Readers’ Favorite Holiday Recipes

For these readers, the holidays just aren’t the same without a special family dish.

For these readers, the holidays just aren’t the same without a special family dish.
“When my husband and I bought our first house, we became fast friends with our neighbors. Each year I would make Snowflake Pudding, a recipe that has been in my family since I was a kid, and take it over to their house on Christmas Eve. About 10 years ago, we moved away, but every year we make a special delivery of the pudding and visit with our friends — sometimes it’s the only time we see them all year!”
— Nancy Vance, Fenton, Michigan

Prep time: 1 hour
Chilling time: 4 hours

You Will Need
1 cup sugar
1 envelope (1 tablespoon) unflavored gelatin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/3 cups flaked coconut
2 cups whipping cream, whipped

Crimson Raspberry Sauce
1 package (10 ounces) frozen red raspberries
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 cup currant jelly

What to Do
1. In medium saucepan, thoroughly mix sugar, gelatin, and salt; add milk. Stir over medium heat until gelatin and sugar are dissolved. Chill until partially set.

2. Add vanilla. Fold in coconut, then whipped cream. Rinse 1 1/2-quart mold in cold water, pile in pudding, and chill until firm, at least 4 hours.

3. Unmold. Serve with Crimson Raspberry Sauce.

To make sauce:
Thaw and crush raspberries. Combine with cornstarch in medium saucepan. Add currant jelly. Bring to boiling. Cook over medium heat and stir constantly until clear and slightly thick. Strain and cool.

Serves: 8.

“On December 24 every year, my mother, sister, her daughter, and I spend the day making cinnamon rolls, a tradition begun by my grandmother. Then, on Christmas morning, each family enjoys homemade cinnamon rolls while the presents are opened.”
— CarolAnn Thompson, Painesville, Ohio

Prep time: 1 hour, 50 minutes
Cooking time: 15-20 minutes

You Will Need
1 loaf frozen bread dough (thawed)
1/2 stick butter or margarine
1/2 cup white sugar, plus 1/4 cup for later
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

What to Do
1. Take dough out of freezer the night before to thaw in refrigerator. Remove 1 hour before use. Place dough on clean surface and press and/or roll until it is the size of a large dinner plate. The dough is very elastic — just keep rolling.

2. When the dough is the right size, spread with butter, 1/2 cup sugar, and cinnamon. Roll it up like a jelly roll and pinch the edges so the cinnamon and sugar stay put.

3. Cut into 12 rolls, using sharp, not serrated, knife. Place rolls into a buttered jelly roll pan. Brush sugar and cinnamon mixture, left over from cutting, on top. Add 1/4 cup sugar (makes caramel in the bottom of pan).

4. Cover rolls with a fresh dishtowel and put them in a warm place (e.g., top of oven) until they rise (their sides will touch), about 1 hour.

5. Bake in 350°F oven until caramel is golden, 15-20 minutes. Dump rolls out of the pan immediately and leave them to cool. Top with butter and serve.

Serves: 12.

“Each year, I make potica, a traditional holiday bread, for my son as a reminder of his rich heritage. The recipe was handed down from his Slovenian grandmother.”
— Gloria Flanders, Winchester, Virginia

Prep time: 4 hours
Cooking time: 50-60 minutes

You Will Need
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup, plus 1 teaspoon, sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter
1 package active dry yeast
2 eggs, beaten
3 cups flour, sifted

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup sugar
1 pound ground walnuts
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup whipping cream

What to Do
1. Heat milk in saucepan. Add 1/2 cup sugar, salt, and butter, and let cool.

2. Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup lukewarm water with 1 teaspoon sugar. When yeast rises, add to milk mixture in large bowl. Add eggs, then add flour a little at a time, beating in well.

3. Keep adding flour, kneading in well, until dough can be handled without sticking. Knead dough 10-15 minutes; place it in greased bowl, turning it to coat on all sides.

4. Place a tea towel over bowl and let dough rise in a warm place, until it is doubled in size. Make filling while dough is rising.

To make filling:
1. In a saucepan, melt butter, honey, and sugar and stir well. Pour over walnuts in a large bowl. Add egg and lemon juice; stir well.

2. With electric mixer, whip the cream in a separate bowl until it holds peaks. Fold into the walnut mixture. Set aside.

3. Spread half the dough on a floured board and roll out thinly in a rectangle. Cut off thick edges. Spread dough with filling, spreading to within 1 inch of edges. Roll up like a jelly roll. Moisten edges and pinch to seal them so filling won’t run out. Place in a greased loaf pan. Repeat with remaining dough in another pan.

4. Cover with tea towel and let poticas rise in a warm place. Bake in a preheated 325°F oven for 50-60 minutes.

Serves: 20-24.

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest