What’s Cookin’ – Cathedral Cookies & Memories

This is more than a What’s Cookin’ post.  This is more than a Christmas Cookie post.  Memories are triggered by many things, and every year when we make Cathedral Cookies, I think about growing up in the 1970s.

My husband and I both graduated from high school and college in the 1970s.  The Civil Rights and the Feminist Movements of the 50s and 60s resulted in the 70s being a time of great change.

We attended the same Catholic high school.  We each took aptitude tests – but the boys took one test to determine if they were best suited to being a doctor, lawyer, engineer, or laborer; and the girls took a different test to determine whether or not they should be teachers or nurses.  Most girls just aspired to be married.  Gym classes were segregated by gender and the boys used the “big” gym and the weight room, and the girls used the “little” gym and endured communal showers.  Girls were encouraged to take Home Economics and Sewing classes to prepare for being wives and mothers, and the boys were encouraged to take Bachelor Basics classes to help them manage until they found a good woman who would take care of their needs for them.

We’ve come a long way baby.

There are many recipes out there for Cathedral Cookies or Cathedral Window Cookies – some of them include eggs and others do not.  The recipe that I have came from when my husband took that Bachelor Basics class back in high school.  My mother-in-law still has the original recipe that was printed on a mimeograph machine.  It does not include eggs or require cooking which is, I guess, why it was considered a good recipe to share with high school boys.

It is an easy, no cook, good recipe to make with young children.  These cookies also look very pretty on Christmas Cookie trays, and they are yummy, too!

The cast of characters – simple enough!

Dump the margarine and chocolate chips into a large, microwave bowl.

I microwaved for one minute and then stirred for one minute, and this is how it looks.  You do NOT want to overcook or overheat!

Add the finely ground nuts (I used walnuts) or omit this step if you like.  I like the texture of the nuts, but my family prefers these without ’em.

Dump in the marshmallows and stir to coat evenly.  This is why you do not want the chocolate mixture too hot.  You do not want the marshmallows to melt!

Divide the mixture into three “logs” on three pieces of waxed paper.  Using the waxed paper, you will have to firmly roll the mixture together into about 12″ lengths.

I put them into a 9×13 pan and pop them into the refrigerator.  Forget about ’em for a few hours.

After a few hours, carefully remove the waxed paper from the cookie “log” and slice.  Cut off the ends and eat them on the spot.  Slice the remainder of the log into approximately 1/2″ slices.  You should get between 36 and 48 total cookies after slicing all three “logs.”

They look pretty all by themselves, but they also look very pretty on a plate of mixed Christmas cookies.

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13 Responses to What’s Cookin’ – Cathedral Cookies & Memories

  1. Marifran Heiligenmann says:

    I’m still not able to print your recipes!

    • Mama says:

      Mrs. H – I know this continues to be a problem, and I am working on it. This plug in was due to be updated for the new IE and hasn’t been yet. I’m hoping that is the problem. In the meantime, I’m continuing to use it in the hopes that the update will work. You can cut and paste to a word processing document or you can send me an email and I will send you a copy that way. Thanks for your patience!

  2. Mary says:

    AWWWW A blast from the past. I used to make these all the time. OH St. Louis memories. They are so good.

    • Mama says:

      I’m going to make the Gooey Butter Cookies, too. I know that Paula Deen has made these “famous” but we’ve been making them here in The Lou for decades!

  3. Teri Van Hecke says:

    Theresa – I’ll cut and paste for Mom!

  4. Pingback: What’s Cookin’ – Cookies for the Holidays | Mama's Empty Nest

  5. Martha Hamilton says:

    I just made a batch of these they are in the fridge right now. I will let you know if they turned out. 🙂 really easy thanks!!!

    • Mama says:

      That’s funny – we just made two batches of these, one with nuts and one without nuts. Jack said it reminded him of Bachelor Basics. We were trying to remember that teacher’s name!

  6. Martha Hamilton says:

    I sliced them tonight. they don’t look as pretty as yours, but not to bad for the first time making them. they are good!!! They will look pretty on a tray of cookies. Do I need to keep these in the fridge? Thanks so much for the recipe!!!!!!

    • Mama says:

      I don’t keep mine in the fridge, but I store all of my cookies in a cool room (not the kitchen). Of course, my kids think I keep the rest of the house like an icebox anyway. I like them when they are not perfect looking. Rolling them tightly and as much in a cylinder shape as possible is ideal. I love these, too, because they are pretty and good to eat! Little kids love ’em!

  7. Hillary says:

    FUN! I’ll be making (and eating) these tonight. Thanks for sharing.

    • Mama says:

      We have had this recipe since the 70s. Jack got it in Bachelor Basics which was Home Ec for guys back in the day. I bet the girls will love these!


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