New Year’s Eve Piñata Clock Cookie Tutorial

New Year’s Eve is almost here, and I am all for celebrating the new year. This year I wanted to make a fun, interactive dessert that’s perfect for enjoying as a part of your New Year’s Eve festivities. Instead of just making New Year’s Eve cookies, why not make New Year’s Eve cookies that are filled with sprinkles and have a stained glass candy center?!

Yep, these New Year’s Eve Piñata Clock Cookies have three layers so you can hide sprinkles in them! When you bite into them or break them in half, the sprinkles spill out. Plus, the top layer’s stained glass center gives you a peak inside!

I love that these cookies are fun to shake as you countdown to the new year. And at midnight you can crack them open to celebrate! (That is, if they last that long and aren’t eaten meanwhile!)

What You’ll Need:

  • Sugar cookie dough for cut-out cookies
  • 3 ¼ inch round cookie cutter
  • 1 ½ inch round cookie cutter
  • Rolling pin
  • Small mat or cutting board for rolling dough
  • Cookie spatula or fork for transferring cookies
  • Cookie sheet lined with parchment paper
  • A handful of hard candies
  • A mortar and pestle, small plastic baggie and rolling pin, or food processor
  • Small spoon
  • Royal icing or buttercream
  • Black food coloring
  • Sprinkles
  • Piping bags and small round piping tip or plastic baggies and scissors

Sugar Cookie Dough

Any sugar cookie dough recipe for cut out cookies will work great. Make sure to keep the dough as cold as possible. If it gets too warm at any point, place it in the fridge for about 10-15 minutes. When rolling the dough out, try to roll it on the thinner side, about ¼ inch or so, since you’ll be stacking three cookies together. It’s also important to make sure the dough is consistently level so your stacked cookies fit together nicely.

Cookie Cutters

I used a 3 ¼ inch round cookie cutter for the cookie size and a 1 ½ inch round cookie cutter to cut out the center, but any cutters around those sizes will work. If you don’t have round cutters, you can get creative a find a glass with a rim that’s about the right size. A shot glass or cap to a spice jar might work for the smaller hole. Just make sure to give yourself enough space between the center and outer rim to fit the clock numbers.

Candy

You’ll want to make sure you have the right kind of candy for these cookies, especially since not all kinds of hard candy melt evenly in the oven. I recommend using lollipops, clear mint candies, or Jolly Ranchers. Although Life Savers have a beautiful color, they do not always melt evenly. I used these mint candies and they worked great!

There are a few different options for how you can crush the candy. You can use a mortar and pestle, a plastic bag and a rolling pin, or a food processor. I recommend using a food processor to evenly grind the candy into a fine powder since it’s the easiest way to make sure it’s evenly distributed when it melts.

Make sure to pack in more of the ground up candy than you think since it melts down to nothing. You’ll add the candy in when the cookies have about 2 minutes left in the oven, and you’ll only need to add it to half of the cookies with a hole in them since you need one stained glass cookie for each clock cookie.

Sprinkles

Any sprinkles will work for these cookies! Sugar sprinkles, nonpareils, quins, jimmies, or even edible star glitter like I used. The edible star glitter did stick to the stained glass a little, but I liked the way it looked.

You’ll start off with one full cookie and one of the cut-out cookies on top, with royal icing or buttercream in between. Fill the hole with your choice of sprinkles before topping it off with a stained glass cookie.

Buttercream and/or Royal Icing

You can use royal icing or buttercream for stacking and decorating these cookies, depending on what you prefer or have on hand. I recommend using royal icing for at least the stacking to make sure they stick together firmly, but if you use buttercream just make sure to chill them in the fridge or freezer briefly. I used royal icing for stacking and buttercream for the topping.

As far as piping goes, you can either use a small piping bag or a lunch, quart, or gallon sized plastic baggie. Either way, you’ll want to cut a small hole in the bag you use. When adding the royal icing or buttercream between the cookie layers, make sure to pipe it right in the middle of the ring so it does not ooze into the center or over the edge.

Then you can take some of the royal icing or buttercream, dye it black, and pipe or spread it on the top of the cookie. If you have a small piping tip, such as Wilton #1, you can use that for the smaller details like the number writing. If not, cut a small hole in a new bag to pipe the numbers on.

Once you add the finishing touches, you’re all ready to celebrate and crack open the cookies!

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New Year’s Eve Piñata Clock Cookie Tutorial

New Year’s Eve is almost here, and I am all for celebrating the new year. This year I wanted to make a fun, interactive dessert that’s perfect for enjoying the New Year’s Eve festivities. Instead of just making New Year’s Eve cookies, why not make New Year’s Eve cookies that are filled with sprinkles and have a stained glass candy center?!

  • Author: Marisa Guerra
  • Category: Dessert

Ingredients

Scale
  • Sugar cookie dough for cut-out cookies
  • 3 ¼ inch round cookie cutter
  • 1 ½ inch round cookie cutter
  • Rolling pin
  • Small mat or cutting board for rolling dough
  • Cookie spatula or fork for transferring cookies
  • Cookie sheet lined with parchment paper
  • A handful of hard candies
  • A mortar and pestle, small plastic baggie and rolling pin, or food processor
  • Small spoon
  • Royal icing or buttercream
  • Black food coloring
  • Sprinkles
  • Piping bags and small round piping tip or plastic baggies and scissors

Instructions

  1. Prepare sugar cookie dough as directed by recipe. Once your dough has been chilled, carefully roll it out until it is about ¼ inch thick.
  2. Cut out as many large circles, about 3 ¼ inches, as you can before gathering the dough together and repeating the same process. You’l need three circles per cookie.
  3. Transfer the circle cookies onto a parchment lined baking sheet and chill for at least 10 minutes.
  4. Use the smaller round cookie cutter, about 1 ½ inches, to cut out the centers of one third of the cookies before placing them back in the fridge to chill. You’ll need two out of the three cookies that make up one clock cookie to have its center cut out.
  5. Crush up hard candies using a mortar and pestle, rolling pin, or food processor and set aside.
  6. Bake cookies as directed. When the cookies have about two minutes left, carefully spoon the crushed hard candy into half of the cookies that have their centers cut out, being careful to not drop any on the cookie itself. Don’t cook the cookies with the candy for longer than three minutes.
  7. Let cookies cool on cookie sheet for about ten minutes.
  8. There might be some slight variety with the placement of the holes in each cookie so stack the cookies with one stained glass cookie, one cut-out cookie, and one regular cookie to find the combinations that line up the best.
  9. Make buttercream or royal icing as directed and fill a small baggie or piping bag with it. Pipe a line of icing around the edge of the regular cookie before topping it with a cut-out cookie.
  10. Fill the hole with sprinkles. Pipe a line of icing around the edge of the cut-out cookie and place a stained glass cookie on top.
  11. Dye some of the royal icing or buttercream black and add it to the top of the cookie.
  12. Use a small piping tip to pipe numbers on the clock. Pipe arrows in the center of the stained glass portion of the cookie to show the countdown to midnight.
  13. Enjoy!

Keywords: new year's eve, clock, cookies, piñata, stained glass