The surge of the Covid-19 virus and the ensuing lockdown launched nearly a year of frantic baking and a run on flour and sugar in the grocery aisles. What first had become a coping mechanism during the pandemic has perhaps evolved into a new pastime (or passion) as the promise of a new year unfolds.
During the holiday season, my friend Bonnie shared her “Cathedral Window” Candy recipe with me. Sweet and yummy! Sticky, though, so have a damp napkin close by when you sample a taste.
In double boiler melt:
One 12 oz. package of chocolate chips
1/2 stick of butter
2 eggs, beaten
Mix until smooth. Cool & add 1 teaspoon of vanilla.
Add a 10.5 oz. package of colored marshmallows and 2 cups of chopped walnuts. Stir until completely coated.
Spoon mixture onto 3 separate sheets of wax paper (or parchment paper) and wrap paper around each to form 3 logs. Then, wrap “logs” with aluminum foil. Put into the refrigerator until cool enough to slice into cookies, about 1-2 hours. Before slicing, roll logs in confectioners sugar. You can keep candy for weeks in freezer or refrigerator. You can find a more detailed recipe here.
The colors in these candies are opaque, but as I stirred the mixture, I thought of awe-inspiring, translucent stained glass churches I’ve visited in cathedrals in France and Italy, even some close at home in a tiny church on St. Simons’ Island, Ga. And then I remembered studying George Herbert’s “Church-Windows” in an Intro. to Lit class.
George Herbert (3 April 1593 – 1 March 1633) was a Welsh-born poet, orator, and priest of the Anglican Church.
In The Windows, for example, “he compares a righteous preacher to glass through which God’s light shines more effectively than in his words.” As he meditates, Herbert believes he falls short of that aspiration, speaking of himself as “brittle crazy glass” though he wants to be a window through which grace and truth may be clearly transmitted by his actions. He longs to have God anneal the glass (temper it with heat), so that unadulterated, divine light can shine through.
For more musings on this poem, check Project Muse here.
Have you ever made these candies, variously called Cathedral Window Cookies or Church Window Candy?
Your thoughts: stained glass windows you’ve enjoyed seeing; windows of grace; another recipe . . . whatever!
Thank you for sharing. . . .
Good morning, Marian! From candy to stained glass! No, I haven’t made or had the candy–colored marshmallows are not my thing–but of course, I’ve seen many beautiful stained glass windows. And you know, I’m a fan of color and light. 😀I read that there memorial windows for Herbert in several churches.
Good morning to you too, Merril. I didn’t think to research stained glass with George Herbert as the subject, but here you go: https://www.google.com/search?q=images+stained+OR+glass+OR+windows+%22George+Herbert%22&lr=&as_qdr=all&sxsrf=ALeKk03qO-gIcsr3DNsgdd8z6VRtC2h_cQ:1610538537194&tbm=isch&source=iu&ictx=1&fir=r3eOxFo4kNLqWM%252CqiUFvqruWX9dCM%252C_&vet=1&usg=AI4_-kQTei_0J64wtoVUiFu3UmpF6LjhWw&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwis7J_L65juAhXLwFkKHUUCBFEQ9QF6BAgGEAE#imgrc=r3eOxFo4kNLqWM
Thanks for the prompt to check out these windows! 🙂
You’re welcome. 😀
Interesting poem and marrying of mini marshmallows with the sublime of cathedral windows. I always enjoy them when I see them but if there is such a thing as false pride, I guess our church takes pride in NOT having stained glass windows. My husband’s Lutheran church had beautiful ones that I’ve enjoyed there. Kudos on trying the recipe, because I’ve never made them but have often seen them at Christmas cookie events.
I was just thinking yesterday how long my Christmas cookies are lasting–since we didn’t take them to this reunion or that get together, or for after-caroling at church. So my husband and I are mostly eating them all. Not good! I made one less batch than I usually do and now I’m glad that’s what I did. I did take two batches of cookies to the neighbors.
My intent was to have one of my grandchildren help with the cookies, just mixing – no need to bake.. I don’t know whether it was because they are teenagers with an independent streak or their parents really didn’t want them around an elderly grand-parent, but I mixed up the batch by myself.
I did share them on my daughter’s patio as an after-school treat just after the holiday. One grandson, a high-school junior, said he would wait to eat them with coffee in the morning.
