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Stained Glass Church Window Cookies

no bake christmas church window cookies sliced on a white plate

Church window cookies are a classic no bake Christmas cookie made with mini marshmallows, chocolate, walnuts and shredded coconut! These no bake stained glass window cookies are a family favorite! Easy to follow no bake Christmas recipe with only 5 ingredients and a video tutorial!

Everyone has that cookie that they grew up making and eating during the holidays.

This one is Ryan’s favorite from his childhood!

And I assumed that this was a pretty common ‘cookie’. But I shared these with 3 different groups of friends and no one had any idea what they were! Are these like a Minnesota thing? Haha.

 

no bake christmas church window cookies being sliced with serrated knife on white platter

What are church window cookies / stained glass window cookies?

This no bake cookie is a classic American Christmas dessert to make during the holidays! It’s made by combining melted chocolate, mini marshmallows and walnuts. Use plastic wrap sprinkled with shredded coconut to roll the mixture into a log. Place the no bake cookies in the fridge for 1 hour to harden. Slice and you’ll see the beautiful stained glass effect!

Are church windows gluten free?

Yes! As long as the chocolate, marshmallows, and nuts you are using are gluten free.

ingredients to make no bake christmas church window cookies

How to make church window cookies

  1. In a small pot on the stove over low heat, melt the butter and chocolate chips, stirring frequently until smooth and melted. Allow the chocolate to cool for 5 minutes before moving forward.
  2. While the chocolate is cooling, prepare your ‘rolling’ station. Lay 2 pieces of long plastic wrap on a flat surface. Sprinkle each piece with a generous amount of shredded coconut, but reserve some.
  3. Dump the mini marshmallows and chopped walnuts into a large mixing bowl. Pour the cooled chocolate over the marshmallows and mix well to combine.
  4. Place half of the marshmallow mixture in a log shape on one piece of plastic wrap (on top of the coconut) and place the other half of the mixture on the second piece of plastic wrap.
  5. Sprinkle more coconut on top of the marshmallow mixture. Use the plastic wrap to roll the mixture into a uniform log shape, wrapping it tightly. Twist the ends of the plastic wrap and secure with a small piece of tape. Repeat with the second log.
  6. Place the logs in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. Use a serrated knife to cut the logs into slices.
no bake christmas church window cookies sliced on a white plate

How to make church window cookies without coconut?

You can omit the shredded coconut and just wrap the chocolate marshmallow mixture using plastic wrap.

If you are looking for a coconut substitute, use powdered sugar. Sprinkle the powdered sugar over the plastic wrap then roll into a log.

Stained glass church window cookie variations

  • Omit the nuts or use chopped pecans or almonds in place of the walnuts
  • Omit the shredded coconut or use powdered sugar in its place
  • Add 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter to the melted chocolate for a peanut butter chocolate version
  • Add 1/2 tsp mint or peppermint extract for a minty flavor
  • Use any flavor of marshmallows. You can even cut large marshmallows into smaller pieces like mini marshmallows
close up of no bake christmas church window cookie in a hand

Tips for making no bake stained glass window cookies

  • Use low heat when melting the chocolate and butter and stir the mixture frequently
  • Allow the chocolate to cool slightly before adding it to the marshmallows
  • A single recipe will make 2 logs and and I recommend splitting it in half because it will be easier to roll
  • Use plastic wrap or parchment paper to roll into a log

How to store church window cookies for later

Wrap the whole log in plastic wrap and store it in the fridge for up to 1 week. I would recommend not pre-slicing the cookies until you’re ready to serve them. If you want a longer storage option, see the section below.

no bake christmas church window cookies sliced on a white plate

Can you freeze church window cookies?

Yes! I actually put a whole bunch in the freezer at the beginning of last holiday season and would pull out a slice at a time for a sweet treat.

You can either freeze the log whole or cut into cookies and then freeze.

To freeze the log: wrap it well in plastic wrap and place in the freezer for up to 1 month. To thaw, place the log in the fridge overnight.

To freeze individual cookie slices: use a serrated knife to slice the cookies then wrap bundles of 3-4 cookies in plastic wrap and place inside a ziplock freezer bag for up to 1 month. To thaw, place the bag in the fridge overnight.

no bake christmas church window cookies sliced on a white plate

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For a step-by-step of how to make this stained glass church window cookie recipe, watch this short video:

Stained Glass Church Window Cookies

Stained Glass Church Window Cookies

Yield: 24 cookies
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Church window cookies are a classic no bake Christmas cookie made with mini marshmallows, chocolate, walnuts and shredded coconut! These no bake stained glass window cookies are a family favorite! Easy to follow no bake Christmas recipe with only 5 ingredients and a video tutorial!

