Father and son sat comfortably next to each other in the living room — Dennis with his Diet Dr. Pepper and Art with his Glenlivet, neat.  World’s Deadliest Catch was on and the two watched Captain Phil and his crew haul crab pots in the icy Bering Sea.

Meanwhile, Carol and I worked diligently on a puzzle on the dinner table.  Aided by a bright floor lamp and a desk lamp we borrowed from the guest room, we sorted through the puzzle pieces carefully, hollering excitedly whenever we found a piece.  We nailed the puzzle’s fish market and boardwalk fairly quickly but it was the spotless sky and the confusing blue sea that proved challenging.

We chatted about Warren in the winter and exchanged Christmas stories while we snacked on Carol’s sugar cookies and church windows.  Her holiday cookies and candies are always a huge hit with the grandkids.  And the grownups, too.  I actually had never had church window candies before and I was instantly smitten.  Colorful marshmallows coated with chocolate and coconut that looked like — you guessed right, church windows!  We made plans to grab hotdogs and fries for lunch at the Original Hotdog Shoppe the next day and then have our last dinner together at the local Red Lobster before Dennis and I head back to San Francisco.

That was three Christmases ago when Dennis took me home for the holidays to meet Art and Carol, and the rest of his family.  I remember feeling a bit anxious about meeting everyone.  I knew very well they would like me.  What’s not to like, right?  Yet, there still was a tinge of worry in the back of my mind.  I’m Mr. Half-Glass-Empty, remember? But thanks to the jigsaw puzzle and those toothachingly sweet church windows for helping break the ice.  And even though it didn’t snow on Christmas Day as I hoped it would, Christmas in Ohio turned out to be a lovely one indeed.  A lovely holiday with my new family.




Church Windows Recipe

1 12-ounce bag semisweet chocolate chips
5 cups multicolored mini-marshmallows
1 stick or 1/2 cup butter
1 cup coarsely chopped dried coconut

Place the chocolate chips in a double boiler or a metal bowl and set the bowl over a pot of simmering water. The metal bowl should be big enough so that it sits on top of the pot without touching the water. Stir the chocolate from time to time. Once the chocolate is completely melted, add the stick of butter.  Stir well until completely melted and smooth.  Remove the bowl from the pot.

Fold in the marshmallows and combine well using a rubber spatula until the marshmallows are completely coated in chocolate. Add more marshmallows if there is a lot of melted chocolate left in the bottom of the bowl.




Take a piece of aluminum foil about 18 inches long.  Sprinkle a quarter cup of coconut evenly to form a 12-inch-by-3-inch rectangular bed at the center of the foil.  Spoon half of the chocolate and marshmallows on top of the coconut to form a log.  Sprinkle a quarter cup more of coconut evenly on top and along the sides of the chocolate-marshmallow log.  Wrap the log in the foil, folding the ends snugly.  Refrigerate for at least two hours, preferably overnight.

Make another log with the remaining chocolate, marshmallows and coconut.


Church Windows


Once chilled, unwrap the chocolate-marshmallow log carefully and cut into 1/2-inch slices crosswise. Enjoy chilled or at room temperature. When stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, the candies will keep for up to two weeks, if they don’t get eaten.

Cooking Notes:

1. I visited six grocery stores in the city before I finally found a bag of multicolored mini-marshmallows. Regular-sized marshmallows would be too big but white mini-marshmallows would work but it would not look as pretty as the multicolored ones.

2. Be careful not to fold in the marshmallows when the melted chocolate is too hot. It would, obviously, melt the marshmallows.

3. You can substitute crushed peanuts for the coconut. Or maybe use crushed oreos or cornflakes for some crunch.


Church Windows

  • http://www.kitchencorners.com Damaris @Kitchen Corners

    These remind me of stained glass cookies. It all makes sense now, when you tweeted that you needed colorful little marshmallows I thought you were going a little insane, or to a Mormon funeral and needed to take some jello-o marshmallow casserole of sorts, things you always find at Mormon funerals.

  • http://www.junbelen.com Jun Belen

    Thank you, Damaris! It wouldn’t be as pretty if I used just the plain marshmallows.

  • MissTdJ

    So pretty! Dennis grew up with those? Lucky kid. Are you going to make Cathedral Windows jelly for his family too? How cool would that be, side by side!

