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[Photograph: Alexandra Penfold]

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 Stained Glass Cookies 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.)

This classic off-the-package recipe is sometimes referred to as Chocolate Marshmallow Logs, Church Windows, or Cathedral Windows, but the basic preparation is the same. Colored mini marshmallows are coated in melted butter, chocolate, and vanilla, rolled into a log then 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 family to make (with a little help.)

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Stained Glass Windows »

Got a favorite classic American dessert recipe you'd like to see featured here? Email us with the subject: "American Classics."

About the author: Alexandra Penfold is mild-mannered children's book editor by day, food ninja by night. Never one to skip dessert she's the Brownie half of Blondie & Brownie and a Midtown Lunch contributor. You can follow her on Twitter at @blondiebrownie.

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