Stained Glass Sugar Cookies

Stained Glass Sugar Cookies are beautifully delicious and easy to make.


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 Tablespoon milk
  • 2 teaspoons clear vanilla extract (almond or lemon extract work, too)
  • Powdered sugar, for rolling out the dough
  • Assorted colored hard candies, such as Jolly Ranchers or Lifesavers


  • Select two cookies cutters, making sure that one is small enough to fit inside of the other with at least 1/2 inch of cookie border around it.
  • Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • Place butter and sugar into large bowl of an electric stand mixer and beat until light in color. Add egg and milk and beat to combine. Turn mixer to low speed and slowly add flour, mixing until the dough pulls away from the side of the bowl. Divide the dough in half, wrapping each in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (or as long as overnight).
  • Sprinkle surface where you will roll out your dough lightly with powdered sugar. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  • Remove 1 wrapped pack of dough from refrigerator. Sprinkle rolling pin with powdered sugar and roll out dough to 1/4-inch thick. Move the dough around and check underneath frequently to make sure it is not sticking. If dough softens too much during rolling, place a cold cookie sheet on top for 10 minutes to chill, or place the dough back into the refrigerator.
  • Using the larger cookie cutter, cut dough into desired shape. Use smaller cookie cutter to cut out the middle of each cookie. Transfer cookies to prepared cookie sheets, spacing them at least 1 inch apart. Place cookie sheet into refrigerator for 10-15 minutes while you prepare the candy to become stained glass centers.
  • Heat your oven to 350 F.
  • Unwrap and separate the hard candies into various colors, placing each color into a small zip top bag. Seal each bag tightly. Place a light dish towel over one bag.
  • Using a rolling pin or something similar, carefully smash the candies into small pieces. Don’t smash too hard, as you want “shards” of candy, not a fine powder.
  • Repeat the above steps with the other refrigerated ball of cookie dough.
  • Fill the center of each cookie with ½ to 1 teaspoon of crushed candy. Use a toothpick or tip of a small knife to work the candy into the corners.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until cookies are just beginning to turn brown around the edges and candy is hot and bubbling, rotating cookie sheet halfway through baking time.
  • The candy will be bubbling when it comes out of the oven. This is normal and it will spread out and the bubbles will disappear when they cool down.
  • Let baked cookies stay on baking sheet for 3 minutes after removal from oven, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
  • Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week or freeze for up to a month.

Cookie yield depends on what size and shape of cutters you use. I made 24 star cookies from one batch of dough.

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