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Stained Glass Cookies

Coco after giving up trying to reach the cookies - i wish i photographed her while standing on her hind legs ready to steal

My friend Cindy Johnson used to be a kindergarten teacher. Every year on Valentine’s Day, she made an eatable stained glass Valentine’s card for all the children in her class! For each child she made two 5”x7” decorated cookies and tied them together with ribbons. The children loved this special treat.

it is a lot of fun to design

I asked Cindy to give me the recipe, which was printed in an old publication from the forties or fifties. The following recipe, inspired by the original from Miss Cindy, is a variation altered for Living Crafts, as I always like the flour to be measured by weight for consistency. This recipe has less sugar than most butter cookies, but more butter, and the cookies are actually not just pretty, but very tasty and eatable. I will have to also provide you all with a Royal Icing recipe, next time we have these cookies on our blog.

this is for those who miss their sweethearts

If you are going to let your child eat hard candy with food coloring in it, well, this is the one time in the year to do so. If not, you can test different brands of organic hard candy [that’s what I was going to do but with a staff of one some things are just not possible] and see how they melt in the oven. If you have success with any of them please let me know so I can post here!

I am holding on to this recipe for Christmas and plan to make a whole village of houses with stained glass windows – and even a church.

Here we go, thanks to Miss Cindy Johnson:

Valentine Cookies

Makes about 12 cookies in various sizes shown here:

various sizes


  • 8 oz. all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 stick butter [1/3 cup]
  • 3/8 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • Jolly Rancher brand hard candy in assorted colors
  • Royal Frosting [or ready-made frosting tubes for writing!]



1. Mix flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl
2. Beat butter and sugar in bowl until light and fluffy, then add egg and vanilla
3. Gradually stir in flour mixture until dough is firm
4. Keep dough in closed container overnight or at least 10 hours
5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roll out dough on a floured surface to ¼ thick.
6. Place foil on a cookie sheet.
7. Cut out shapes with cutters in various sizes and place on the foil covered cookie sheet.
8. Crush candy in colors of your choice, so they are in crystals [not powdered]
9. Place as much candy as possible in the cut-out parts

house cookie

10. Bake about 8 minutes, or a bit more for larger pieces. Children love watching the candy bubble through the oven window. The ones that are heart shaped look like pumping hearts!
11. Once the cookies are cooled off, you can start decorating with Royal Icing of your choice, or just buy ready-made in a tube if you are in a hurry, although those have way too much bad stuff in them [sorry Betty I like Martha best].

Posted by Living Crafts on Feb 13, 2011 03:57 PM | 16 Comments

16 Responses to “Stained Glass Cookies”

  1. laura says:

    I remember Miss Cindy’s stained glass cookies! They didn’t often last long enough to catch a glimpse of one though by the time the valentine pouch made it home. One year I made a Hansel and Gretel gingerbread house with melted hard candy windows in the same fashion.

    • Living Crafts says:

      Oh Hello Laura, Thank you for responding, and your idea. I had thought of doing a Christmas village but not Hansel and Gretel. We are soon giving away a Hansel and Gretel wooden play set and storybook. I shall think of making a cookie to go along with it. Love, Pardis

  2. Jeannine says:

    These are beautiufl cookies and I imagine they would taste good but I wouldn’t recommend the recipe to anyone because I really just can’t imagine encouraging a child to eat these knowing that it’s very well possible that they will end up in the dentist office later with cavities.

  3. Monique says:

    Jeannine, you don’t get cavities just from eating cookies once in a while! I’m sure it would be fine if they brush their teeth afterwards.

    This looks great and I would like to make them, but with a new baby I don’t want to go to the store just for Jolly Ranchers. I’m going to try it with homemade candies, here’s a recipe from Martha Stewart: for anyone else interested.

    • Angela says:

      Thank you for this recipe. My plans for making cookies today have been modified for the better. Valentine’s Day is a real holiday in our house, Daddy is expected (by the children, not me!) to take the day off work and cookies are de rigeur.
      Better go check my butter supply!


  4. jet says:

    oooh they looking sooo beautiful and pretty, thank you for sharing this.
    have a great fun valentines day;-D

  5. san says:

    HEY CraftsPeople!
    I live in the Netherlands and have NO IDEA what you mean bij Crush Candy and Royal Icing? Where can I by this stuff?
    Or can I use/try any transparent candy?

    • Living Crafts says:

      Hi San, Yes. It is transparent candy, but not all work as well as the brand recommended. before you use with cookie, try to melt it by itself in the oven at 375 degrees for 8 minutes and let it cool and see if it hardens when it is cooled. then it is going to work. Also, royal icing is basically the mixture of mainly powdered sugar and other items to be able to write on your cookies and make designs on them. you can probably google some recipes for it. I hope this helps. Pardis

  6. Alison says:

    I think these are super sweet!I am going to make some right now! For those worried about hard candy in there, you could just do the cutouts, or make them thinner & layer them together with jam in the middle, Lidsorlike.

  7. Jill says:

    Thank you for sharing this recipe! Around Christmas time I was having “flash backs,” if you will, about these cookies. It took a while for the memory to come into focus. What I remembered were these cookies but made, I believe, with Lifesaver candies. I was probably not the one baking them but I do have a fragment of a memory that you had to be really careful with the timing or the Lifesavers would begin to brown. We made them as cookie ornaments. I guess I will now be experimenting with my kids. So excited to try these. Thank you!

  8. I have always heard about these cookies but never took the time to find a good recipe with a how-to guide. Now I have to remind myself to take the time to make these because they look delicious!

  9. Wilda Shao says:

    Love the blog here. Nice colors. I am definitely staying tuned to this one. Hope to see more.

  10. Crickview says:

    I LOVED these cookies. The sugar cookie is good, but with that little extra splash of the candy along with it is it such a treat! My boys and I had a great time making them. They were supposed to be for Valentines Day but we had a very sad event that day (our gaurdian llama became suddenly ill with severe pneumonian and we had to make the decision to put her down), so it was a good “cheering up” activity to make cookies the next day with the dough we had sitting in the fridge. Next time I’m going to sprinkle some of the crushed candies over the top of the cookie as well to get some sweet in every bite!

  11. I just found some great Holiday recipes. Best of all you can get them at no cost. I just download them to my hardrive

  12. Randy Balwin says:

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