December 5, 2016

December is the best month to indulge in decadent dessert. It seems everywhere you look there is something yummy to tempt your sweet tooth.

Cranberry Christmas Cake

This cake from Mary Younkin’s family recipe files is perfect for Christmas. This sweet buttery cake is filled with tart cranberries and is similar to a coffee cake, but much lighter. It takes little effort to make as there is no icing or topping, but you won’t miss a thing.


3 eggs

2 cups sugar

3/4 cup butter, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups all-purpose flour

12 oz fresh cranberries


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. With a mixer, beat the eggs with the sugar until slightly thickened and light in color, about 5-7 minutes. The mixture should almost double in size. The eggs work as the leavening agent in this recipe, do not skip this step.

This mixture should form a ribbon when you lift the beaters out of the bowl. Add the butter and vanilla and mix 2 more minutes.

Stir in the flour until just combined. Add the cranberries and stir to mix throughout the batter.

Spread cake batter in a buttered 9x13-inch. Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until very lightly browned and a toothpick inserted near the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool completely before cutting into small slices.

Note: Be sure to beat together the eggs and sugar first, then add the butter and vanilla. Since there is no leavening agent in this recipe, the eggs help to increase the volume of the cake.


Millionaire Pie

In just 5 minutes you can throw together a no-bake pie that tastes like a million bucks. This creamy pie is loaded with coconut flakes, pineapple, maraschino cherries, and pecans. It’s ideal to bring to work for the holiday luncheon or for Christmas dinner.


1 prepared or homemade graham cracker crust

1 cup sweetened flaked coconut

1 can (15.25 oz) crushed pineapple, very well drained

1 cup maraschino cherries, drained and chopped

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk

5 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon maraschino cherry juice

1 1/2 cups whipped topping (plus extra for garnish if desired)


In a large bowl, combine flaked coconut, crushed pineapple, maraschino cherries, pecans, sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice, and maraschino cherry juice.

Gently fold in whipped topping. Pour pie filling into crust.

Top with additional whipped topping and garnish with additional cherries if desired. Refrigerate 3 hours or overnight.

Note: Do not omit the lemon juice (it acts as the thickener) or the pie will be runny.


Rolo Pretzel Sandwiches

Rolos and pretzels are a great pair so why not take it a step further and add white chocolate? These festive little sandwiches are dipped in white chocolate and sprinkled with red and green.


50 small square checkerboard pretzels

25 Rolo candies, unwrapped

8 oz white almond bark (or white chocolate)

1/4 cup red and green holiday sprinkles, optional


Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Place 25 of the square pretzels on a baking sheet lined with parchment or aluminum foil.

Place one Rolo candy on top of each pretzel.

Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven and bake for 3 minutes or until the Rolos have softened. Remove from the oven and place another pretzel on top of each Rolo to form a sandwich. Let cool completely.

Add the almond bark or white chocolate to a microwave safe bowl. Heat for 1 minute at 50 percent power and stir. Continue to heat at 30-second intervals, stirring in between, until melted.

Dip one half of each pretzel sandwich into the melted chocolate. Allow the excess chocolate to run off, then return to the baking sheet. Immediately sprinkle with holiday sprinkles. Allow to cool completely before serving. Store in an airtight container.


Yields 25 sandwiches