About the stained glass windows: Mennonite churches of my vintage didn’t have stained glass either, but now I think they do; at least one in Harrisonburg does. Nice to see you here bright and early again, Melodie!
Stained glass windows celebrate what we hold dear. I must share our local attraction, Dog Mt, with you and your readers, Marian. There, they have a small chapel (with a clever sign No Dogma Allowed) and stained glass windows of happy dogs cavorting and frolicking. Best of all, there are personal handwritten notes covering the walls from tourists who want to remember a dog they once had. It’s a true memorial. One of a kind mecca, for sure. Thanks for the topic; you know they’re in short supply for me lately.
Well, Janet, you certainly piqued my interest. I just HAD to look this one up: https://www.dogmt.com/Dog-Chapel.html
I like the welcome: all creeds, all breeds allowed – ha! (I think there’s a topic for ya!)
A friend who has the same name as me makes this candy. It is so good! Her recipe is slightly different, but I love the results. 😄
Stained glass always causes a hush within me. I’ve been in grand churches with beautiful stained glass windows. I usually wonder how long it took to paint them.
Another Linda Marie. How interesting . . . and you are friends too!
I like the word “hush” in connection with stained glass windows. I agree, they do transmit divine calm and reverence. I think it takes a long time to create even one window because the colored glass must be anchored to leading, a tedious task, I would imagine. Thanks for stopping again. By the way, I enjoyed your guest post earlier today. 🙂
I think my mom used to make those candies. I too love stained glass windows. The most spectacular that i have seen are in Barcelona in Gaudi´s Sagrada Familia. When the light shines through them you feel transported to a magical place or heaven!
You, along with other readers, are transporting me to new sites today. I have heard of the Sagrada Familia, but have not known specifically about the stained glass, which illuminates the basilica. Thank you for this, Darlene. What a colorful country you live in, just perfect for writers’ inspiration. 🙂
Folks, here’s the link: https://blog.sagradafamilia.org/en/divulgation/the-sagrada-familias-stained-glass-windows-captivating-light/
That’s a great link. I do hope you get to visit the Sagrada Familia one day.
I’m grateful to focus on the George Herbert poem this morning, Marian. Thank you. We have some stained glass in our church. I miss looking up while singing and seeing light and color flow through the glass.
Once early in the pandemic, I tuned into your church’s online site and caught a glimpse of the lovely illumination.
Alas, we have to find our light and color in other says. Peace and joy too. Thank you, Shirley. 🙂
Good morning dear friend. I too, enjoyed Bonnie’s candy treat, they are very good. Kudos to you for making the effort to reproduce them. Your connection with the candy and communion is quite interesting and thought provoking. ‘The Windows’ poem was devotionally inspiring. Thanks for your BLOG, always food for thought. Pun intended!!
Carolyn, I appreciate your always reading my blog, and I know you take seriously the poet’s exhortation to let God’s light shine through you in word and deed. Thanks for the pun too! 🙂
This is wonderful Marian. Thank you for sharing.
You are welcome, Ann. Thanks for the comment, and happy new year to you too!
Marian — I think the most beautiful stained glass I’ve ever seen is at the Blue Lotus Buddhist Temple in Woodstock, IL (once home to the First Congregational Church). The monks opted to keep the 100+-year-old windows because they respect all religions—and that’s pretty darned cool.
You guys with other examples are keeping me busy today tracking down images on other websites. Here is the link to the Blue Lotus Temple website: https://www.bluelotustemple.org/save-the-stained-glass-at-blue-lotus/
And another one: https://www.shawlocal.com/2015/07/23/woodstocks-blue-lotus-buddhist-temples-stained-glass-windows-need-repairs-with-video/ac5emg0/
Thanks for your contribution today, Laurie! 🙂
I have a small version of the Bishop’s Eye hanging on a window in my sun room. The real stained glass window resides in the Lincoln Cathedral; Lincoln, England. The original Gothic Rose window was smashed during the English Revolution considered then an abusive image. It was put back together higgledy-piggledy” with no eternal, radiating, God-centered universe.
So now image is open to everyones’s imagination. Metaphor for 2020??
I must have seen this hanging when I last visited your sunroom, perhaps sparkling if the sun was shining. This image has a sad history but as you say serves as a metaphor for injustice of any sort. Thanks, Jean! 🙂
It looks great. I am not a great lover of sweets (or candy), but I am sure I’d love it as a nice treat every now and then. Happy baking!
