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30 Recipes We Passed Down to Our Grandchildren

These family recipes have been passed down for generations.

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Shortbread

I live in Missouri, but many family recipes come from New Zealand where I was born. My parents moved there when I was a year old, so I have a "Down Under" heritage. This easy shortbread recipe brings back warm memories of my childhood, and I'm going to make sure they're passed on to the next generation in my family…no matter where they live! —Allen Swenson, Camdenton, Missouri
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Chicken-Fried Steak & Gravy

As a child, my grandmother taught me how to make this chicken-fried steak. I taught my daughters, and when my granddaughters are bigger, I’ll show them, too. —Donna Cater, Fort Ann, New York
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Martha Washington Candy

Passed down by my grandmother and mother, this Martha Washington candy recipe is a cherished family tradition. We've even had each grandchild and great-grandchild take a turn stirring the candy mixture! —Cindi Boger, Ardmore, Alabama
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Honey-Lime Almond Cookies

Decades ago my grandmother passed this buttery lime cookie recipe to me. Through years of baking, our cookie memories keep the family connected, although we’re miles apart. —Paula Marchesi, Lenhartsville, Pennsylvania
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Green Tomato Pie

When frost nips our garden, I quickly gather all the green tomatoes still on the vine and make this old family favorite. It's been handed down from my grandmother, and now my granddaughters are asking for the recipe.—Violet Thompson, Port Ludlow, Washington
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Grandma Pietz's Cranberry Cake Pudding

For generations, our family has handed down this cake recipe starring cranberries. Simple and unusual, it remains a treasured family heirloom. —Lisa Potter, Camp Douglas, Wisconsin
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Danish Meatballs with Pan Gravy

My great-grandmother made these meatballs, and I'm sure her mother must have taught her. Six generations have enjoyed them, and one of my daughters even served them at her wedding. —Kallee Krong-McCreery, Escondido, California
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Focaccia Barese

This focaccia recipe has been in my mom's family for several generations. It's one of my most requested dishes. In fact, some hosts tell me I can't attend their parties unless I bring this with me! —Dora Travaglio, Mount Prospect, Illinois
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Grandma's Carrot Cake

My grandma was very special to me. She had a big country kitchen that was full of wonderful aromas any time we visited. This was one of her prized cake recipes, and it continues to be a favorite from generation to generation. —Denise Strasz, Detroit, Michigan
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Empanada Beef Chili

Empanada Beef Chili

While I lived in Mexico in the 1960s, a friend's mother gave me her grandmother's empanada recipe. I've made it over the years and passed it down to my grandchildren. To shed some carbs, I converted the recipe into a chili. —Nancy Heishman, Las Vegas, Nevada
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Frosted Spice Cookies

This recipe has been handed down through many generations of my husband's family. The cookies were always in his grandmother's cookie jar when he'd visit. Today, he enjoys them more than ever—and so do I. —Debbie Hurlbert, Howard, Ohio
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Southern Buttermilk Biscuits

The recipe for these four-ingredient biscuits has been handed down for many generations. —Fran Thompson, Tarboro, North Carolina
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Cheesecake Brownie Squares

Brownies are my grandson Noah's favorite, so we always make some when he comes to visit. These cheesecake brownies are a definite crowd-pleaser. —Barbara Banzhof, Muncy, Pennsylvania
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Glazed Sweet Potatoes

Fresh sweet potatoes Mom grew disappeared fast at our family table when she served them with this easy, flavorful glaze. She still makes them this way, and now her sweet potato recipe has become a favorite with the grandchildren as well! —Rosemary Pryor, Pasadena, Maryland
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Crisp Sugar Cookies

My grandmother always had sugar cookies in her pantry, and we grandchildren would empty that big jar quickly because they were the best! I now regularly bake these wonderful cookies to share with friends. —Evelyn Poteet, Hancock, Maryland
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Homemade Polish Pierogi

My mother made many dozens of these and measured ingredients using the palm of her hand. We've passed the recipe down over the years as the family has grown. —Veronica Weinkauf, South Bend, Indiana
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German Black Forest Cake

As far as I know, this cake recipe can be traced back to my German great-grandma. When I got married, my mother gave me a copy and I hope to someday pass it down to my children. —Stephanie Travis, Fallon, Nevada
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Breakfast Buns

