Stained Glass Cookies

Stained Glass Cookies

The Recipe:

stained glass cookies

Stained Glass Cookies

This is a fun decoration technique to use with your favourite roll and cut cookie dough recipe. It's easy and makes you look pretty pro. Select candy flavours to complement the cookie or do this with a neutral flavoured dough.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Cookies


  • food processor – mini chop OR mallet or weighty object.
  • Glass jar or glass tupperware type container


  • 8-12 hard candies separated by colour
  • 1 recipe your favourite roll and cut cookie dough


  • Place several candies of the same colour in a glass jar or glass food storage container. Shake abruptly until the candies are broken up – I use Fox's Fruits, they're pretty much the same as Jolly Ranchers, and I went for "no bigger than ½ the original size of a candy" for the target size. Several good sturdy shakes got it there.
  • Transfer candies to your mini-chop and process to a course sand.
  • Remove ground candies to small bowls or jars.
  • Cut your cookies, I like to use a combination of large and small cookie cutters rather than specific "stained glass cookie cutters" cos… fads come and go, but cookie cutters clutter up your kitchen drawers.
  • If your dough is soft, and it's hard to transfer the cookies to your baking pan without losing their shape (once the windows are cut, it's only going to be trickier to move without deforming them), pop them in the fridge for about 10 minutes to firm up before moving.
  • Bake as normal until there's about 5 minutes to go on the baking, then using a small spoon, add the candy granules to the windows in your cookies. Return to oven for the last 5 minutes of the bake.
  • Cool cookies on the cookie sheet for at least 5 minutes.
  • Do not store on top of cookies that are at all moist or soft in the same container, like glazed cookies, if you do, use a piece of wax paper or parchment to keep them from sticking together. Once they've cooled to room temperature, do not leave in the open air if you live in a humid climate.


I break the candies up a little before putting them in the minichop because of an incident attempting to grind dried whole ginger that damaged our coffee grinder, it might be fine to just drop them in.
This number of candies is a good starting place, you may need more, you may need less, its quick enough to grind more, and if you have too much and will be baking again soon, my recent batch of cookies was a couple nights of baking, it may clump up but it’s easy to break it up again, no point in saving it any longer than that. 
In place of candies, you can always make your own broken glass candy in your own flavour and colour choices, but. omg. 
Humidity is the enemy of stained glass cookies.
I like to decorate the cookie part with egg yolk paint if I’m using a light coloured cookie dough, or you can go for a deep brown or even approaching black chocolate dough for the leading on your stained glass. 
Keyword decoration, roll cookies, sugar cookies

The Waffle:

I first saw these inn my copy of America’s Test Kitchen “The Perfect Cookie”. The recipe I read said to use a ziplock bag and a mallet or rolling pin. I dented the rolling pin and in no time, the bag had a tear and there was hard candy all over the kitchen. I see the lumps in the dough every time I roll out cookies.

These are fun to make, it reminds me of those plastic melt-in-the-oven-stained-glass-crystal-light-catcher kits we did as kids, but in cookie form. They really can be beautiful but I wouldn’t spend money on specialty cookie cutters for them, it’s more fun to do custom ones. I’ve done hearts with initials inside, and circles with hearts inside, and these easter eggs with chicks and flowers and smaller eggs inside. I like to keep the centre cookies and bake them too so the whole batch isn’t straight stained glass window cookies, which might be a little too much.

There’s lots of opportunity to mix flavours and colours, I am careful though, mindful of what flavours I’m using in the cookie base and the candies.

The technique pairs well with egg yolk painting as I did with the easter cookies this year.

bowtie chickie

I have had the candy “glass” stick to other cookies and to glaze on other cookies so be mindful of how you store them and put them in a well sealed container once they’re fully cooled. For good measure you can put a layer of wax or parchment paper between them, though I’ve found once they’re fully cooled and if they are stored with other stained glass, plain, or egg painted cookies they’re fine without. Glazed cookies is another story. That’s how this little chickie got his bow tie.