Vintage Church Window Cookies are an easy, no-bake chocolate cookie filled with fruity marshmallows and crunchy walnuts. Roll them in coconut for extra flavor!
I love to look at the beautiful stained glass windows in churches; especially at Christmas time. Their beautiful colors and patterns bring me to awe.
When I found this Church Window Cookie recipe from the 1960s, I knew I had to share it here. It’s a roll and slice recipe that is made when melted chocolate is poured over soft pillowy marshmallows and crunchy walnuts.
Honestly, the mixture will look like a mess at first, but after being rolled and chilled in the fridge, it will set. Then it will take on the classic taste and texture of chocolate fudge with lots of mix-ins.
Once the cookie log is sliced, the fruity marshmallows will reveal a cool effect that mimics stained glass windows (they are also called Stained Glass Window Cookies). It’s so beautiful!
These cookies are great for holiday cookie exchanges. If you plan to host a cookie exchange, don’t miss my Soft and Chewy Snickerdoodles, Easy Sour Cream Cookies, Old Fashioned Peanut Butter Fudge, and Soft and Chewy Ginger Cookies.
What makes these Stained Glass Cookies special?
- My favorite thing about these cathedral window cookies is that they are fun and easy to make with kids. They can dump, mix, roll, and taste as they bake with you.
- It’s also a no-bake recipe! I love that the cookies won’t heat up my kitchen or require a lot of time to prepare other than some chill time in the fridge.
- They are so bright and colorful! Kids and grown-ups alike will be drawn to these marshmallow-filled cookies reminiscent of glowing church windows.
- Furthermore, this recipe is so customizable. You can change the type of nuts, marshmallows, outside covering, and even baking chips to make a cookie that is all your own. So delicious!
- The first ingredient for these cookies is butter. I used regular unsalted butter.
- Next, you’ll need semi-sweet chocolate chips. I prefer to use semi-sweet instead of milk chocolate chips so that the cookies don’t become overly sweet.
- Multi-colored mini marshmallows are the signature ingredient for making the glass window effect. You can use any brand you like.
- For crunch and texture, use chopped walnuts.
- Lastly, you’ll need sweetened shredded coconut. The coconut adds flavor and texture, and helps to bind the cookie log.
How to make Church Window Cookies
Place butter and chocolate chips in a saucepan over medium low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until just melted (this should only take a minute or two).
Let the chocolate mixture cool for 10 minutes so the marshmallows don’t melt when added.
Place the mini marshmallows and chopped walnuts in a large bowl.
Pour the cooled chocolate mixture over the top, and stir to combine.
Divide the coconut between two sheets of plastic wrap.
Divide the chocolate marshmallow mixture in two parts, and spread it gently down the length of the coconut on each sheet of plastic wrap.
Use the plastic wrap to help you shape the chocolate marshmallow mixture into a log, coated with the coconut.
Repeat this step with the second sheet of plastic wrap so that you end up with two cookie log rolls.
Wrap them tightly with the plastic wrap.
Refrigerate both cookie logs for 2 hours, or until firm.
Slice into ½-inch pieces. Serve either cold or at room temperature.
Note: Some vintage recipes call for baking the cookies for a few minutes after slicing. I don’t recommend this step because they can easily melt.
Store the cathedral window cookies in either the refrigerator or at room temperature. They can be eaten directly from the fridge, but the cookies will have a softer texture if given time to come to room temperature. Some people may prefer a softer bite.
The cookie log can be tightly sealed and frozen for up to 3 months. For easier storage, freeze before slicing.
Variations on Church Window Cookies
- If you’re not a fan of walnuts, use a different nut. You could replace them with chopped pecans, almonds, or peanuts.
- The same is true for the marshmallows. You can replace the fruity marshmallows with regular mini marshmallows or other specialty flavored marshmallows like peppermint.
- You don’t have to roll the cookie log. You can leave it plain and leave out the coconut completely if desired.
- Or, replace the coconut. Roll the cookie log in sprinkles, very finely chopped nuts, or crushed cookies.
- You can also get creative and substitute other flavors of baking chips for these church window cookies. Replace the semi-sweet chocolate chips with bittersweet chocolate, milk chocolate, peanut butter, or white chocolate baking chips.
More old fashioned chocolate cookie recipes
I love chocolate cookies during the holidays. There are so many fun options, and they are great for cookie exchanges. Here are a few more of my favorites.
Have you tried this recipe? Please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating and/or comment below!
Church Window Cookies
- ½ cup butter (1 stick)
- 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 10 oz multi-colored mini marshmallows (one 10-oz package)
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 2 cups shredded sweetened coconut (one 7-oz package)
- Place butter and chocolate chips in a saucepan over medium low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until just melted (this should only take a minute or two).
- Let mixture cool for 10 minutes so the marshmallows don’t melt when added.
- Prepare the mini marshmallows and chopped walnuts by placing them in a large bowl. Once cooled, pour the chocolate mixture over the top, and stir to combine.
- Divide the coconut in half, and spread each portion down the center of a sheet of plastic wrap. Divide the chocolate marshmallow mixture in a half and spread it down the length of the coconut on each sheet of plastic.
- Use the plastic wrap to help you shape the chocolate marshmallow mixture into a log, coated with the coconut. Repeat this step with the second sheet of plastic wrap so that you end up with two cookie logs.
- Wrap each cookie log tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate both logs for 2 hours, or until firm.
- Slice into ½ inch pieces. Serve either cold or at room temperature.
- Store in the refrigerator or at room temperature.
- Tightly seal and freeze for up to 3 months. For easier storage, freeze before slicing.
- Use a different nut, like chopped pecans, almonds, or peanuts.
- Replace the fruity marshmallows with regular mini marshmallows or other specialty flavored marshmallows.
- Leave the coconut off.
- Roll the cookie log in sprinkles, very finely chopped nuts, or crushed cookies instead of coconut.
- Substitute other flavors of baking chips like peanut butter, caramel, white chocolate, or mint.