These gluten free stained glass Christmas cookies are so pretty to look at. They might look fiddly to prepare but they really aren’t. Also known as windowpane cookies, these easy to make cookies with a hole in the middle are a Christmas staple. You will love these star shape, colourful gluten free cookies. It’s such a great recipe for the best gluten free Christmas cookies.
Gluten free Christmas cookies in different colors are the must-make cookie recipe for this time of year. The crushed candies melt to look like glass windows for gluten free Christmas cookies which are hard to beat because they are so cute.
Serve windowpane cookies with a cup of coffee or hot chocolate or make the cookies with a hole in the middle as well as near the top. That way you can string them up on the Christmas tree as decorations. These stained glass window treats or church window cookies are always well-loved.
Gluten Free Stained Glass Cookies Ingredients
There are very few ingredients in stained glass cookies with jolly ranchers. As well as the candies you will need gluten free flour, sugar, butter, eggs, baking powder, salt, almond extract, and vanilla extract. A food processor, sharp knife, piece of parchment paper, and cooling rack are also handy.
This recipe uses 1:1 gluten free baking flour. This type of flour will contain guar gum or xanthan gum. If you regular make gluten free recipes, you probably already have a preferred brand. If not, it doesn’t matter. They all work alike so just pick your preferred gluten free flour blend which works with a gluten-free diet.
Hard Candy for Stained Glass Cookies
Any hard translucent candies will work when making hard candy melt cookies. If they’re hard and clear, they ought to be fine. So just use your favourite candies for these colourful sugar cookies and the results should be great. I used Jolly Ranchers in these cookies.
No, Jolly Ranchers do not have gluten.
You will also need a couple of cookie cutters which are the same shape but different sizes.
How to Make Windowpane Cookies
The first thing to do when making gluten free stained glass Christmas cookies is to separate the candies by colour. Then you can put them into Ziploc bags and give them a good bashing with the flat side of a meat mallet. You don’t have to use all the colours. You can just pick your favourites.
Next you can cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl then add in the eggs, salt, and almond and vanilla extracts. Next, mix in the flour and baking powder, then let the dough chill in the refrigerator.
Roll out the chilled dough and use the larger cookie cutter to cut out shapes which you can then arrange on parchment paper lined baking sheets. If you want to make stained glass cookies with jolly ranchers to hang on the Christmas tree, poke a hole through the top, about ¼ to ½-inch from the edge. This is completely optional of course. Perhaps you want to hang just some gluten free stained glass Christmas cookies on the tree.
After that, use the smaller cookie cutter to cut out the dough from the middle of each larger shape. Sprinkle the crumbled hard candies in the cut-out part.
Now you can bake the colourful gluten free sugar cookies until they’re golden and the filling is runny. Let them cool before serving, so the filling sets completely.
Tips for Perfect Hard Candy Melt Cookies
These cutout cookies with candy centeres are really special. They are gorgeous to look at and not hard to make. The first thing people will notice is the colourful filling in gluten free stained glass Christmas cookies.
So you will want to get that right. Whichever hard candy you choose, jolly ranchers or otherwise, you need to shatter them into fine pieces because they are going to melt then set again in the colourful gluten free sugar cookies.
The easiest way to accomplish this is to put them in a thick Ziploc bag and use the blunt end of a meat mallet or even a hammer to smash them. This can be a therapeutic exercise if the stress of Christmas prep is getting to you! You can’t get the pieces too fine so keep hitting them until the pieces are really small.
Don’t overfill the smaller cookie cut-outs with the candies. If you do, the mixture will probably bubble over and set on the dough. This means the cookies will look a little messy. They’ll taste the same but take care when pouring the mixture into the hole for the best-looking results.
How to Serve Hard Candy Melt Cookies
Serve these Christmas stained glass cookies with your favourite drink or as dessert. They’re wonderful for Christmas or you can make pink-centred stained glass cookies for Valentine’s Day or orange and black ones for Halloween! I love recipes like windowpane cookies that are so versatile!
Find these cookies and others in my holiday cookie box
Gluten Free Stained Glass Christmas Cookies Recipe
Gluten Free Stained Glass Christmas Cookies
- Separate the colors of the Jolly Ranchers, place each color that you wish to use into a separate zip top bag. Using a meat mallet or a hammer, carefully crush the candy into small pieces. Set aside.
- Prepare 2 baking sheets by lining them with parchment paper.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer combine the butter and sugar. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add in the eggs one at a time until each is incorporated.
- Add the salt, almond extract and vanilla extract.
- Add the flour and baking powder and mix until fully incorporated. If the dough is feeling too soft, add a little more flour if needed.
- Cover the dough and let the dough chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.
- Using a silicone prep mat or a lightly floured surface, roll out the chilled dough to approx ¼” thickness.
- Using the larger of your two cookie cutters, cut enough shapes to fill your baking trays, ensuring there is 1” to 2” between each cookie.
- Once the cut out pieces are on the baking tray us the smaller of the two cookie cutters to cut out the center of the cookie.
- Use about ½ to 1 teaspoon of your chosen crushed Jolly Rancher colour to fill the small cut-out. Be careful not to overfill or the candy will bubble up over the top a bit.
- Bake the cookies in a preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes. If you are baking both trays at the same time, switch their positions halfway through to ensure an even bake.
- When the cookies have finished baking and the candy has liquified, remove the trays from the oven and let the cookies cool on the trays until the candy has hardened.
- Serve when cooled, or store in an airtight container.
The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.
I bet you already have most of the ingredients for these gluten free stained glass cookies. They are as pretty as anything you can get from the bakery and easy to make as well.
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Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella is a storyteller, food lover, dog mom and adventure seeker living on the Pacific coast. She shares her passion for recipes, dogs, sustainability, adventures, travel and philanthropy, in hopes of encouraging followers to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places and stand for a cause. Bella lives with Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease.
Bella Bucchiotti is a freelance food, travel, and lifestyle writer for MSN and the Associated Press Wire.