Recipe: Stained glass cookies


photo by Jacob Middlekauff


  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened

  • 3/4 cup sugar

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • 6 to 8 oz individually-wrapped, fruit-flavored hard candies (Jolly Ranchers for example)

1. In a small bowl, whisk together flour and salt.

2. In a large bowl, combine butter and sugar with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy (about three minutes in a standing mixer with paddle attachment or six minutes with a handheld). Then, beat in egg and vanilla. Add flour mixture and mix at low speed until just combined. Over-mixing will result in tough cookies.

3. Shape dough into three balls and refrigerate each in plastic wrap until firm (at least two hours).

4. While the dough is being chilled, unwrap candies and separate by color in resealable plastic bags. Seal bags—forcing out air—and then crush candies by wrapping each bag in a kitchen towel and smashing bags with a rolling pin or heavy spoon.

5. Preheat oven to 350°F.

6. Roll out one piece of dough into a 9-inch round (1/8 inch thick) on a well-floured surface with floured rolling pin. (Keep remaining dough chilled so that it is pliable and easy to shape.) Cut cookies from dough with a mold of any shape and transfer to a lined/greased baking sheet, arranging about 1 inch apart. Cut out centers from cookies with a smaller mold and add to scraps to reuse. Spoon about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed candy (depending on size of cutout) in center of each cookie.

7. Bake on the middle oven rack until just golden—around 10 to 12 minutes—and then cool cookies completely on baking sheet on a tray. Gather scraps and chill until firm enough to reroll (10 to 15 minutes). Use the remaining dough and scraps (reroll once) to make more cookies in same manner on cooled baking sheet.

recipe courtesy of