How to Make Stained Glass Christmas Cookies

December 5th, 2013 by Ella Buitrago

Stained Glass Christmas cookies are showstoppers. The stained glass effect is a classic, and by adding royal icing trimming you can really kick up the “wow” factor. These cute and delicate cookies are a must for the holiday season.

Stained Glass Christmas Cookies

You have many design options because you can mix and match your seasonal cookie cutters to achieve infinite shapes and effects. For this project you will need:


Start the day before you need the cookies.
Prepare the Roll-Out cookie dough.
Using the dowel rods as a guide, roll out the cookie dough 1/4 inch thick over parchment paper.
Select your cookie cutters.

Start cutting out your cookies, first with the large cutters and immediately with a small cutter that fits inside the large cut-out.

Cutting Out Cookie Dough

Repeat the same process with different cutters to create multiple combinations.

Cutting Out Cookie Dough

You can create designs by cutting freely inside the cookies. Using a knife, cut strips and remove the excess. After you have finished cutting the cookies, proceed perforating a small circle on the top area of the cookies using the lollipop stick. We will use this little hole to insert the silk ribbon.

Adding a Silk Ribbon

Place the cookies (still on parchment paper) on the cookie sheet. Bake the cookies; remove them 3 minutes before they are done. For example, Wilton’s recipe calls for approximately 11 minutes, so you have to pull out the cookies from the oven at 8 minutes. The cookie should be almost done, but not tanned.

Immediately place the crushed candy in the different spaces inside the cookies. Don’t allow the candy to touch the top of the cookie to avoid get stains.

Adding Crushed Candy to Cookies

Place the cookie sheet in the oven again and bake the cookies for the last 3 minutes. The candy should melt in approximately those 3 minutes. If after the 3 minutes it is not completely melted, add one minute more until the candy looks completely even.

When the candy is done the cookie should look a little tanned. Remove the cookies from the oven. Do not remove the cookies from the parchment paper. Place the cookies with the parchment paper on a cooling grid and let cool completely. After the cookies are cool they should look somewhat like this.

Baked Stained Glass Christmas Cookies

If you don’t remove the cookies from the oven as soon as they look even, the candy will start to boil and they will look like the image below. The candy will jump on top of the cookie and will stain the entire surface.

Overbaked Stained Glass Christmas Cookies

Now you can start to decorate the cookies. Keep the cookies on parchment paper – not one on top of the other because they will stick to each other.

Use royal icing in different colors for different effects. I decorated the star cookie with tip number 2 and full strength royal icing. After the icing was dry, I used gold dust with lemon extract to paint the details and added the ribbon.

Trimming Stained Glass Christmas Cookies

In this cookie I used tip number 101 with deep juniper green medium consistency royal icing and piped ruffles to get a little tree effect. I finished the tree decorating with nonpareils and a little star.

Finishing Touches to Stained Glass Christmas Cookies

Another option is to do the same but to the entire cookie surface. After you pipe the ruffle, decorate it with jumbo nonpareils and a star. After the icing dries, paint the ruffle edges with gold dust and lemon extract mix. The combinations are endless!

Here are a few more examples. Which one is your favorite?

Stained Glass Christmas Tree Cookie

Stained Glass Christmas Cookies

Stained Glass Christmas Tree Cookies

Ella Buitrago Ella is a former freelance cake decorator in Wilton's Decorating Room, and former Wilton Method Instructor. Originally from Colombia, Ella is pursuing her Master's in Information Technology at Harvard University. She loves to travel, dogs, photography, food and beautiful cakes.

11 Replies

  1. Marjie says:

    Your cookies are beautiful and the addition of the gold dust detail takes them “Over The Top!”!!!

  2. ene says:

    am so loving this…

  3. Samantha says:

    I don’t have parchment paper, is there anything else I could use in which I will get the same results? Would non stick tin foil work?

  4. Nellie says:

    beautiful cookies THANKS for showing people your ideas

  5. jaynthie ramjith says:

    beautifyl. the end product looks difficult to make yet it is so easy

  6. Aleesha Banks says:

    They turned out beautifully! Nothing sweeter than these recipe 🙂

  7. Becky Altinman says:

    Thanks alot for all your great ideas and details. I am so thrilled at all your lovely holiday ideas and have tried numerous items and cannot say, thank you enough. Wilton has always been present in our home while I was growing up, and today I am proud to say that Wilton is still and will stay in my home in Istanbul, Turkey.

  8. […] completely before removing them from the paper. The Cooking Channel has a gingerbread version, and Wilton has directions that include adding icing after baking for additional detail. A non-seasonal version […]

  9. Vin Diesel says:

    Awesome .Thanks for sharing .

  10. Sandra Hayes says:

    I entered a Wilton cookie making contest back years ago at our local Walmart. I was Sandra Cardin then. I won with stain glass cookies. It put me in the running for a week long class at Wilton decorating school. Never heard anything else about. Then…I started seeing my cookies and here they are again with Wilton! I’ll always say the only reason for your contest was to get hard working moms, like myself, great baking ideas! You stole my idea and I got mixer!! I was even ask to sign a non confidential document before the contest. That proves intent. Shame on your company!

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