Family Recipes Bring Holiday Traditions Home

Sausage Crepes, Tea Cake Cookies, Fudgies, Kahlua Chocolate Trifle, Pumpkin Cookies, Cheese Grits and Sugar Cookies

During the holidays, our food and memories become entwined. We become sentimental, nostalgic and even emotional about what we cook and eat. That especially goes for the recipes we’ve acquired from friends and family. And aren’t those the best? All year, I try recipes from magazines and Pinterest, but at Christmas, I turn to my aunt’s shortbread, my friend’s cranberry salad and my grandma’s lemon chess pie. During the holidays, we crave the familiar.

We asked some Tulsa moms to share their favorite recipes of the season. Each is tried and true, tested and loved.

The Huff family remembers Nick’s mom, Jackie, all year long with great memories. This Christmas, they’ll be thinking about her when they make one of her wonderful recipes. These crepes are perfect for Christmas brunch. They can be made ahead and baked the next day.

Rafi, Erika, Nick, Nash and Blythe Huff

Jackie Huff’s Sausage Crepes


  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

To make the crepes: Beat the eggs, milk and oil together. Add flour and salt. Beat until smooth.

Spoon 2 tablespoons of the batter into a 6-inch nonstick skillet, tilting to spread the batter.

Repeat process until all the crepes are made.

Crepe Filling:

  • 1 pound sausage
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon marjoram
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3 ounces cream cheese

Crepe Topping:

  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 stick butter

In a saute pan, cook the sausage and chopped onion until browned and cooked through. Drain, then add marjoram, shredded cheese and cream cheese. Mix until the cheese is melted.

Now you are ready to fill your crepes. Put 2 tablespoons of filling in a crepe and roll. Repeat until all your crepes are filled with the filling. Crepes can be cooked immediately or made ahead of time to be cooked the next day.

Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes. While crepes are cooking, combine sour cream and butter in a saucepan on medium-low heat until melted. Set aside.

Remove crepes from the oven, and cover the top of the crepes with the melted crepe topping. Cook 5 more minutes, or until lightly browned, and remove.

Nan Winton makes tea cake cookies every Christmas. The recipe comes from her great-grandmother from rural Arkansas. Nan says to bake the cookies in advance and freeze before Christmas. She has the frosting ready, and lets her kids, Claire, Rupert and Beatrix, decorate for Santa on Christmas Eve. 

Nan Winton’s Tea Cake Cookies

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Cream butter and sugar. Add vanilla and eggs.

In a bowl, combine flour, baking soda and cream of tartar. Alternate adding dry ingredients and milk to butter mixture, beating well to combine.

Roll dough to at least 1/4-inch thick. Cut into shapes. Bake 9 minutes at 350 degrees.

Royal Icing

  • 2 large egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice or ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 3 cups confectioners sugar

Mix until combined. Tint with food coloring, if desired.

You’ll love having these little fudge cakelettes in your holiday repertoire. Nan says the tops will have a crackled effect and are pretty on a cookie gift plate. They also freeze well, so long as you let them cool first and don’t stack more than two layers in a large Ziploc bag.

Nan Winton’s Fudgies​

Makes 6 dozen

  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped nuts
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 4 eggs
  • • teaspoon vanilla

Melt chocolate and butter. Add nuts, and stir until coated.

In a separate bowl, mix together sugar and eggs. Add flour. Blend well, but do not beat. Stir into chocolate mixture. Add vanilla.

Fill paper liners of tiny muffin cups almost to top. Bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes. Freeze well.

The Farley family has many good cooks. One of the best is Jennifer Farley’s Aunt Ann. This trifle will be a favorite at the adult’s table.

Sarah, Jennifer and David Farley

Aunt Ann’s Kahlua Chocolate Trifle

  • 1 box devil’s food chocolate cake
  • 2 small boxes instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 4 cups milk
  • 2 (8-ounce) tubs Cool Whip
  • 1/2cup Kahlua
  • 6 Heath candy bars

Bake cake as directed on box. Cool.

Prepare chocolate pudding. Set aside.

Break half of cake into chunks in bottom of trifle bowl. Pour ¼ cup Kahlua over cake. Put half of prepared pudding on top of cake. Add 1 (8-ounce) tub of Cool Whip. Top with half the crushed Heath bars. Repeat layers. Refrigerate 12 hours before serving.

Catherine and Billy Grona’s four kids love helping in the kitchen. This pumpkin cookie is a favorite to make and eat for Christmas.

Sophie, Chloe, Josie and Stuart Grona

Grona Family Pumpkin Cookies

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Cream sugar and shortening. Add egg, blending well. Blend in vanilla and pumpkin.

In a large bowl, sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt together. Add to pumpkin mixture. Fold in walnuts.

Drop by teaspoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 10 minutes.

Cool and frost.


  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • Powdered sugar

Combine brown sugar, butter and milk. Bring to a boil, and boil for 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Add enough powdered sugar to make a spreading consistency.

Candy Padley makes these cheese grits, along with biscuits, sausage and quiche, on Christmas morning.

“We’ve had cheese grits every Christmas morning for as long as I can remember,” she said.

Candy and Chase Padley

Candy’s Cheese Grits

  • 1 cup grits, uncooked
  • 4 cups chicken stock or broth
  • 1/2 pound sharp cheddar cheese
  • 8 ounces Velveeta cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder

Bring chicken broth to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Gradually whisk in grits, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, then simmer 10 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Stir in cheeses, salt, butter and garlic powder. Stir until cheese is melted and mixture is blended.

We like the cream cheese and combination of vanilla and almond extracts in these cookies. Use your favorite frosting to decorate.

Mikles Family Sugar Cookies

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

In a large bowl, cream the butter, cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolk and extracts.

Combine the flour, salt and baking soda, then gradually add to creamed mixture.

Cover and refrigerate for 2-3 hours or until cold but workable.

On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to 1/4-inch thick. Cut with your favorite cookie cutters.

Place cookies on baking sheets. Bake at 375 degrees for 8 minutes (or longer, depending on how big the cookies are). Edges should just begin to turn light brown. Cool for 2 minutes before removing from pan to wire racks to cool completely. Let cool completely before fr

Categories: Food