Christmas Treat Recipes

Grandma's old fashioned Christmas treat recipes are perfect for making delicious dessert squares and festive cookies for the Holiday Season and for serving on special occasions throughout the year.

You will love the traditional goodness and taste and what's more, these vintage treats are quick and easy to make.

Old Fashioned Christmas Treat Recipes

Mom's Recipe Scrapbooks (c. 1920s)

Homemade Pecan Gems on a Serving TrayThese Delicious Pecan Gems Are So Easy to Make
(Source: ©alisafarov/

Pecan Gems

3/4 cup butter
5 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons ice water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon almond flavoring
1 cup chopped pecans
2 cups flour


Mix ingredients in order: butter, brown sugar, water, vanilla, almond flavoring, nuts, and flour. Pinch a small amount of dough with fingers and roll into a small ball.

Place balls on cookie sheet and bake in 275°F oven for about 45 minutes. Do not grease the cookie sheet beforehand. After baking, shake in a bag with icing sugar while still warm.

Special Christmas Squares

Compared to some old fashioned Christmas treat recipes, this no-bake recipe for homemade squares takes a little longer to prepare, but your taste buds will agree that they are truly SPECIAL.

1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons coca powder
1 large egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup coconut, desiccated
2 cups graham wafers, rolled
1/2 cup nuts, chopped


Place in double boiler butter, white sugar, and cocoa. Stir until smooth and add beaten egg and vanilla flavoring. Remove from heat.

Add coconut, graham wafers, and chopped nuts. Spread mixture in a 9-inch pan. Refrigerate to cool before adding filling and topping.

Add Vanilla Filling:

1/4 cup butter
2 cups icing sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla pudding powder
3 or 4 tablespoons milk

For the vanilla filling, mix the ingredients as listed above until smooth enough to spread. Spread evenly over first mixture in pan and return to refrigerator.

Add Chocolate Topping:

2 squares semi-sweet or dark chocolate

Melt 2 squares of chocolate in 1 tablespoon butter. Spread carefully over icing and allow to set in refrigerator before serving.

Gumdrop Jewels Dessert Squares

Vintage Gumdrop Jewel DessertMake Christmas Dessert Squares a.k.a. Gumdrop Jewels
(Source: ©Don Bell)

Evaporated Milk

To substitute 1 cup evaporated milk, gently simmer 2-1/4 cups whole milk in a saucepan until reduced to 1 cup.

3/4 cup evaporated milk
1 cup gumdrops, chopped
1/2 cup butter or shortening
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
Vanilla icing


To begin this old fashioned Christmas treat recipe, pour evaporated milk over chopped gumdrops and let stand for 30 minutes. Beat shortening, sugar, egg, and vanilla together. Add gumdrop mixture, then add flour, baking powder, salt, and nuts.

Spread in square greased pan. Bake at 350°F for 25 minutes. Frost while still warm, with vanilla icing. Cut in squares for serving.

Easy Peppermint Whip

14 chocolate wafers
1/2 pint whipping cream
1-1/4 cups miniature white marshmallows
1/2 cup crushed peppermint candy canes

Crush chocolate wafers into fine crumbs. Using half of the crumbs, cover bottom of 9x9-inch square pan evenly.

Whip cream, fold in marshmallows and crushed peppermint candy. Carefully spread whipped cream mixture onto crumbs in pan. Sprinkle remaining crumbs on top and refrigerate for 12 hours before serving.

Alternative Method:

Using small muffin cups and the same method as indicated above, fill and freeze individually. Defrost a few minutes before you need them for a fast dessert that's sure to please.

Cherry Cha Cha

1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 can cherry pie filling
4 cups white miniature marshmallows
1/2 pint whipping cream

Mix together the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter. Pack 3/4 of crumb mixture into a 9x9-inch pan having its bottom lined with aluminum foil. Whip the cream and add marshmallows.

Put half of this cream mixture on top of graham crust. Cover that with cherry pie filling. Spread remaining cream mixture evenly on top.

Sprinkle with remaining graham cracker crumbs. Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator overnight.

Marshmallow Roll

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
4 tablespoons butter
2 small eggs, beaten
1 cup icing sugar
1/2 cup crushed graham wafers
10 ounces colored miniature marshmallows
1 teaspoon vanilla

Melt chocolate and butter, slowly. Add eggs, icing sugar, and graham wafer crumbs. Mix. Add marshmallows and vanilla flavoring. Divide into 3 parts. Roll each part in chopped nuts or coconut or chocolate sprinkles. Refrigerate. Slice when served.

This old fashioned Christmas treat recipe makes about 3 dozen portions that everyone will rave about.

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