made into festive shapes and filled with a colorful hard candy center that resembles a stained glass window similar to church windows. 

These pretty cookies are beautiful addition to a cookie exchange plate during the holiday season.

A cookie standing on it's side next to a stack of the window cookies.
  1. All-Purpose Flour
  2. Baking Powder
  3. Salt
  4. Unsalted Butter
  5. Granulated Sugar
  6. Large Eggs
  7. Vanilla Extract
  8. Jolly Rancher Candies
  9. Clear Coarse Sanding Sugar
Ingredients needed for the recipe

How To Make Stained Glass Window Cookies

Prepare a large baking sheet (cookie sheet – 12″x17″) by lining with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. 

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt until combined. Set aside. 

Using the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, or a large bowl with an electric hand mixer, beat the butter and granulated sugar until light & fluffy. About 2 minutes is needed to get it fluffy looking and lighter in color.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Add in the whisked eggs and vanilla extract, and beat until combined. 

Add the dry ingredients into the bowl of wet ingredients and mix on low speed just until fully incorporated. 

process images

Remove the sugar cookie dough from the bowl and press it into a rectangular shape on top of plastic wrap. Wrap it up completely in the plastic wrap and place in the fridge to chill for 1 hour. 

While the dough is chilling, separate the Jolly Ranchers into like colors. Remove the wrappers, crush the candies, and keep each color in separate bowls. You can use a food processor to crush the candies, a Ziploc bag and a meat tenderizer or rolling pin, or whatever else you can find that will crush the hard candies. 

Once the dough has chilled, remove the dough from the fridge and cut the dough in half. Prepare a clean countertop with a spray of nonstick cooking spray and a light dusting of flour. 

process images

Roll the first half of dough using a rolling pin to about 1/4-inch thickness. Use a large 4-inch cookie cutter to cut out the cookies from the dough. Place the cookies onto the prepared baking sheets. Use the smaller cookie cutter, to carefully cut out the center portion of each cookie. Return all the scrapes of dough back to the remaining dough and repeat until all the dough is gone. 

Fill each center area about 3/4 of the way with crushed Jolly Ranchers (only one color per center). Sprinkle the tops of the cookies with clear coarse sanding sugar. Place the cookies back into the fridge to chill for 15 minutes before baking. 

process images

While the cookies are chilling preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 

Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes or until the candy center has melted and the cookies are set. The edges of the cookies should just barely be turning a light golden brown. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet until the candy centers have hardened and the cookies are completely cooled.

process images
process images

Can I Use Something Else Besides Jolly Ranchers For The Crushed Candy?

You can substitute the Jolly Ranchers with Life Savers or other clear, colorful, hard candies. Do not use gummy candies.

Close up of a cookie with a candy center for a window look.

Recipe Tips For These Fun Cookies

  • Different Sizes & Shape Cookie Cutters : You need a large cookie cutter (any shape) that is 4-inches. I recommend sticking with a 4-inch star cookie cutter and then using a smaller star cookie cutter for the center of the glass sugar cookies. There are lots of options on Amazon with sets that come with larger to smaller sized cookie cutters. 
  • Let Cookies Cool Completely : It’s so important to allow the cookies to cool completely on the cookie sheet after baking. Do no try to move them at all until they are completely cooled. The hard candy center needs time to set and harden before removing them.
Pile of cookies on a white plate.
Baked cookies with a stained window in the center made of candy.
Together As Family Logo

Stained Glass Window Cookies


Author Jessica – Together as Family
Course Christmas, Cookies
Cuisine American
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Chill Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings 40
Learn how to make Stained Glass Window Cookies with a buttery sugar cookie and a center of the cookie looks like stained glass windows made with colorful hard candies. They're the prettiest cookies that go great on a holiday cookie platter.

Ingredients
  

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter room temperature
  • cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs whisked
  • teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 30 Jolly Ranchers (assortment of colors)
  • clear coarse sanding sugar (or regular granulated sugar works)

Instructions

  • Prepare a large baking sheet(s) by lining with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt until combined. Set aside. 
    3 cups all-purpose flour, ½ teaspoon baking powder, ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Using the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, or a large bowl with an electric hand mixer, beat the butter and granulated sugar until light & fluffy.
    * About 2 minutes is needed to get it fluffy looking and lighter in color.
    1 cup (2 sticks) butter, 1¼ cup granulated sugar
  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Add in the whisked eggs and vanilla extract, and beat until combined. 
    * To whisk the eggs, crack them into a small bowl and use a fork to mix them up before adding them into the bowl.
    2 large eggs, 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Add the dry ingredients into the bowl of wet ingredients and mix on low speed just until fully incorporated.
  • Remove the sugar cookie dough from the bowl and press it into a rectangular shape on top of plastic wrap. Wrap it up completely in the plastic wrap and let it chill in the fridge for 1 hour
  • While the dough is chilling, separate the Jolly Ranchers into like colors. Remove the wrappers, crush the candies, and keep each color in separate bowls.
    * You can use a food processor to crush the candies, a Ziploc bag and a meat tenderizer or rolling pin, or whatever else you can find that will crush the hard candies. 
    30 Jolly Ranchers
  • Once the dough has chilled, remove the dough from the fridge and cut the dough in half. Prepare a clean countertop with a spray of nonstick cooking spray and a light dusting of flour. 
  • Working with one half of dough at a time, roll the dough out using a rolling pin to about 1/4-inch thickness. Use a large 4-inch cookie cutter to cut out the cookie shapes from the dough. Use the smaller cookie cutter, to carefully cut out the center portion of each cookie. Return all the scrapes of dough back to the remaining dough and repeat until all the dough is gone.
  • Place the cookies onto the prepared baking sheets. Return all the scrapes of dough back to the remaining dough and repeat until all the dough is gone.
  • Fill each center area about 3/4 of the way with crushed Jolly Ranchers (only one color per center). Sprinkle the tops of the cookies with clear coarse sanding sugar. Place the cookies back into the fridge to chill for 15 minutes before baking.
    clear coarse sanding sugar
  • While the cookies are chilling preheat the oven to 350℉.
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the candy center has melted and the cookies are set. The edges of the cookies should just barely be turning a light golden brown.
    Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet until the candy centers have hardened and the cookies are completely set.

Notes

Different Sizes & Shape Cookie Cutters : You need a large cookie cutter (any shape) that is 4-inches. I recommend sticking with a 4-inch cookie cutter and then using a smaller cookie cutter for the center of the glass sugar cookies. There are lots of options on Amazon with sets that come with larger to smaller sized cookie cutters. The easiest shape to do would be a star or an ornament shape.
Let Cookies Cool Completely : It’s so important to allow the cookies to cool completely on the cookie sheet after baking. Do no try to move them at all until they are completely cooled. The hard candy center needs time to set and harden before removing them.
 

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