Actually, there was no baking involved, only slow blending of ingredients on my stove-top. I was sorry I couldn’t get any grandkids to help with the assembly though. Such are the times we live in.
I like how you often emphasize fruits and veggies on your blog, the good stuff. Still, we need a little “sweet” sometimes. Thanks for checking in today, Chef Carol!
I am not a great lover of sweets (candy), but I am sure I’d love it as a treat every now and then. Happy baking!
Hmm. Your comment came through twice. Gremlin ghosts, I imagine. 🙂
First time it didn’t seem to have gone!!!
Fatima, you are welcome any time you get here, you know that. But sorry you had trouble. Stay well, my friend, and thank you! 🙂
I can’t say I have ever had those candies but stained glass windows I absolutely love and the church I grew up in and was a chorister at had fabulous stained glass windows…I wish I had some images but I don’t only memories but thank you, Marian as you have revived those today for me I had forgotten their beauty 🙂 x
I’m glad you have memories of the awe-inspiring stained glass of your youth. You mention that you were a chorister I suppose when you lived in England. I wonder if that means you sang in the choir. How wonderful to close our eyes and imagine both the sensual and the divine in those glorious windows. Thank you for all this, Carol!
Yes.. I sang in the choir for a number of years and I was so pleased when my eldest son followed in my footsteps at the same church.. Happy memories.. x
Thanks for the follow-up here, Carol. I can hear the pleasure in your recollection. ((( )))
Though-provoking poem and post, Mariam. Love the candies and how you’ve tied all the ends together to get us thinking!
As a master of prose and poetry, I appreciate how you observed the disparate pairing of candy and church windows. Thank you so very much for reading & sharing your thoughts today, Bette.
Wonderful combination of colorful candy, cathedral windows and the weighty words of George Herbert. Interesting how our lives are such a mixture of the sensual and the divine, as Herbert so aptly puts it.
The sensual and the divine indeed. These days we have to intentionally move our minds to higher things. The scripture and sacred poetry helps to center our concentration above the chaos these days.
As always, thank you for appreciating these efforts as I appreciate yours, Elfrieda. 🙂
I have never heard of such cookies, but surprisingly, I’d heard from quite a few of my American friends there’s been a shortage of baking staples. Lol, toilet paper and baking – the essentials. Oh, and I love stained glass. I’d never been in a Catholic church until I married my husband and every time I’d sit and gawk at the beautiful windows. 🙂 xx
I thought you were taking a break from blogging, but I guess it was a short one – ha! I know you value connection with writer friends as much as I do.
Another thing I know is that you LOVE beauty too, fashionista that you are. 🙂
Thanks for tuning in as usual, Debby! ((( ))))
Lol, my breaks are never full breaks. You can read about it in next Tuesday’s post! 🙂 xx
Okay, I’ll look forward to it. Even if you left cyberspace for a month or two, you’d be missed but your loyal followers would stick around for your return. I’m sure of it.
STAY WARM in Toronto.
You are too kind! <3
Not really . . . it’s the truth!
Oh, boy, I could really get in trouble with that candy recipe. I guess if your worst vice is sugar, you’re doing okay.
I’m a lifelong Catholic. Even when I was little and didn’t understand what was going on during Mass, I loved studying those windows.
I got the recipe at Christmas time from a friend. My intent was to make it an interaction with one of the grandchildren, but now they are teens and have other stuff to do – ha!
Actually, I don’t like sugary treats either, but I did like how pretty the candies turned out. Feast for the eyes more than the stomach, just like stained glass. Thanks, Pete, for sharing your thoughts! 🙂
I’ve never heard of this candy. It’s pretty, that’s for sure. As for stained glass windows, I adore looking at them when in a place of worship, but in someone’s home they seem like an odd choice to me. At least in church they give me something upon which to muse when the sermon gets dull.
Ha! Ha! This sounds like an Ally Bean retort . . . something to look at when the sermon is dull.
I agree, stained glass would look odd in a modern-style house, but perfectly at home in a Victorian one. I notice it when I watch an HGTV host, say in Chicago, restore a home to its original. They always keep the colored class. Thanks for your musings, my friend! ((( )))
Good point, in a Victorian house the stained glass would be fine. I see it in newer houses and it seems goofy to me. But whatever floats your decorating boat.
