Dessert Menu for a Vintage Holiday


I woke up at six this morning to finish up the very last of my holiday baking for the upcoming Christmas season, which is now less than two weeks away. I’m quite proud of the fact that I am this ahead of schedule. Over the past couple of weeks I managed to complete my search for new recipes to try for this holiday season. I found recipes that were new for me, but also rich with history… I’ll explain why.

Well before sunrise, I sipped my morning coffee, gazing up at our recently trimmed Christmas tree. I took the first bite of one of the freshly baked goods I decided to make this year: Peanut Butter Cookies. I dipped the cookie into my hot coffee and felt a wave of comfort wash over me. This cookie was perfection and it brought back so many memories of holiday baking as a kid.

I grew up in a home that loved Christmas. December 1st was the first day to begin our family holiday traditions. The day would usually consist of putting up the lights outside, starting the advent calendar and decorating the house with decorations. By mid-month, we would begin to prepare the holiday treats for all of the upcoming family entertaining. There are so many little moments from those years that I hold very dear to my heart. Memories of which always seem to resurface come December of every year. Things like sitting at the kitchen table and watching my Grandma crack the crisp white eggs over a mixing bowl, so perfectly. My Grandma was an excellent baker and her holiday treats were always my favorites. Many of her recipes were classics and definitely vintage as they often originated from the 1950s era.


Over the past few years I have tried different recipes throughout each holiday season. Last year I made vegan pies and the year before that, mint chocolate cupcakes. For this year, as I reminisced over all of those cherished Christmas seasons of my childhood, I decided to try and make some old fashioned holiday treats. Here’s what I found for a vintage assortment of holiday desserts:

  1. Coconut Cherry Balls – I was absolutely thrilled when I found this recipe as it is a vintage classic that was served at Christmas at my Grandma’s house every year. This recipe is incredibly easy to make and does not require any baking. The end result is a refreshing and sweet Christmas treat. Best served chilled.
  1. Old Fashioned Peanut Butter Cookies ­– I chose this recipe as the peanut butter cookie is a traditional snack and also a favorite of my husband. Whenever he has a sugar craving, his go-to is always this comfort food item at our local coffee shop. This recipe is everything we could have wanted in a peanut butter cookie. The cookies are buttery and rich. To add our own twist, we decorated the cookies with M&Ms.
  1. Cocoa Shortbread – Another iconic recipe that was always served among family and friends throughout the holiday season, but with a chocolate twist. These cookies have all the buttery richness of shortbread but also cocoa mixed right in. They are best served cold and feel free to dunk them into hot cocoa for an even richer dessert.
  1. Ice Box Brownies – Vintage, right down to the name of the recipe. I thought that this recipe would be a great idea for holiday gifts. Instead of making the brownies in a square pan, I made the brownies in muffin tins and the result ended up being fantastic. The brownies are rich due to their amount of chocolate and savory cream cheese. To further add to this retro recipe, I purchased vintage cookie tins to store the brownies and bring along as host/hostess gifts at holiday gatherings.


So there you have it; a breakdown of the holiday treats I’ve made for this Christmas season. These recipes achieved the retro dessert menu I was hoping for, but also helped bring back so many fond memories of past holidays.

What are some of your favorite holiday desserts? Are they vintage recipes? Are they family favorites? Do you try new recipes each year or stick with the classics? Please let me know in the comments and have a happy holiday season!


4 thoughts on “Dessert Menu for a Vintage Holiday

  1. Great post! The coconut cherry balls are such a staple for our family too, thanks to grandma. Love your other suggestions. Nanaimo bars and rocky road squares are another favorite of mine.

  2. Mm-mmm…can’t wait to try these recipes over the holidays! My favorite has always been Viennese Crescents. Our family, in the words of Dickens, “knew how to keep Christmas well”. Enjoy the magic of the season, everyone!

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