One of the best things about celebrating Christmas is spending time with family and friends.  And, of course, one of the added benefits of spending time with family and friends … especially family … is sharing stories, traditions, and yes, recipes! 


Every family has dishes and special treats that only get made during the holiday season that everyone cannot wait to enjoy as they embrace the jolly and make merry at their gatherings. We certainly have several, but one of the most anticipated treats year after year in our family are my mother-in-law Mary’s Fruitcake Cookies.  I grew up enjoying the traditional fruitcake (Claxton is my favorite), but once I married Santa Mom I was introduced to a fabulous take on the Christmas standard. These fruitcake cookies are lighter than a traditional fruitcake slice and are bursting with flavor.  Without a doubt, these bite sized treats are approved and a no-doubter to be included among my favorite Christmas recipes.



  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup margarine (2 sticks)
  • 3 cups flour (plain)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 ts vanilla extract
  • 1 lb candied pineapple
  • 1 lb candied cherries
  • 1 lb dates
  • 3/4 lb seedless raisins
  • 5 cups broken nuts (walnuts or pecans)


  • Hand or Countertop mixer
  • Measuring cup
  • Silicone spatula 
  • Cookie sheet
  • Large mixing bowl


  1. Mix together softened butter and sugar in mixer
  2. Mix dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking soda) 
  3. Add eggs, milk, and flour mixture, alternating wet and dry ingredients
  4. Add vanilla extract to mixture
  5. Combine above batter with chopped nuts and fruit in a large container
  6. Drop by spoonful directly on to your cookie sheet
  7. Place in a 275 degree oven for 25 minutes or until slight browning on bottom
  8. Remove from cookie sheet while hot
  9. Recipe makes about 90 crunchy and delicious cookies that will keep in a covered container for several weeks


Boxed and tied up with a string, in gift bags bound up with a bow, and perfect to enjoy over a hot cup of cocoa or your favorite coffee with your family and friends, Mary’s Fruitcake Cookies are a wonderful way for everyone to make merry during your next holiday gathering.


From Bethlehem to wherever you are in this old, wide world and from our home to yours, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from the Santa Dad!



One of my favorite holiday treats to make that ais always a hit is Christmas coal.  Not only is it always a hit, but it’s super simple and quick to make.  Honestly, the most time consuming part is deciding how you want to package and present your coal.  This easy peasy Christmas treat is super cute and just perfect to give away to friends and neighbors or share at the office or a holiday party!


There are lots of variations on this popular holiday treat, but you can take it from . . . this one’s a winner.



  • 16 oz. of Oreo Cookies
  • 4 Cups of Miniature Marshmallows
  • 1/4 Cup of Butter


  • One gallon Zip-loc bag
  • Rolling pin or measuring cup
  • Silicone spatula 
  • Cookie sheet
  • Wax paper
  • Pam butter spray


  1. Line your cookie sheet(s) with wax paper.
  2. Place Oreo cookies in a gallon size Ziploc Bag.
  3. Using a rolling pin or measuring cup crush the Oreo cookies into small pieces.
  4. Place butter and marshmallows in a bowl and heat in the microwave on high for 1-2 minutes.
  5. Stir marshmallows and butter until smooth with silicone spatula. (I lightly spray my spatula with butter spray to help prevent the mixture from sticking.)
  6. Add in crushed Oreos and stir well using your silicone spatula.
  7. Use your hands to grab a few fingers worth of your sticky mixture to create a “coal” shape, as large or small as you like.  I occasionally spray a little butter spray onto my hands to prevent the marshmallow mixture from “caking” up as I transfer the coal bites.  I like to place the mixture on the wax paper lined cookie sheet(s) with as little “shaping” as possible to let it retain a more natural “broken” look.
  8. Repeat until mixture is gone. 
  9. Allow your coal bites to cool completely before storing.
  10. Transfer into an airtight container. I line my containers with wax paper and separate the layers of coal with additional rounds of wax paper to prevent everything from sticking together.


Boxed and tied up with a string, in gift bags bound up with a bow, or in a tin in your fridge to enjoy with your family, your Christmas coal will be ready to fuel all of your holiday merriment.


From Bethlehem to wherever you are in this old, wide world and from our home to yours, Merry Christmas from the Santa Dad!