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Family Favorite Pumpkin Christmas Cookies and Raspberry Bars

Published by John Schnack

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There have been friends and family through the years who have shared their recipes and borrowed mine. The following two recipes for raspberry bars and pumpkin nut cookies have been in my family since I was a little girl. Do I still love making them, sharing them and eating them? You bet!

There’s something about traditional holiday recipes that make you feel connected to the generations past and to the youngest ones in the kitchen just learning how to measure out the flour and how to crack the eggs without getting pieces of shell in the bowl!

Enjoy the following holiday treats and be sure to share them with your unsuspecting neighbors, family and friends. You just never know whose day you will brighten with these little edible jewels.


Easy Holiday Raspberry Bars


  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups melted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups sliced almonds
  • 12 oz raspberry preserves (or other favorite preserve flavors such as peach, fig, blackberry, strawberry)


  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together sugar and butter until fluffy. Beat in egg yolks and vanilla.
  3. Add in flour and 1 cup of almonds, stirring with a spoon until dough forms. Divide dough in half.
  4. In a 9 x 13-inch glass baking dish, spread 1/2 of dough onto bottom of dish. Spread preserves evenly over the dough. Sprinkle almonds over all.
  5. Place the other ball of dough on waxed paper, dusting with flour and roll it out. Once the dough has been rolled out to the size of baking dish, place it on top of preserves, covering all evenly.
  6. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool completely, then cut into squares. Store in airtight container. Makes 36 bars.

Pumpkin Nut Cookies


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup oat bran
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 40 pecan halves


  1. Combine flour, oat bran, brown sugar, baking soda and pumpkin pie spice in bowl and mix well.
  2. Add honey and pumpkin to dry mixture, mixed together well.
  3. Lightly spritz cooking spray on cookie sheet. Using your hands, roll dough into 1-inch balls and place on cookie sheet. Press a pecan half onto each cookie, flattening dough slightly.
  4. Bake at 300° for 15 minutes or until lightly browned. After a few minutes of cooling, transfer cookies to wire racks to cool completely. Makes 40 cookies.

Tips for Cookie Gift Giving

  • Cool cookies completely before wrapping in twist-tied baggies or placing in tins
  • Attach a recipe gift card for recipients
  • If placing several recipes in one tin, separate cookies and bars with wax paper

If you’d like more ideas on homemade gifts to share with your family and friends, you may enjoy the following articles:

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