Sister Sharon’s Favorite Holiday Treats

By Sister Sharon FitzPatrick 

I dust off these recipes for Christmas every year.  The Dream Bars have been a Christmas tradition since my childhood when my Aunt Kay would bake them for me and my 12 siblings. I found the recipe many years later and picked up the tradition.

I love to make my Cranberry Cheesecake cookies for colleagues around the Alzheimer’s Association office and retired Sisters of Providence.

Both are great holiday treats that anyone can enjoy!

Dream bars

Cookie crust:

½ cup butter softened

½ cup light brown sugar firmly packed

1 cup all purpose flour


Cookie filling

2 eggs

1 cup light brown sugar firmly packed

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 tablespoons flour

¼ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup flaked coconut

1 cup chocolate chips

1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

 Dream Bars

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Make cookie crust: in small bowl cream butter & sugar until smooth
  3. Work in flour until smooth
  4. Pat into bottom of a 13x9x2 inch ungreased pan. Bake 10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack
  5. Meanwhile make filling: in small bowl at medium speed. Beat eggs until light.
  6. Gradually beat in sugar, add vanilla, flour salt and baking powder beating until combined.
  7. Stir in walnuts, coconut and chocolate chips
  8. Spread evenly over cooled crust. Bake 25 minutes or until golden and firm to the touch. Cool slightly
  9. With sharp knife cut into bars

Makes 30 bars


 Cranberry Cheese Cake

Crust :

1 cup flour

¼ cup sugar

½ cup margarine softened



1 pack (8 oz.) Cream cheese softened

1/3 cup sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 can (16 oz) jellied cranberry sauce

1/3 cup chopped walnuts

 Cranberry Cheesecake Bars

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8 – 9 inch square pan. In small bowl mix flour and ¼ cup sugar with a pastry blender cut in margarine until resembles course crumbs. Press crumbs into bottom of pan. Bake 20 minutes or until brown. Cool pan on wire rack.

In a small mixing bowl at medium speed beat cream cheese 1/3 cup sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth. In a separate bowl, break up cranberry sauce with a fork and spread over the cooled crust. Top with the cream cheese mixture and place nuts on top . Bake 35 minutes. Cool pan on wire rack and when cool cut into squares. Serve cold. Store in refrigerator. 

Sharon Fitzpatrick - PhotoSister Sharon entered the Sisters of Providence in 1984. Through her schooling she has gained passion and experience through working with agencies such as Adult Day Care, the Area Agency on Aging, and her time as the Director of Social Services at St. Josephs care center. She acquired a her Masters in Social Work with an emphasis in Gerontology before volunteering for the Washington State Chapter. Sister Sharon has volunteered her time and expertise to local efforts for over three years.  


One thought on “Sister Sharon’s Favorite Holiday Treats

  1. SHARON IS THE GREATEST! We appreciate every hour you spend with us and give to those facing the disease. Thank you

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