Halloween is almost upon us, and it’s time to start dreaming up which Halloween treats you’ll make this year. These Jack O’Lantern Stained Glass Cookies are easy to make and give sugar cookies a fun twist. Plus, with the help of some melted yellow and orange hard candy, they look just like the real thing! 🎃
What You’ll Need:
- Sugar cookie dough
- Pumpkin shaped cookie cutter
- Small cookie cutters in common shapes or a small pairing knife
- A handful of yellow and orange hard candies
- A mortar and pestle or small plastic baggie and rolling pin
- Small spoon
- Cookie sheet lined with parchment paper
Sugar Cookie Dough
You can use just about any sugar cookie dough recipe, as long as it works well for cut-out sugar cookies. You’ll want to give yourself plenty of time to make these cookies because you’ll need to chill the dough several times throughout the process to ensure that they keep their shape. Make sure to put the cookies back in the fridge any time you are not working on them.
I chose to dye my sugar cookie dough orange to really make the cookies look like pumpkins. If you choose to do this too, just add a few drops of orange food coloring to your dough and mix it just until it is blended in, being careful not to over mix.
One of the most important parts of this recipe is ensuring that you have the right kind of candy. You’ll need orange and yellow hard candy, but not all kinds of hard candy melt evenly in the oven. I recommend using lollipops and/or Jolly Ranchers. Although Life Savers have a beautiful color, they do not always melt evenly.
Once you have your candy, you’ll need to use a mortar and pestle or a small plastic baggie and rolling pin to grind it up. Make sure that you do not grind it so fine that it turns into a powder. You’ll need to have small pieces that are easy to fit into the shapes you will cut out of the cookie
Designing Your Jack O’ Lantern Faces
This is my favorite part. You can give each and every pumpkin it’s own unique face. The easiest way to do this is with the help of small cookie cutters that come in common shapes. I used four cutters that included a triangle, diamond, hexagon, and moon, and came in a larger set of cutters. I found that this made it easy to mix and match and make a range of different faces with various facial expressions. Just keep in mind, that the size of cutters you use will depend on the size of your pumpkin cookie cutter and how large you want the Jack O’Lantern’s facial features to be.
If you do not have small cookie cutters, you can also use a small pairing knife. You’ll want to make sure your pumpkin cookies have been chilled at least 20 minutes on the parchment lined cookie sheet prior before you start carving. Then, just gently take your knife and cut out eyes and a mouth on each cookie in whatever shape you like. If the cookies are too tender, chill them for a longer period of time before cutting out more facial features.
Adding the Candy
Once you have your candy crushed and your pumpkin cookies ready to go with their faces cut out, you’re ready to fill the faces with candy to create a stained glass window effect.
It’s easiest to focus on one face at a time and gently spoon the candy into each little crevice, being careful not to get any of it on the rest of the cookie. It also helps to use a toothpick to make sure each little corner and curve is filled with candy. If you do get any excess candy on the rest of the cookie, carefully use a toothpick to remove it. Otherwise, it will leave a spot on the cookie once it’s baked.
You can have a lot of fun with this. You can use one color of candy for each cookie or mix the candy to create a multi colored effect.
Jack O’ Lantern Stained Glass Cookies
Author: Marisa Guerra
- Prepare sugar cookie dough as directed by recipe, adding orange food coloring to the dough before wrapping it is plastic wrap and chilling it in the fridge.
- Once your dough has been chilled, carefully roll it out until it is about ¼ inch thick. Cut out as many pumpkins with your cookie cutter as you can before gathering the dough together and repeating the same process.
- Transfer pumpkin cookies onto a parchment lined baking sheet and chill for at least 10 minutes.
- Using various small cookie cutters in common shapes, or a small pairing knife, cut out two eyes and a mouth from each pumpkin. Place back in the fridge to chill.
- Crush up orange and yellow hard candies using a mortar and pestle or a rolling pin. The candy should be somewhat small, but not so small that it is ground into a powder.
- Carefully spoon the pieces of hard candy into each eye and mouth, being careful not to get it on the rest of the cookie. Gently use a toothpick to guide the candy into each corner. Remove any excess candy from the face of your pumpkin.
- Chill the pumpkin cookies at least 15 minutes before baking as directed.
- Once the cookies have cooled, hold them up to the light to see the spooky effect!