I’m afraid that I’m not a fan of coloured marshmallows (yuck), and yet the candies would not be quite as visually appealing without them. Quite a dilemma. I’ll have to leave others to the enjoyment of the pretty candy. If I made these with white chocolate and regular marshmallows, they would look like my kitchen window. I could call them Kitchen Window Candies, and they’d be delicious!
I like how you’d adapted this recipe, at least in your mind, to your unique taste.
I don’t for a minute think these candies are good for you , , , just mostly a decoration. I thought my grand-daughter would like to make these with me, but I was wrong. Teenagers, you know! Good to see you here today, Arlene. And thanks! 😀
As soon as I started reading this post I wanted to run down to the kitchen and begin baking. I love marshmallow. And chocolate. And stained glass. But alas, I have lots of baking chocolate in the house, but no marshmallows or stained glass. I’ll have to live vicariously through you here. And then you sweetened up the deal with the George Herbert poem – I’ve always liked his poetry, and this one is wonderful. To shining from within! xo
A few commenters here seem a bit averse to marshmallows, but not you, Pam. You embrace the whole idea as I have. During the Christmas season, colored marshmallows were in short supply in our area. Lots of people had church candy fever, I suppose. And lots of white marshmallows were available on the shelves but no mini-colored ones. If you look closely, you’ll see that I cut in half little two-toned “cupcake” marshmallows to make my batch. As the news became more and more ugly, I felt desperate to make something sweet and beautiful.
I like the idea of shining from within, a better aspiration than scouring grocery shelves for ingredients. Your enthusiasm is invigorating. I feel your energy. Thanks, heaps, Pam oxo
I’m honored that you were inspired by my recipe for my favorite Christmas cookies. I like how you interlinked the Cathedral Window Cookies with cathedral stained glass church windows in your story. I have made these cookies for over 30 years, and was surprised how much I liked them, since I’m not a fan of marshmallow candy.
The miniature colored marshmallows are so light and have a mild, very faint, fruity taste. They are getting hard to find. This year I found them at Family Dollar, and was told that they carry them year round. I always think of the beautiful stained glass windows I have seen over the years when I make these cookies.
Thanks for checking in today, Bonnie, and thanks for providing the inspiration behind this blog post. The Family Dollar was all out and after checking other stores, I finally found some at the super WalMart off Phillips Hwy. They weren’t a perfect choice, but they worked. The marshmallows available were two-toned “cupcake” design which you can see if you squint – ha! I had to cut the mallows in half, but after mixing, I got a pretty sensible effect.
Again, thanks! 😀
The sweeties are a little too sweet for me but they look very pretty. Stain glass windows , wow! Now you are talking . I can loose myself in their immense beauty . Have I told you that in St.David’s in Penbrokeshire we have the smallest cathedral ( I think ) in the world . The glass is a delight .
Wow, Cherry, you stoked my interest, so of course I had to look up the stained glass windows at St. David’s. Thank God for google: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/461900505509702800/
The glass IS a delight. Thanks so much for sharing this. Stay warm, my friend. ((( )))
Mmm – that looks delicious!
Thanks for reading & commenting here, Lady Fi!
Boy do those look good! I used to make candy but ended up eating most of it. That I’m sure would happen with this recipe also.
Thanks for snooping around on my other blog posts, Jacqui. The thing about this candy is that the logs can be frozen. Until you mentioned it, I forgot that I had a “log” in my freezer. Now if I can just keep it there until, say, Valentine’s Day – ha! %-D
I like sweets, but don’t cook them. It’s too dangerous when living alone–but I do keep bittersweet chocolate with almonds in my cupboard and usually eat one piece a day. When Vic was around, his favorite sweet of choice was a not sweet at all apple pie with buttery crust and lots of cinnamon. I bake a great pie and won’t ever forget how should I need that skill again.
I like how you use the word “dangerous” here. I generally don’t like sweets, but I too have a few bites of chocolate every day. The idea for making candy was to have some time in the kitchen with Jenna, but our children are fearful of exposing them to the elderly, of which I am one, so we scotched the idea.
You make me hanker for a piece of apple pie as an afternoon snack. I wonder if you ever thought of foods you made especially for Vic as a blog post idea. Hmmm! Thank you, Elaine.