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Stained glass cookies for the holidays

Simple sugar cookie cutouts transform into jewel-like holiday treats with the addition of crushed hard candies. We’ve included our favorite sugar cookie recipe below, but for instant yuletide gratification, organic store-bought refrigerator dough works just as well.

stained glass cookies

Stained glass cookie how-to

Sort hard candies by color; place each color in its own resealable freezer bag. While candies are in the bags, crush into approximately 1/8-inch pieces by gently pounding with a meat mallet or small hammer; set aside.

holiday cookie spinkles

Preheat oven according to sugar cookie recipe directions. Roll cookie dough and cut desired shapes using cookie cutters. Remove centers of cookie cutouts with a smaller cutter of the same shape. Place cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

cookie cutouts

Sprinkle a single, even layer of crushed candy in the cookie’s cut out area. Bake according to cookie recipe directions. Allow cookies to cool 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

stained glass cookies

Sugar cookie dough

Serving size: makes 2 dozen


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup crushed hard candies, various colors


  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt and baking powder; set aside. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar; mix until light and fluffy. Add egg, milk and vanilla; mix until well combined. With the mixer on low, slowly add flour mixture. Mix until just combined.
  2. Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface. Shape into two discs, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least one hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with nonstick baking mats or parchment paper; set aside.
  4. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Using cookie cutters, cut desired shapes and transfer to prepared baking sheets, leaving an inch between each cookie. Leftover dough can be rolled and cut once more. Sprinkle crushed candies into the cut out shape, using the tip of a sharp knife to spread evenly. Bake until lightly golden, about six to eight minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool.

More holiday cookie recipes

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Guilt-free holiday cookies
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