Dress up your holiday cookie tray with these festive gluten free stained glass cookies! All you need to make these pretty treats is a simple sugar cookie dough and your favorite hard candies.
Are you in full holiday baking mode yet? Christmas is only a week away, and I know that means that many of you are baking holiday cookies this week, or else gearing up to do a lot of baking this weekend.
I love recipes for cookie dough that I can use in more than one way. We always make sugar cookies at Christmas, and I used the very same dough to make these pretty gluten free stained glass cookies.
If you’re already making sugar cookies, you can do half a batch of the regular variety, and half a batch with some hard candies to make these stained glass cookies.
- Gluten Free Flour Blend – I love Namaste Perfect Flour Blend for cut out cookies. It’s very easy to work with and rolls out really well, so it’s perfect for those who are new to gluten free baking.
- Vegan Buttery Spread – We like Earth Balance Soy Free Vegan Buttery Spread, and it works very well in this recipe. If you have a different brand that you prefer, that will probably work out okay. I don’t recommend oil for this recipe.
- Lollipops – I like Wholesome Brand Lollipops or YumEarth Lollipops, because I don’t love using artificial colors. But if you are okay with artificial colors, you could use DumDums or another candy that works for your diet. You will get brighter colors if you use artificially dyed candies. You can read my guide to allergy friendly candy for more ideas.
Step by Step Instructions
- Make the sugar cookie dough, then chill for two hours in the refrigerator.
- Roll out the dough, making sure that the rolling pin and surface is well floured.
- Cut out the cookies, and transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment.
- Use a smaller cookie cutter to cut out the middle of each cookie. I used Linzer cookie cutters, but you could use star cutters of different sizes, or even circles of varying sizes.
- Crush the candies with a rolling pin or meat tenderizer.
- Place the crushed candies in the opening in each cookie.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for about 10 minutes. Allow to cool fully on the cookie sheet.
Tips for Success
- Make sure to chill the dough – it helps the cookies hold their shape when baking. If you are in a hurry, try sticking the dough in the freezer for about 30 minutes instead of refrigerating it for 2 hours.
- Make sure that you place the candies very neatly in the opening of the cookies. If you get crushed candy on the cookie dough, it can look a little messy after baking.
- If you see bubbles in the melted candy when you remove the cookies from the oven, just quickly pop them with a toothpick or the point of a sharp knife.
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Gluten Free Stained Glass Cookies.
- Place the vegan buttery spread and the sugar in a bowl and mix on medium speed until smooth. Add the applesauce and vanilla extract and continue to mix.
- Add half of the gluten free flour blend and mix on low speed. Scrape down the sides and add the remaining flour and salt. Mix on low speed until combined. The dough will be very thick.
- Divide the dough in half and make two discs. Wrap in plastic wrap or waxed paper, and refrigerate for two hours. If you are in a hurry, place in the freezer for 30-40 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Spread waxed paper or parchment paper on your rolling surface and sprinkle with gluten free flour. Unwrap one of the discs and sprinkle liberally with gluten free flour as well.
- Roll the dough out to a thickness of about ¼ inch. Cut out your shapes. I used Linzer cookie cutters.
- Transfer the cookies to the cookie sheets, leaving one inch in between the cookies, and then cut out the center of each cookie. You can bake these tiny cookies, no need to discard them! Carefully place some crushed candy into the center of each cookie.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes. When you remove the cookies from the oven, if you see air bubbles in the candy, pop them with a toothpick or sharp knife to make sure the "stained glass" is smooth.
- Allow to cool fully on the cookie sheet before moving to a tray or plate.
- Repeat steps 6-10 with remaining dough.