My grandmother taught me to bake these breakfast buns 70 years ago. Now my granddaughter makes them! This batter is like a biscuit dough and can be made up in a short time. There's no nicer way to wake up in the morning than to the aromas of biscuits baking and coffee perking! — Dorothy McGinnis, West Haven, Connecticut
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Lemon Ricotta Cake

This recipe is a family gem that was passed down from my grandmother and mother. Garnished with shaved lemon zest, the moist four-layer cake is the perfect dessert when you want to impress. —Nanette Slaughter, Sammamish, Washington
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Grilled Three-Potato Salad

Everyone in our extended family loves to cook, so I put together all of our favorite recipes in a cookbook to be handed down from generation to generation. This recipe comes from that cookbook. It's a delicious twist on traditional potato salad. —Suzette Jury, Keene, California
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Chocolate-Cherry Brownie Cake

My grandmother taught me the tricks to making this cake, and I've added my own special touches. The melted chocolate keeps the icing from being too dry and gives it a texture similar to chocolate ice cream. I have more requests for the icing than I do anything else! —Susan Hayes, Massapequa, New York
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Pumpkin Chip Cake with Walnuts

Pumpkin Chip Cake with Walnuts

My grandmother gave me this family recipe. After a few changes, I made the treat even healthier and tastier. Holidays wouldn’t be the same without it!—Amy Bridgewater, Aztec, New Mexico
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Flaky Butterhorn Rolls

These dinner rolls, slightly sweet and so very flaky, were my mother’s recipe. They are simple to prepare because kneading skills are not required and the dough is easy to handle. My grandchildren have renamed them Grandma’s Croissants! —Bernice Smith, Sturgeon Lake, Minnesota
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Waffle-Iron Cookies

The recipe for these cookies is the easiest to find in my book because the page is a beautiful mess covered with fingerprints, flour smudges and memories of more than 30 Christmases! I made these with my daughters, and now I make them with my granddaughters. —Judy Taylor, Quarryville, Pennsylvania
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Chocolate Pear Hazelnut Tart

As a teenage foreign exchange student in the south of France, I was horribly homesick. Then my host family's Grandmother Miette arrived and asked if I'd like to help her bake this nutty tart from scratch. It turned my trip around and inspired my lifelong passion for baking. Weighing ingredients, roasting nuts, kneading dough—the art of baking transcends language. —Lexi McKeown, Los Angeles, California
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Steamed Carrot Pudding

Steamed Carrot Pudding

This recipe has been in my family for at least three generations, passed down from my Canadian grandmother. It's been a favorite wintertime dessert for us and always included for Easter dinner and other holiday meals. —Ann Searcey, Kettering, Ohio
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Puffed Wheat Balls

Puffed Wheat Balls

My Grandma Hunt is almost 90 years old. Whenever she comes over, she makes her famous Puffed Wheat Balls by the dozen. Her 82 grandchildren and 168 great-grandchildren all love them. —Lucile Proctor, Panguitch, Utah
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Cranberry Pecan Upside-Down Cake

At our house, cranberries are a favorite. I made this dessert for the first time in the 1990s. It started out as a pineapple upside down cake—I just changed a few things around! It keeps and travels well, so it’s perfect for taking to church dinners. And we love to share it with our son and grandchildren. —Doris Heath, Franklin, North Carolina
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Cream Wafers

My sons used to help me make these cookies, and now my oldest granddaughter helps. When the smaller grandchildren are home, they help, too. The cute little sandwich cookies are tender, buttery and melt-in-your-mouth good! —Linda Clinkenbeard, Vincennes, Indiana
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Grandma's Raspberry Rugelach

I remember sitting on my great-grandmother's couch with a pad and pen in hand as she told me each ingredient and measurement for her special rugelach. Her recipe stands apart because it's a fun twist from typical versions. —Dalya Rubin, Boca Raton, Florida

Katie Bandurski
Katie is an Associate Editor for Taste of Home, specializing in writing and email newsletters. When she’s out of the office, you’ll find her exploring Wisconsin, trying out new vegetarian recipes and combing through antique shops.
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