Ingredients

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, 1/2 cup
  • 12 oz (2 cups) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup finely diced walnuts
  • 1 & 1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 (10 oz) bag mini multi colored marshmallows

Instructions

  1. In a small pot on the stove over low heat, melt the butter and chocolate chips, stirring frequently until smooth and melted. Allow the chocolate to cool for 5 minutes before moving forward.
  2. While the chocolate is cooling, prepare your ‘rolling’ station. Lay 2 pieces of long plastic wrap on a flat surface. Sprinkle each piece with a generous amount of shredded coconut, but reserve some.
  3. Dump the mini marshmallows and chopped walnuts into a large mixing bowl. Pour the cooled chocolate over the marshmallows and mix well to combine.
  4. Place half of the marshmallow mixture in a log shape on one piece of plastic wrap (on top of the coconut) and place the other half of the mixture on the second piece of plastic wrap.
  5. Sprinkle more coconut on top of the marshmallow mixture. Use the plastic wrap to roll the mixture into a uniform log shape, wrapping it tightly. Twist the ends of the plastic wrap and secure the a small piece of tape. Repeat with the second log.
  6. Place the logs in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. Use a serrated knife to cut the logs into slices.

Notes

Tips for making no bake stained glass window cookies

  • Use low heat when melting the chocolate and butter and stir the mixture frequently
  • Allow the chocolate to cool slightly before adding it to the marshmallows
  • A single recipe will make 2 logs and and I recommend splitting it in half because it will be easier to roll
  • Use plastic wrap or parchment paper to roll into a log

How to store church windows for later?

  • Wrap the whole log in plastic wrap and store it in the fridge for up to 1 week. I would recommend not pre-slicing the cookies until you’re ready to serve them. If you want a  longer storage option, see the section below. 

Can you freeze church window cookies?

  • To freeze the log: wrap it well in plastic wrap and place in the freezer for up to 1 month. To thaw, place the log in the fridge overnight.
  • To freeze individual cookie slices: use a serrated knife to slice the cookies then wrap bundles of 3-4 cookies in plastic wrap and place inside a ziplock freezer bag for up to 1 month. To thaw, place the bag in the fridge overnight.

37 comments

  1. I haven’t had church windows in a long time! My grandma used to make them every Christmas!

  2. Thank you so much for this recipe. My grandmother use to make these every Christmas and we decided this year to go and look for the recipe! So glad I found it and can surprise my mom with this dessert this Christmas! 

  3. Kids of all ages will love these.

  4. I don’t think it’s a “Minnesota” thing-I was born and raised in Minneapolis (still live there-came back just as soon as I could!) and I have never seen these!  They look really neat!

  5. These cookies are so pretty and everyone will love them!

  6. My Mother In Law makes these! So fun! Kids love ’em! 

  7. I bet the kids would love these! 

  8. My aunt was the expert in making Church Window cookies.  To make slicing easier, she would freeze the logs and then slice then as they were partially frozen.  This made the slicing easier, and the cookies always looked perfect.

  9. What a fun recipe!

  10. I am so intrigued by these!  The name is so clever and I think they are beautiful!

  11. I remember eating these as a kid, haven’t had one in years.

  12. Could you make them without nuts? 

  13. How many cookies does this recipe make?

    • Hi Amanda! The recipe makes 2 large logs and it depends how you slice them, but I would estimate about 20-24.

  14. Thanks!  Never heard of these~! 12 year old daughter and I are going to make these today!  Thanks!  Can’t wait to try these!

  15. Oh my goodness! I was looking for something totally different but ran across this recipe. My grandmother made them at Christmas time and I’ve been looking for the recipe for years. THANK YOU SO MUCH!

  16. Instead of coconut? Suggestions would be great. Can’t wait to try them.

  17. Can these be frozen, and if so, before or after they are cut. Thank you

  18. My mom always makes these, has for many years since I was young. (From WI) We call them Cathedral Cookies. Always a big favorite!

  19. These recipes, make me want to bake for hours. They look so easy, especially the CHURCH WINDOWS! I just found these, but you can bet they will be on my list for next time I am baking!!
    YUMMY!! 2017

  20. I’ve lived in Massachusetts my whole life, and my mom makes these when she can find the colored mini-marshmallows. She’s from Nova Scotia, though. (Also she leaves out the nuts for us because why would you put a nut in a space that could be filled by chocolate?)

  21. I grew up in Michigan and my older sister made these at Christmas time.  Over 40 years later, my 22-years old daughter makes them!!!  So yummy and great to freeze for later use.  

  22. What am I doing wrong? First tried melting on low heat hot hard, I just tried double boiled on low heat . Says to stirred Occasionly.which I did and turning hard before the butt melts. ???? Help

  23. These cookies are so adorable

  24. I thought these were unique to our family! I’ve been making them for years. Got the recipe from my great-aunt, and it’s been in the family for at least 50 years. Looks like the same exact recipe, too.

  25. I like church windows. do you?

  26. Pingback: 100 Best Christmas Cookies - The Farm Girl Gabs®

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