Stained glass cookies start as a buttery sugar cookie, but with a little holiday magic to make the center of the cookie see-thru with sweet candy. This cookie is perfect for a cookie platter, cookie exchange or just delicious holiday baking!
*This post may contain affiliate links to products we love. If you purchase something after clicking one of our links we make a small fee. See our affiliate policy here.
Stained glass cookies are a fun and sweet cookie for the holidays, and are fun for kids to make too.
This recipe is a sample recipe from my cookbook and was one of our favorite recipes to make!
Kid Chef Bakes For The Holidays is packed full of holiday recipes created for aspiring bakers who are 8-12. It’s such a fun cookbook, and makes a great gift.
To see other samples from the cookbook of recipes that are fun to make for kids, check out these recipes:
Tips For Stained Glass Cookies
Use these tips to help you make beautiful and sweet stained glass cookies every time! Your cookies will be delicious and will fly off the cookie tray.
What Kind Of Cookie Cutters Do I Need?
Cookie cutters for the outside of the cookies
For the outside of the cookie, you need a round 3-inch cookie cutter like this one. I like this set because it has a round side and a fun scalloped side of the cookie cutter.
You can also use a glass that is three inches across if you don’t have a round cookie cutter that’s the right size.
Cookie cutters for the inside of the cookie
For the insides of the cookies, you’ll need a smaller cookie cutter that’s around 1 1/2 to 2 inches.
- Holiday Small Cookie Cutters– I have this set and it’s great!
- Small Shapes Cookie Cutter Set- This set is great for this cookie, and also for making fancy pies crusts.
What kind of gummy candies do you use in the center?
You can use many different kinds of gummy candy in the center of these sugar cookies. Gummy bears, gummy worms, or any gummy candy that’s kind of see-through.
If you use a gummy candy that you can’t see light through that’s more like a gumdrop, you will have pretty colors in the center but you will lose that stained glass effect.
I have not tried sour gummy candy before, like sour patch kids. If you try them, let me know in the comments!
I have seen other stained glass cookies that use chopped hard candies like Jolly Ranchers in the center. While the chopped candies once melted look beautiful, I prefer using gummies because they are not as hard on your teeth. Hard candies make a really hard center.
Making these cookies for Christmas gifts? My simplified White Chocolate Peppermint Bark makes a great holiday gift too, and it’s super easy to make. Or try making these super fun Christmas hot cocoa bombs, they make a delicious gift by themselves or paired with my chocolate peppermint thumbprint cookies.
How Do I Make The Gummy Centers?
The trick to making the gummy centers is to chop the gummy bears or other gummy candies into really small pieces so they melt quickly and evenly. This melts the center without overbaking the cookies.
I slice the gummy bears longways both directions, and then slice into about either pieces from there. This makes gummy bear pieces that are only a little larger then a sprinkle. The smaller you can slice the gummy bears, the easier it is for them to melt together.
It is great to separate the candy by color as you slice the gummies so you can do both solid color and multi-color centers in your cookies. Use all of a single-color gummy or mix the colored gummy pieces for a rainbow swirl look.
After the cookies have mostly finished baking, you sprinkle the gummies in the center of the cookie. Then pop back in the oven for 1-2 minutes to melt. Let them cool for a few minutes, then pop the tray in the fridge to finish chilling and setting the gummies.
My cookie centers have holes between the gummy pieces, what do I do?
Don’t worry! It’s normal to have a few holes here and there as the gummies don’t always melt perfectly every time. Here’s what you do.
While the gummies are still hot from the oven you can fix the holes. Take a toothpick and pull the warm gummies over the holes. Then chill the cookies in the fridge to set them.
Love holiday cookies and need more for your platters? ? Try the Buttery Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies for a chewy and buttery cookie. Or the Chocolate Andes Mint Cookie Cups are always a crowd pleaser!
How Do I Store These Cookies?
If you store these cookies in a sealed container, the gummies stay soft in the center. If you store these cookies in the refrigerator the centers become harder.
I recommend storing these cookies on the counter in a sealed container after they have cooled completely. Once cool the cookies will also easily stack.
Stained Glass Cookies
- Cookie sheets
- parchment paper
- Large Mixing Bowl
- Electric mixer or stand mixer (optional)
- 2 small bowls
- Medium mixing bowl
- Fork or whisk
- Rolling pin
- 3-inch round cookie cutter
- 1 ½- to 2-inch cookie cutters in holiday shapes
- Small sharp knife
- ¾ cup unsalted cold butter
- ¾ cup white sugar
- 2 eggs
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 ¼ cups flour
- 8 ounces gummy bears gummy worms work too!
- Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Lay parchment paper on your cookie sheets and clean off a nice big area of counter space to roll out the cookie dough.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream the softened butter and sugar together in a mashing motion by hand or for 2 to 3 minutes with an electric mixer on low-medium.
- Separate an egg and drop the whites in one bowl and the yolk in a second bowl. In the bowl with the yolk, crack and add a second full egg and vanilla, then beat with a fork or whisk. Add the egg mixture to your sugar and butter and mix until well blended.
- To your wet mixture add the flour and scatter the salt around the bowl. Mix well for a few minutes with a spatula or a stand mixer on low until a dough forms. (Don’t try mixing this part of the dough with a hand mixer—the dough is very thick and may break your mixer!)
- Flour the counter and roll out your dough to a thickness of about ⅜ of an inch. Use a 3-inch cookie cutter and cut circles out of your dough.
- In the center of each circle, use a small holiday cookie cutter that is 1 ½ to 2 inches and cut the center out of each cookie. Take a small piece of dough about the size of a large bean and roll it into a ball, then flatten it and press it at the top of your circle for the Christmas tree ornament.
- Reroll any extra dough to cut more cookies. Bake the cookies in the oven for 9 to 11 minutes until they are almost done but still have a light color.
- Slice your gummy candies into the smallest pieces you can into pieces just a little bigger than a large sprinkle. While the cookies are still hot on the pan, sprinkle the gummy bits into the center of the cookies. Put the cookies back in the oven for 1 to 2 minutes to melt the gummies.
- Use a toothpick to pull the gummy candy to fill in any holes while the cookies are still warm. Once the pan has cooled for a few minutes, put the cookie sheet in the fridge for about 5 minutes to fully set the gummies.
- When you are rolling the cookie dough, if you put chopsticks next to the dough on either side then roll it can help you to roll more evenly. You want to roll the dough just a little thicker than the chopsticks.
- If you don’t have a tiny cookie cutter, you can also use an icing decorating tip to cut polka dots from your ornaments. Making the cookies like this will result in fewer cookies, but they are still delicious—and fun!
- You can use one color gummy in the center of each cookie, or mix the colors for a multi-color look that’s pretty too!