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how to make stained glass cookies

How to Make Stained Glass Cookies

One of the prettiest trends in springtime cookies (in my opinion) is the stained glass window cookie. I love how simple and yet ornate they are, so I wanted to see if I could recreate this effect on some simple Easter cookies.

stained glass cookies
The Cookie Countess​​

I first tried making a simple mixture of gel food color and vodka, but I found that this dried with a matte effect, which wasn’t the glossy stained glass look I was going for.  So I made a one-to-one mixture of vodka and corn syrup first, and then I added the food coloring to the mix.  The result was thin but a little syrupy, so I was hopeful that I was on the right track.  The big question was going to be whether or not the stained glass mixture dried well, or if it would stay sticky, and I was happy to see that the panels of color came out perfectly dry to the touch!

Supplies We Used to Achieve this Stained Glass Effect

Step 1:

Flood your cookies; I used some Easter eggs, as well as a couple of simple plaques, but use whatever shapes speak to you! Stained glass comes in every size and shape, so have fun with it!

flood your cookies
The Cookie Countess​​

Step 2:

Pipe your stained glass outline onto the cookies. I chose to use black icing for my piping, as I felt it gave a really beautiful and vivid outline.  (I also personally love the way black icing looks when it is painted with gold, but more on that later!)  For the eggs, simple straight lines worked best for me—don’t worry about being too perfect!  I also piped a bunny design and an Easter basket onto my flooded plaque cookies.  A small projector can be helpful with this, but you could also use PYO stencil designs if you don’t feel comfortable freehand piping; simply scrape the PYO design onto the cookie and then pipe over the lines to give that raised look and cover any breaks in the stencil so that the stained glass colors don't bleed through to the other sections.

stained glass outline
The Cookie Countess​​

Step 3:

Mix a 1-to-1 mixture of vodka (or other high-proof alcohol) and corn syrup, stirring with a paintbrush.  I made a good amount of this base so that I could then pour the clear liquid into each of the 10 cavities of my paint palette.

make base
The Cookie Countess​​

Step 4:

Add one drop of gel food coloring to each of the corn syrup/vodka mixtures in the palette. Stir with a paintbrush to create your stained glass colors.

gel color
The Cookie Countess​​

Step 5:

Use a paintbrush to fill in the sections of the image, but try to use as little liquid as possible; dropping a lot of liquid into the design can cause the black border to bleed into your stained glass.  You can always go back to add a little more color if you want the sections to be darker.

The Cookie Countess​​

Step 6:

As a final touch, I used the gold from the SweetSticks Water Activated Paint Palette in Art Deco to paint along the stained glass section outlines on both my eggs and plaques.  I felt this gave them a more burnished, dark metallic look than the stark black (and looked more like the stained glass frames I've always been familiar with), but the black did make the colors look even more vivid, so really it’s up to your preference!

The Cookie Countess​​

And that’s it!  I would still probably leave my freshly painted stained glass cookies overnight before packaging (just to be on the safe side), but since I’m an impatient person by nature, I did keep going over to prod them with a fingertip, and the “panes” of the stained glass dried relatively quickly. I just love how clear and glossy the “glass” turned out, and I can’t wait to make some more pretty spring designs! If you use this technique to make stained glass cookies, let us know how they turned out!

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Michelle - January 29, 2024

Can I use the paint your own 4 pack sheets with this so people could paint their own?
The Cookie Countess replied:
Absolutely, you can! It won’t have the exact same glassy look as the paints mixed with corn syrup, but it’s definitely a fun and beautiful activity with the PYO palettes, too!

Cheryl - March 28, 2023

So excited to try this and they turned out perfect. Can’t wait to do some more.
The Cookie Countess replied:
Love hearing that! Great job! 🙌🏻❤️ ________________________________

Lori Goedken - March 21, 2023

I just love the stained glass effect! I made a cookie with the stained glass effect few weeks ago! I have several dozen ordered for Easter and First Communion! I used a different technique but they came out beautifully!

Terri - March 22, 2023

Do you have to let the black lines dry completely before you start to paint the stained glass?
The Cookie Countess replied:
Yes, your black lines will be less likely to bleed if you allow them to dry before adding the paint; depending on your piping consistency, 15-20 minutes should be enough.

Tiffany - March 22, 2023

If you’re doing this with kids, can you use a clear extract instead of alcohol?
The Cookie Countess replied:
We haven’t tested this, so I can’t say for sure if they will dry sticky or not, but if packaging won’t be an issue, then yes, you can usually substitute a clear extract for alcohol. If you try this and they dry perfectly, let us know! 😊

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