Christmas Squares and Bars Recipes

Stack of Chocolate Iced Peanut Butter Krispies Squares on a Cutting BoardHomemade Peanut Butter Krispies Squares for Christmas
(Source: ©belchonock/Depositphotos.com)

Grandma's old fashioned Christmas squares and bars recipes will make delicious holiday treats. You'll love the crumbly chewy dessert squares that our family enjoys at Christmas and New Years.

Mom always made plenty of squares to have on hand for when company arrived, and I would suggest you do the same. I kid you not, they are beyond delicious!

Christmas Squares and Bars Recipes

Mom's Recipe Scrapbooks (1920s)

Holiday Cherry Squares

1/2 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs, well beaten
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup chopped maraschino cherries (save juice for icing)
1 cup chopped walnuts

Cream butter and sugar together. Add well-beaten eggs. Add flour and baking powder. Mix well. Add chopped cherries and walnuts.

Grease 8-inch-square pan, pour in batter. Bake in 300°F oven about 20 minutes or until done. Cool, then ice with butter icing and cut into squares or bars.

Butter Icing Recipe:

1-1/2 cups icing sugar
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup maraschino cherry juice
1 teaspoon almond flavoring

Mix icing sugar, butter, maraschino juice, and almond flavoring together to make a spreadable pink icing that goes part and parcel with this Christmas squares and bars recipe.

Peanut Butterscotch Squares

1 cup peanut butter
2 packages (6 ounce) butterscotch chips
1/2 cup butter
3 cups miniature marshmallows

Grease a 9x13-inch pan. Spread marshmallows evenly in the pan. Melt in a double boiler the peanut butter, butterscotch chips, and butter. Pour melted mixture over marshmallows. Cool in refrigerator before cutting into squares.

Christmas Snow Squares

2/3 cup butter or margarine
1/3 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup water
1-1/3 cups white granulated sugar
1/2 cup maraschino cherry juice
1 teaspoon almond flavoring
1/2 cup chopped maraschino cherries
1/2 cup slivered toasted almonds

Cream butter with brown sugar. Mix in flour. Press into ungreased 7x12-inch pan. Bake pastry in 325°F oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

Soften gelatin powder in water. In saucepan, combine sugar and maraschino cherry juice. Bring to a boil and boil for 2 minutes. Add softened gelatin and stir to dissolve.

Remove from heat and whip at high speed with mixer until stiff, about 5 minutes. Beat in almond flavoring, then fold in cherries and almonds.

Spread mixture over baked pastry; allow to cool. Store in refrigerator or freezer. Cut into squares with a moistened knife for serving.

Apple Kuchen Squares

The squares made from this vintage Christmas squares and bars recipe are more cake-like, but they are absolutely delicious and offer a pleasant change from the usual fare.

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 package yellow cake mix
1/2 cup flaked coconut
2-1/2 cups pared and sliced apples
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup sour cream
2 egg yolks or 1 egg

Mix butter, cake mix, and coconut. Spread over 13x9-inch baking pan. Bake 10 minutes at 350°F.

Add apple slices and spread over warm crust. Mix sugar and cinnamon and spread over apple slices. Mix sour cream and egg and spread over all. Bake an additional 25 minutes. When cool, cut into squares.

Peanut Butter Krispies Squares

1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
2 cups Rice Krispies®
1 tablespoon melted butter

To make this Christmas squares and bars recipe, blend peanut butter, sugar, and syrup over heat but do not boil. To this mixture add Rice Krispies® and melted butter.

Press mixture into 8x8-inch pan and allow to set 20 minutes in refrigerator before icing. Very good!

Chocolate Icing for Squares:

1 cup icing sugar
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
Little hot water

Mix icing sugar, cocoa, and enough hot water to make icing spreadable.

Coconut-Pecan Christmas Squares

Caramel Crust:

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup flour

Grease an 8x8x2-inch square pan. Set oven to 360°F.

For the crust, cream butter and sugar well.  Add flour. Mix well. Press into prepared pan, spreading the batter evenly into the corners. Bake 20 minutes.

Coconut Pecan Squares Mixture:

2 eggs
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1/2 cup flaked coconut
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch of salt

While the crust is baking, toss together the flour and coconut. Set aside in a cup. In a bowl, beat eggs until frothy. Gradually add light brown sugar and beat approximately 4 minutes until very thick. Add nuts and coconut-flour mixture. Add vanilla and salt. Stir well.

Spread over baked crust. Bake for 20 minutes more or until well browned.

When cool, dust with confectioner's sugar. Cut into 1-inch squares or small bars for serving. —M. Prescott

Christmas Party Bars

Pastry as for a pie crust
Jam — plum, grape, or raspberry flavors
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup white sugar
2 well beaten eggs
2/3 cup rice flour
Food coloring, red and green

Line an 8x8x2-inch pan with pastry. Bake for a few minutes like a pie shell.

Let pastry cool and spread evenly and thinly with jam of choice. In a bowl cream together butter, sugar, eggs, and flour. Mix like batter. Spread evenly on top of jam.

Streak batter with read and green food coloring for festive decoration.

Bake at 350°F for about 35 minutes. Ice with a favorite butter icing flavored with almond.

Alternate Crust:

These party bars are also delicious when made with the Caramel Crust from the Coconut Pecan Christmas Squares and Bars Recipe above.

Old Fashioned Christmas CardChristmas Day Greeting Card From the 1920s
(Source: ©Don Bell)

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