  • http://www.okiedokieartichokie.me Stephanie

    Oooh, those look so naughty! Love it!

  • Alvin

    Aww! A story to warm the heart and a candy to satisfy the tummy. Wish you could make these when I come for a visit, I’ll even bring some multicoloured marshmallows. :)

  • http://www.junbelen.com Jun Belen

    Bring those marshmallows over here and we’ll make you church window candies, Alvin! Thank you!!

  • http://www.smithbites.com SMITH BITES

    this brings back so many memories – my mother would always make this for the holidays but called it ‘Rocky Road’ fudge! sometimes she’d add walnuts but more often than not, it was just dark chocolate and the mini colored marshmallows (which she never bought any other time of year) then rolled in coconut. thanks for bringing back the memories!

  • http://omgyummy.net Beth (OMG! Yummy)

    Looks like all that marshmallow searching was worth it! These look really fun and yummy. I came across a marshmallow recipe in my blog travels this week, in case you’re interested: http://www.couldntbeparve.com/2009/04/passover-just-got-little-bit-sweeter/

    Really nice post!

  • http://www.junbelen.com Jun Belen

    Thank you, Beth for the link. I’m actually going to make marshmallows from scratch today. This will be helpful! Wish me luck!

  • http://www.skiptomalou.net/ skip to malou

    You’re right Jun, what’s not to like. I like you already and I haven’t met you yet haha… Im sure the fam loves you! If we’ve met under the same circumstance, you’ll be doing the puzzle and you’ll be making these church window candies, while i watch… and chat and chat… and when the candies are done, you’ll still be doing the puzzle and while ill be nibbling the candies haha!

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  • http://www.sweetcherriepie.com/ Cherrie

    beautiful. I love the colours. Perfect as a Chirstmas gift

  • http://www.familyfreshcooking.com/ marla

    These marshmallows are gorgeous & I must try making them!! Great gifts too.

  • http://www.russianseason.net Stanislav

    I made this for my work holiday luncheon last week and everyone RAVED about it! So yummy!

  • Stevie~

    WOW!!! these are amazing! I thought id give them a try for my holiday baking that im handing out….according to my boyfriend they are not allowed to leave the house!! haha :) my chocolate was a little too warm still and some of the marshmallows melted….doesnt look at pretty but still delicious!! thaaaank you!

  • http://dinastamps.typepad.com Dina

    Fun to see these in a post…when I was a kid, we made these all the time! Now I make them for my boys sometimes, too. They love ‘em.

  • Kulsum at JourneyKitchen

    This is so easy and fun :) all the colors! It really takes simple things sometimes, to make a delicious holiday treat.


  • http://psychosomaticaddictinsane.wordpress.com iya

    the only church windows i can make is with a cake and gelatin! cute din pala pag marshmallows! :D

  • http://www.where-is-gali.net Gali

    Posts like this one make me miss some things which are easily available in the US but not around where I live… like mini-marshmallows. I will have to try something of the sort next time I can get my hands on some.

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  • http://www.TeenieCakes.com Cristina

    Not only are these church windows unique, they’re downright pretty! Thank you for sharing your story about three holidays ago and your worries. I’m glad that after all that agonizing it all turned out well.

    I just luv your holiday msg, featuring your cutie Corgi :)

  • http://lemonsandanchovies.wordpress.com/ Jean

    Jun, you were smitten with the candies and I’m sure your new family was smitten with you. :-) I’ve never had church window candies before but I bet my nieces would get a kick out of them. Must bookmark this–thanks for sharing. :-)

    By the way, I can spend hours sitting in front of a jigsaw puzzle like that–and I’d be perfectly happy!

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  • http://www.obviouslyomnivore.com Xai @ ObviouslyOmnivore

    so that’s what those marshmallows are for. it worth the trip to kroger’s :) this would be a nice addition to my holiday giveaways.

  • http://theurbanbaker.com the urban baker

    i so remember eating this and although it is super simple it is a very distinct taste. sounds like a good holiday all the way around. fabu photos! happy holidays, jun!

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  • Beanmarek

    My grandmother made these, but I didn’t have the recipe! Thanks for the recipe.  I love your description of the tooth-aching sweetness. That’s how I knew I had the right one!

  • Anonymous

    Yum, this is really too good! Now I’m gonna end up trying these! (too bad for my waist!).