Stained glass cookies are not just another treat; they’re an activity. And since many people have their children home over the next couple of weeks, when camp has ended but school has not yet started, this seemed like a good week to share this recipe.

The idea is simple, but the possibilities are endless. You’re basically making shapes/designs that have some section cut out, which you fill with crushed candy which then melts in the oven, creating the stained glass effect.

A couple of tips to keep in mind:

  • The candy will spread when it melts in the oven, so you don’t need to stuff the cavities.
  • If you want to combine colors, choose colors that go well together. Like green-yellow-blue, red-yellow-orange, or red-blue-purple.

Start by dividing the candies by color and crushing them. If you prepare the candy in advance, stick it in the freezer until you’re ready to use. This prevents the pieces from sticking together too much.

You can use cookie cutters to make your shapes. Use a smaller shape to cut out the centers. The best way to do these is to cut out the shape and transfer it to a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Then cut out the center and fill with candy. If you try to cut out the center first and then transfer it, it is more likely to break or stretch out of shape.

You can use cookie cutters, but they are not necessary. You can manage without—just shape the cookies freehand. You can even make a detailed scene like this. Once you’re happy with the way it looks, fill the holes with candy and bake. Children enjoy letting their imaginations run wild here—they can be busy for an hour or more, easily (depending on the child, obviously).


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup butter/margarine
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 cups flour
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • Colored candies or lollipops


  1. Cream butter or margarine with sugar until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla. Mix.
  2. Add the salt, baking powder and flour—one cup at a time—until dough comes together. (As always when it comes to baking you may need slightly more or less flour, depending on many factors, including the weather.)
  3. Refrigerate the dough for 1–2 hours.
  4. While the dough is chilling, prepare the candy.
  5. Unwrap the candies/lollipops and separate them by color. Place each color into a separate zip-top bag. If you bags are very thin, you may need to use a double bag.
  6. Use a hammer or meat tenderizer to crush the candy into pieces. Pour each color out into a bowl and remove sticks (if using lollipops).
  7. Roll the dough and cut the shapes of your choice. Transfer the shapes to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, then cut out the centers and fill with the candy.
  8. Bake at 350° F for about 12 minutes. Remove from oven and allow the candy centers to harden fully before lifting the cookies off the parchment paper.