Rustic Gingerbread Glass Cookies with ribbon

I know that “rustic” is an odd word to use for cookies, but these sort of gave me that impression because they aren’t your typical stamped out cookie cutter glass cookies. You know, those pretty white colored glass cookies that are cut out with cookie cutters and are absolutely perfect. Well, these cookies are far from perfect and have a more handmade look, but they taste good and are a lot of fun to do with kids.

I found this recipe in a Southern Living cookbook called “Southern Living Cook-Off” and liked that it wasn’t the typical glass cookie recipe. When the cookie is baked, it has a nice tan color and you can definitely tell that it was handmade.

rustic gingerbread glass cookies dough

It’s a pretty simple recipe. The basic, mix the wet ingredients first and then the dry in a separate bowl. Combine both mixtures and mix well until a nice dough forms. Once this is done, cover it and place it in the refrigerator for at least an hour to stiffen up.

Crushed Candy for rustic gingerbread glass cookies

While the dough is in the refrigerator, get the remaining items ready – cookie cutters, candy, and baking sheet. For the candy,  I placed each candy flavor into separate bags and used my meat mallet to crush them as finely as possible. I also lined my baking sheet with foil and very lightly sprayed with cooking spray.

Roll out gingerbread dough for rustic gingerbread glass cookies
Shaping gingerbread around cookie cutters for rustic gingerbread glass cookies

Lastly, I gathered up standard 3″ cookie cutters and sprayed the outside of each with cooking spray. If you don’t have holiday cookie cutters, don’t worry. You can always do free hand shapes because these aren’t supposed to be cookie cutter perfect and you can make any shape you want. Maybe even trace the hands of small toddlers and use that as a guide. Don’t you think that would be such a cute gift to give grandpa and grandma? Cute cookie hands :-)Before taking the dough out of the refrigerator, lightly flour your working surface. Take small portions of the dough and roll out into 8-10 inch lengths that are about 1/2 inch wide. 

Take the dough and wrap around the outside of the cookie cutters and pinch the ends together. Slowly wiggle the cutters out and reshape if needed. My daughter reshaped the tree to make the branches more pronounced.

Add about two tablespoons of crushed candy into the center of each shape. Try not to place too much candy in the center or you will have a thick center and it will be hard to eat. You want to have a very thin “glass” center of about 1/8″ when the candy melts.

Candy filled rustic gingerbread glass cookies

Tip: If using Jolly Ranchers, try using only one flavor per cookie because we noticed that the candy became tart when the flavors/colors were mixed. We also preferred the flavor of Life Saver candies to the Jolly Rancher candies for this recipe. Don’t these look so fun! If you plan on hanging these, make sure you punch a hold at the top of the cookie. We used the end of a lollipop stick to make our holes.

baked rustic gingerbread glass cookies
Rustic Gingerbread Glass Cookies

Place the cookies into the oven and bake for about 7-8 minutes. The candies should be bubbling and the cookies may look uncooked, but it will firm up once cooled.
Let the cookies cool for at least an hour before your start handling them. I loosen the cookies from the foil when they are almost cooled completely and let them cool for the remaining time. Once the cookies are ready, they can be used as gift toppers by wrapping just the cookie in a clear bag and tying the ribbon to the present. These rustic gingerbread glass cookies would also make great cookie ornaments on a mini tree for a party. And of course, you could just place them in a cookie jar to eat too! 

What’s your favorite holiday cookie?

Rustic Gingerbread Glass Cookies

Rustic Gingerbread Glass Cookies

Yield: 15
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 37 minutes

How to make stained glass gingerbread cookies. Fun baking to do with the kids.


  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 Large egg
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 13 oz. package hard candy (Use Life Savers or Jolly Ranchers)


  1. Beat together butter and sugar. Add egg, molasses, and water until well blended.
  2. Mix together four, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and nutmeg in a separate bowl. Add this dry mix to the butter mix and stir until well blended. Cover this bowl and chill for at least an hour.
  3. While dough is chilling, separate the candy by color into bags and crush. Set this aside for later. Cover your baking sheet with foil and lightly spray with cooking spray. Set this aside. Take your cookie cutters and lightly spray the outside with cooking spray. Set aside.
  4. Lightly dust your work surface with flour. Take small portions of chilled dough and roll out into 8-10 inch long ropes that are about 1/2 inch thick. Place your cookie cutters onto your cookie sheet and wrap the dough ropes around the outside of the cutter. Pinch the ends of the rope together and slide the cutter out. Repeat this step until all the dough is used. If you are planning on hanging these, make small holes at the top of the cookie shape that are just large enough to place ribbon through. Fill the centers of each cookie shape with 2 tablespoons of crushed candy.
  5. Bake at 350F degrees for 7 minutes. Do not over bake cookies as they will burn easily. Cool completely for at least 1 hour before handling.

Did you make this recipe?

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  1. Your recipe looks so delicious! Thank you for joining us this last weekend on #PureBlogLove recipe and DIY craft Link Party! I hope to see you this Thursday night again, the party starts at 8 pm EST and runs all weekend! I can’t wait to see what you’re cooking up next!
    Heidy L. McCallum

  2. Hello cute lady! Super cute. Pinned. We really appreciate you taking the time to stop by our party. It wouldn’t be a party without you. Please join us on Monday at 7 pm. Happy Sunday! Lou Lou Girls

  3. These cookies are absolutely beautiful! I’m not sure if I want to eat them or hang them on the tree! I like your idea for putting them on a gift too.
    These would be fun to make with the grandchildren.
    Loving all the cookie recipes at the #ultimatecookieparty !

  4. So talented…even in your baking! That is such a neat idea! I am still trying to figure out how you got the candy to remain inside the dough after cutting it with the cutters – even though you explained it here!

    1. Thanks Elizabeth. I think your little ones would totally enjoy making these. My 11yr old loved pouring all the candies into the shapes. She thought the colors would stay the way she arranged it…lol. She was surprised when the cookies came out with the colors all swirled together.