Reader favourites help make Christmas more enjoyable

Thank you to all of our readers for your readership and support throughout this past year. We wish you abundant joy and happiness during this holiday season.

Our family favourite recipes contest this fall encouraged several of our readers to share recipes that are part of their family’s Christmas tradition.

The following are a few of these special recipes, and we hope that they bring back some memories for you as well.

We also encourage you to start a new family tradition by making some of these recipes with your children or grandchildren.

Elaine Lethbridge shared this fun and colourful popcorn cake.

  • 1/2 c. butter ormargarine 125 mL
  • 1 large bag of white marshmallows 400g
  • 1 tsp. vanilla 5 mL
  • 8 – 10 c. popped popcorn 2.5 L
  • 2 c. green andred jujubes 500 mL

In saucepan, melt butter or margarine over medium heat, add marshmallows.

Stir until margarine and marshmallows are mixed thoroughly, add vanilla.

Remove from heat, add popped popcorn along with jujubes, mix and press into a 9×13 inch (22×33 cm) pan and cool. Freezes well.

For Christmas, Carole Jagt decorates this traditional family recipe with red and green cherry pieces. Yields 16 triangles.

  • 1 c. butter 250 mL
  • 1 c. sugar 250 mL
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 tsp. almond flavoring 10 mL
  • 2 c. flour 250 mL
  • 1 egg yolk

Mix all ingredients except egg yolk. When well combined, press into lightly greased eight inches (20 cm) round pan.

Beat egg yolk and brush on top, sprinkle with sugar. For Christmas add cherry pieces.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Cut into 16 triangles.

Stacey Gaboury’s mother made these Eatmore bars especially for Christmas.

Stacey is looking forward to making them this year with her kids to continue the tradition.

  • 3/4 c. peanut butter 175 mL
  • 1 c. corn syrup 250 mL
  • 1 1/2 c. semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips 375 mL
  • 1 tsp. vanilla 5 mL
  • 2 c. unsalted, dry roasted peanuts, chopped 500 mL

Butter a 9×13 inch (22×33 cm) pan, line both bottom and sides with parchment paper.

Using a silicone spatula or wooden spoon stir and scrape the bottom of the pan constantly while heating to prevent burning.

Over a medium-low burner heat corn syrup in a saucepan until almost boiling, stir in peanut butter and vanilla; when hot, add chocolate chips.

Gently boil four minutes. Remove from heat and stir in peanuts. Pour into buttered pan.

Cool to harden before cutting.

Karen Fuhr shared this recipe that includes colourful gum drops.

  • 1 lb. raisins 500 g
  • 1 lb small baking gum drops 500 g
  • 1/4 lb almonds 125 g
  • 1/4 lb walnuts 125 g
  • 1/4 lb candied fruit peel 125 g
  • 1/4 lb candied cherries 125 g
  • 3 candied pineapple rings, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 c. butter 125 mL
  • 1 c. white sugar 250 mL
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 c. apple sauce 250 mL
  • 2 c. flour 500 mL
  • 1 tsp. soda 5 mL
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon 5 mL
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg 5 mL

Line two loaf pans with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 275 F (140 C). Place raisins in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer five minutes. Drain all water.

In a medium bowl, mix one cup flour with drained raisins, gum drops, nuts, fruit peel, cherries and pineapple.

In a large bowl, beat butter until creamy, add sugar and beat, add eggs and applesauce, mix well.

Mix soda and spices into remaining flour and add to creamed mixture. Stir in floured fruit.

Pour batter to within one inch of the top of pans. Bake two to three hours.

When nearly done, cover top of loaves with tinfoil to prevent top overcooking.

Note: use some of the batter to make mini fruitcake muffins in parchment paper liners.

Jean Morrison especially enjoys this salad with a chicken or turkey dinner.

  • 2-85 g lime Jello
  • 2 c. boiling water 500 mL
  • 2 c. cold water 500 mL
  • 1-16 oz cream cheese 500 g
  • 2/3 c. whipping cream 150 mL
  • 1 14 fluid ounce can crushed pineapple, drained 398 mL

Mix Jello in a bowl with boiling water, stir until dissolved. Add cold water, mix and chill until firm.

Whip cream cheese and whipping cream together. Whip into Jello. Fold in crushed pineapple. Refrigerator until set.

Jean suggested that for a “heart smart” version replace the whipping cream with 2/3 cup (150 mL) of light cottage cheese.

Marilyn Wirsche shared this favourite treat.

  • 21 square caramel candies
  • 1/3 c. butter 75 mL
  • 1 300 mL can condensed milk
  • 40 – 45 regular size marshmallows
  • 6 – 8 c. rice krispies 1.5 – 2 L

Place caramels, butter and condensed milk together in a microwave-safe bowl, heat to melt together.

To keep hot, place bowl in a pan of hot water on the stove at low heat.

Dip marshmallows into the caramel mixture then roll in rice krispies, place on parchment paper to cool. Freezes well.

Marilyn Wirsche gave this recipe an excellent rating. Yields three dozen bars.

  • 1 432 g package ofwhite cake mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 c. vegetable oil 75 mL
  • 1 300 mL sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 c. semisweet chocolate chips 250 mL
  • 1/4 c. butter 60 mL

Grease a 9×13 inch (22×33 cm) pan.

Preheat oven to 350F (180 C).

In a bowl, combine the dry cake mix, eggs and oil. With floured hands press two-thirds of mixture into greased pan. Set aside remaining mixture.

In a microwave-safe bowl, combine milk, chocolate chips and butter. Heat on high for 45 seconds in microwave. Stir, heat 45 to 60 seconds more until chips and butter are melted.

Stir until smooth.

Pour over crust base.

Drop teaspoons of remaining cake mixture over top.

Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool before cutting.

Betty Ann Deobald is a home economist from Rosetown, Sask., and a member of Team Resources. Contact:

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