When it comes to the holiday season, there are just certain things we can’t live without. Or at least, there are certain things we think we can’t live without. One of those items for me is a family Christmas cookie recipe that has been handed down for at least three generations. It’s called Church Windows.
Now, this nifty little cookie gets its name because it resembles a stained glass “church” window. The chocolate will form the frame and the marshmallows are the colored “glass” inside. Take my word for it, because if you see a plate of these cookies go by, grab one. I’ve never seen anyone sit and study the design, only devour the cookie.
Even though this cookie doesn’t have any decoration on it that resembles Christmas, like a tree or Santa Claus, it is only made near the holidays. Why? I’ll never know, nor will I ever make it during a “non-holiday” time of year! Family tradition says so!
So, what makes this little cookie so great, you ask. First, it is simple to make. The kids can play a large role in making them, however they need supervision since it involves use of the stove. Second, they are very colorful and brighten up any holiday dessert table. Last, they have chocolate in them! What else needs to be said? Without further ado, here is the recipe for Church Windows.
1 package semi-sweet chocolate chips (milk chocolate won’t work, I’ve tried)
1 stick margarine (NOT butter)
½ c walnuts, optional
1 10 oz bag of colored marshmallows
2 c coconut
In a large saucepan, melt the margarine and the chocolate chips over medium heat. Stir often and watch closely so the chocolate does not scorch. When the mixture is completely smooth, set aside to cool slightly, for about five to ten minutes.
While you are waiting, prepare the wax paper. Tear off two sheets that are both approximately 18” in length. Lay on a flat surface. Cover each sheet evenly with 1 cup of the coconut.
When the chocolate mixture is slightly cooled, stir in the walnuts and the marshmallows just until coated. Stirring too long will make the marshmallows melt (and that’s bad!)
Pour half of the mixture on the prepared wax paper lengthwise, in order to form a log. Pour the second half on the second sheet of wax paper. Using the extra coconut on the wax paper, cover the top of the chocolate mixture. The coconut will prevent the wax paper from sticking in the future. Take one side and roll over the mix, and keep rolling to form a log. Shape it so it makes a nice circle. Twist the edges so they are secure and to keep coconut from escaping! Immediately place in the fridge or freezer until they harden, at least 6 hours. When hardened, slice off ½ to 1” thick slices.
Church Windows can be stored in the refrigerator or the freezer one month. Keep in an air-tight container or bag to keep it from drying out.