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Marmalade Windows

The dough for these cookies, tinged with the flavor of orange liqueur, is spread with orange marmalade and brushed with egg and cream so the top browns nicely as they bake.

  • Yield: Makes 2 dozen
Marmalade Windows

Source: Holiday Cookies 2001, Special Issue Holiday 2001


  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon orange liqueur or cognac
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Pinch of table salt
  • 1/2 cup orange marmalade
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream


  1. Preheat oven to 350. Have ready a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add 2 egg yolks, and beat until well combined, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in vanilla and liqueur. Add flour, baking powder, and salt; mix, beginning on low speed and increasing to medium, just until flour is incorporated.

  2. Turn dough out onto a clean surface; divide in half. Flatten each half into a rectangle, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

  3. Place parchment paper on a clean surface; dust with flour. Roll one piece of dough into a 6 1/2-by-15 1/2-inch rectangle a scant 1/4 inch thick, dusting with flour to prevent sticking. Place in the freezer or refrigerator until firm, 20 to 30 minutes. Repeat rolling with the other piece.

  4. Remove one strip of dough from freezer; trim to a 6-by-15-inch rectangle. Evenly cut dough in half lengthwise. (You will now have two 3-by-15-inch rectangles.) Lightly score one of the strips of dough at 1 1/2-inch intervals crosswise. Using a paring knife, cut windows out of each 1 1/2-inch interval. On the unscored strip of dough, spread 4 tablespoons of marmalade to within 1/8 inch of the edges. Return both strips of dough to the freezer or refrigerator; chill until firm. Repeat with the remaining rectangle of dough.

  5. In a small bowl, beat together the remaining egg yolk and cream. Remove dough from the freezer, and, using 2 long, wide spatulas, carefully lift a window strip and place it on top of a marmalade spread strip. Repeat. Using a thin, narrow brush, carefully brush tops with egg wash. Bake until golden, 22 to 25 minutes, rotating once halfway through. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool.

Cook's Note

If the dough softens while rolling, transfer it to the freezer or refrigerator until firm. This can be done as often as necessary.

Reviews (7)

  • umalbanat 19 Jan, 2010

    wow it looks great . I'll try it soon .

  • crancrafty 24 Jan, 2009

    I would say, looking at the photo, that the writer forgot to say that the strips should be cut before placing on the cooky sheets to bake. The photo clearly shows that these cookies baked on all 4 sides, as they have smooth, sloping "shoulders' and not the square, rough edges of a cut-after-baking cooky.

  • carole7777 23 Jan, 2009

    It says you cut them before baking in step 4.

  • fishnlady 22 Jan, 2009

    A marble slab that is cold works great for dough like this. Also working with a little at a time from the fridge is helpful too. Handling it with warm hands heats the dough up more quickly too so just use your fingertips to move dough around. Hope these ideas help.

  • JMM 22 Jan, 2009

    Do you cut these into cookies after they're baked and cooled?

  • 3kidsmama 22 Jan, 2009

    because it's a butter dough, and if you don't put it in the fridge until the butter in the dough becomes hard again, you may end up with a dough soft as softened butter (which also means that you will have trouble rolling it).
    Stick to the fridge, instead of the freezer, and leave it there until the dough is harder, but not solid rock.
    Happy Baking!

  • tourtes 22 Jan, 2009

    Why do you have to freeze the dough or put the dough in the fridge before rolling. I find it very difficult to roll when it is cold!!!

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