Best Holiday Reader Recipes

This month, we reveal the winners of OKL’s Best Holiday Reader Recipes! We received many unique recipes and it was difficult to narrow them down to just five winners. Each of the winners featured here will receive a $25 gift card. In addition, recipes from two runners up—Beverly Thomas, Cream Cheese Butter Cookies, and Gwen Foley, Pecan Cobbler—are featured in Oklahoma Living’s digital edition at www.okl.coop. Thank you to each person who submitted a recipe. We are genuinely grateful for your participation and readership.

Best Holiday Reader Recipes

South Carolina Squash Casserole

By Mel Nelsen - Kay Electric Cooperative 

“My family requests this casserole every Thanksgiving and Christmas. I usually make two casseroles so we can have some leftovers the next day.”

Serves 10
South Carolina Squash Casserole

Ingredients

4 to 5 yellow squash, sliced
1 small onion, chopped
1 small carrot, shredded
1/2 cup butter
1 package stuffing mix
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
Salt and black pepper to taste
1/2 to 1 cup grated cheese

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a large pot, boil the sliced squash until just tender; drain. In a medium skillet, melt the butter and cook the carrots and onion until tender. Add the stuffing mix to carrots and onions and mix well. In a small bowl, mix the soup and sour cream. Cover bottom of 9-by-13-inch baking dish with half of stuffing mix. Layer the squash over top. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the soup mixture over the squash and sprinkle with cheese. Top with the remaining stuffing. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown. 




Famous Hillvilla Pumpkin Pie

By Norma Pyle - Northeast Oklahoma Electric Cooperative

“This is a secret recipe my cousin gave me after her husband passed away. His name was Eddie Palaske. He owned and operated the Hillvilla Restaurant in Portland, Oregon. Eddie would be at the restaurant every morn.ing at 4 o’clock to make and bake his own pies.”

Yields 1 pie
Famous Hillvilla Pumpkin Pie

Ingredients

For the pie filling:
2 large eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
16-ounce can pumpkin
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons special seasoning (see below)
1 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup half and half 1/2 cup granulated sugar
9-inch unbaked pie shell

For the special seasoning:
4 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons ground allspice
2 tablespoons ground black pepper
2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon ground ginger

Directions

Preheat oven 425°F. In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, vanilla, pumpkin, brown sugar and 2 1/2 teaspoons of the special seasoning. In a medium sauce.pan, combine the evaporated milk, half and half and sugar. Cook over low until the sugar is dissolved. Then, add the pumpkin mixture. Pour into the pie shell and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven heat to 350°F and continue baking for 25 minutes. Note: to make the spe.cial seasoning, combine all ingredients in a small bowl. The mixture yields ap.proximately 3/4 cup of seasoning. Store extra seasoning in an airtight container for use in other baking. 




Tourtiere Pie

By Hayden Spalding - Verdigris Valley Electric Cooperative 

“Growing up in the far reaches of Northwestern Maine, you experienced a diverse mix of New England and Canadian offerings. Tourtiere Pie was only served around holidays or at special events. You could easily tell the holidays were ap.proaching when you walked into the kitchen and smelled the wonderful aroma of the varied ingre.dients baking in the oven—a childhood memory that reminds me of those wonderful days long gone spent with family and friends.”

Yields 2 pies
Tourtiere Pie

Ingredients

1 pound lean ground beef
1 pound lean ground pork
1 large onion, finely diced
1 stalk celery, finely diced
1 large potato, cut into small cubes
4 cloves garlic, crushed
6 whole cloves
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon sage
Dash black pepper
24 ounces beef bouillon
2 pie crusts, homemade or frozen

Directions

In a large pot brown the meat; drain well. Add the onion, celery, potato, garlic, cloves, allspice, sage and pepper; mix. Add the bouillon and bring the pot to a boil; reduce heat to low and simmer for 3 to 4 hours, or simmer in a slow cooker. Drain off excess liquid, cool meat mixture and remove any visible cloves. Fill each of the two pie shells with half of the meat mixture. Cover with a top crust, seal the edges and score the top to allow steam to escape. Bake at 425°F for ap.proximately 45 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. 

