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! 🎃
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
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.
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.