Stained Glass Windows Recipe

These simple no-bake cookies are kid-friendly and studded with marshmallows.

Stained glass windows cookies on a plate.

Why This Recipe Works

  • A short ingredient list and no oven time make this delicious treat an ideal participatory kitchen project for young children.
  • The optional chopped peanut or shredded coconut coating adds flavor, textural contrast, and an opportunity to get creative.

As a kid, the only cookies my mom made at Christmastime were lemon biscotti, so I had to get my "real" Christmas cookie fix at my friend's house. Her mom went all out with their cookie tray—there were gingerbread men, frosted sugar cookies of all shapes and sizes, candy cane swirls, mint brownies, and my favorite of all, the stained glass windows.

Not to be confused with the other sort of stained glass cookie (made of sugar cookie dough with melted candy "panes"), these concoctions are all about marshmallows and chocolate, and not much else (no wonder my kid-self was enamored with them).

These classic off-the-package cookies are also referred to as chocolate marshmallow logs, church windows, and cathedral windows. The basic preparation remains the same: colored mini marshmallows are coated in melted butter, chocolate, and vanilla, rolled into a log, and finally refrigerated until set. You can go the easy route and make these with melted chocolate chips or dress them up by melting fancy chocolate and rolling them in chopped nuts or shredded coconut. No baking is required, so these are simple enough for even the youngest members of the family to make (with a little help).

December 2011

Recipe Details

Stained Glass Windows Recipe

Active 20 mins
Total 2 hrs 20 mins
Serves 20 servings

These simple no-bake cookies are kid-friendly and studded with marshmallows.


  • 1/2 cup (1 stickunsalted butter

  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips or 12 ounces best quality dark chocolate, finely chopped

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 bag (10.5 ounces) colored mini marshmallows (see notes)


  1. In a large bowl, combine butter and chocolate. Microwave on high for approximately 45 seconds. Stir then repeat at 20-second intervals until the mixture is fully melted and smooth. Stir in vanilla until thoroughly combined.

  2. Let chocolate cool for a few minutes until it is cool to the touch, but hasn't hardened. Fold in marshmallows and stir to completely coat marshmallows in chocolate.

  3. Spoon mixture in shape of a log down the center of a sheet of wax paper about 24 inches in length (see notes). Roll up sides of wax paper and twist the ends to tighten and seal. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours to set. Cut in 1/3 inch slices and serve. Keep in the refrigerator, covered.

Special Equipment

Wax paper


Traditionally these are made with multi-colored mini marshmallows, which can be difficult to find in New York. (I tried no less than four grocery stores and three drug stores and came up empty-handed.) You can always order them online. If time is of the essence, use regular mini marshmallows, or substitute, as I did, 2/3 of a bag of large red and green Christmas marshmallows (cut down to mini marshmallow size) and 1/3 of a bag of regular mini marshmallows.

You can line the wax paper with shredded coconut or very finely chopped nuts if desired before adding the chocolate mixture, and sprinkle with additional topping before the mixture is rolled up.

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Nutrition Facts (per serving)
181 Calories
10g Fat
23g Carbs
1g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 20
Amount per serving
Calories 181
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g 13%
Saturated Fat 6g 30%
Cholesterol 14mg 5%
Sodium 17mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 23g 8%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 17g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 11mg 1%
Iron 1mg 8%
Potassium 98mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)