 




White Christmas Pie

By Rose Mary Bezdicek - Central Electric Cooperative 

Yields 1 pie
White Christmas Pie

Ingredients

1 baked pie shell
1 tablespoon gelatin
1/4 cup cold water
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup heavy cream, beaten until stiff
3 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup moist shredded coconut, plus extra for garnish

Directions

Dissolve the gelatin in the water. In a small saucepan over low heat, combine 1/2 cup of the sugar, the flour and the salt. Gradually stir in the milk. Cook the mixture until it boils, stirring constantly. Boil for 1 minute; remove from heat. Stir in the softened gelatin. Cool. When partially set, beat with electric mixer until smooth. Stir in the vanilla and almond extracts. Fold in the whipped cream and set aside. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to whip the egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Continue beating, adding the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the whipped cream mixture and shredded coconut into the meringue mixture. Transfer to the baked pie shell. Sprinkle the top of the pie with additional coconut. Chill for 2 hours before serving.




Apple Brownie Cake with Cinnamon Frosting

By Donna Gowen - Cookson Hills Electric Cooperative 

Serves 12
Apple Brownie Cake with Cinnamon Frosting

Ingredients

For the cake:
1 cup butter or margarine
2/3 cup granulated sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups instant cocoa mix
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 cups peeled, cored, coarsely chopped apples

For the frosting:
1/2 cup margarine or butter
3 cups powdered sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions

Preheat the oven to 325°F. In a me.dium bowl, cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Add the eggs and vanilla and blend well. In a separate medium bowl, whisk to.gether the instant cocoa, flour, bak.ing soda, salt and cinnamon. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingre.dients and stir in the chopped ap.ples. Transfer the batter to a greased bundt pan or 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. For the frost.ing, cream the butter, sugar and salt in a medium bowl. Add the milk, vanilla and cinnamon and beat until the frosting reaches a spreadable consistency. Add additional milk if needed. Spread on top of the cooled cake. 




Pecan Cobbler

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By Gwen Foley - East Central Oklahoma Electric Cooperative 

“This pecan cobbler is easy, different and a bit hit with the men folks.” 

Serves 12
Pecan Cobbler

Ingredients

6 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups pecans (whole or chopped)
1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 1/2 cups hot water
1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Melt the butter in a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Sprinkle the pecans over the butter. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, milk and vanilla (don’t over mix); pour over pecans. In a small saucepan, combine the brown sugar, water and salt and heat until just bubbling. Pour over batter; don’t mix. Bake 30 to 35 minutes.




Cream Cheese Butter Cookies

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By Beverly Thomas - Verdigris Valley Electric Cooperative 

“These Christmas cookies are a delightful Christmas tradition that dates back to my birth in 1962. I do not remember a year that we went without these Christmas-shaped cookies. After I married and had children my mom continued to bake these and would greet her grandchildren at the airport gate with a plate of these tasty treats. After her death in 1999, the tradition endured on in my house as well as the homes of my children treating their children to this holiday happiness. This is a soft, scrumptious, slightly sweet satisfaction that I have relished for over 55 years.

Yields 4 to 8 dozen depending on size of cookie cutter
Cream Cheese Butter Cookies

Ingredients

1 cup room-temperature butter
8 ounces room-temperature cream cheese
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Colored sugars

Directions

In a medium bowl, cream butter and cream cheese. Add the sugar and cream until fluffy. Sift the flour and baking powder together and add to the butter mixture; mix well. Form the dough into a ball, cover and refrigerate overnight. Roll the child dough out on a floured surface. Cut into shape with Christmas cookie cutters and sprinkle with colored sugar. Bake at 375°F until cookies are delicately brown.