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I have always loved the idea of stained glass cookies. They’re relatively simple but have very striking results. And while I’ve always done them for Christmas, they obviously are versatile and can be used for a variety of occasions. Like Back to School!
I start with my basic sugar cookie dough. You could just as easily start with a store-bought. The only thing you have to watch if you do that is that the dough tends to spread more. I would recommend putting the cut-out dough into the freezer before baking, and space them out enough that if they do spread, they don’t spread into each other.
Cookie dough ingredients:
1 cup butter (softened)
1 1/3 sugar
3 1/3 flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 bag Butterfields hard candy (muscadine grape or cherry)
Begin by crushing the candies into smaller pieces. These are going to need to melt together, so the smaller the pieces, the better. You can go as fancy as a food processor or as simple as crushing them with a rolling pin in their original bag.
Begin by creaming the softened butter and sugar until well incorporated. Add eggs one at a time followed by vanilla extract, and scrape down if necessary. Finish by adding flour, salt and baking powder.
Generously flour the surface you’ll be working on. This recipe is fairly resilient and won’t be damaged by adding too much flour. If you want to chill the dough, do so now as it will cut down on the need for as much flour, but I never seem to plan that far ahead and just go with the extra flour.
Next up, roll out and cut the shapes. The key here is to cut out the centers as well. You want to leave about 1/2 inch cookie edge to hold in the candy.
Make sure to bake these on a piece of parchment, wax paper or silpat liner. If you bake them directly onto a cookie sheet you might not be able to get the cookie up.
For the center cut outs here, we just did a circle, kind of the shape of the apple. Depending on the cutters you have, you could do some really fun things – like cut out your kids name or initial. For Christmas, I typically do a tree and cut out the ornaments and lights.
Fill the empty space with the crushed candy. Make sure there’s enough to cover everything.
Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes. The cookie should be golden brown on the edges and the candy will have melted back together and become a solid surface. We finished ours with fondant leaves. You can leave them plain, decorate with icing or add sprinkles to the top of the dough before baking.