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40 Vintage French Christmas Recipes Worth Trying Today

Add a dash of old-world glamour to your holiday party with these vintage French recipes for Christmas. Try classics like bûche de Noël (Yule logs) and heartwarming cassoulet. Joyeux Noël!

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Cinnamon Roll Macarons

These macarons are a winter/fall staple for me—inspired by the classic cinnamon roll, they are a delicious treat for a cold or snowy day. These pair well with a mug of tea, and can be eaten as a dessert or just a snack. Try custard, mousse, ganache, or any other buttercream as fillings, too. —Elizabeth Ding, El Cerrito, California
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French Lemon-Apricot Tart

If you like the tang of citrus, you’ll love this lemon tart. The apricot preserves on top add a nice bit of sweetness. —Peggy Lunde, Costa Mesa, California
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Classic French Onion Soup

Enjoy my signature French onion soup the way my granddaughter Becky does: I make onion soup for her in a crock bowl, complete with garlic croutons and gobs of melted Swiss cheese on top. —Lou Sansevero, Ferron, Utah
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Oysters Rockefeller

My husband and I are oyster farmers, and this classic Oysters Rockefeller dish always delights our guests. It's deliciously simple! —Beth Walton, Eastham, Massachusetts
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Dove Dinner Rolls

Fluffy dinner rolls shaped like doves are a sweet nod to the holidays. They dash away faster than Santa himself. —Frances Wirtz, West Allis, WI
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Herbed Roast Beef

A savory herb rub flavors this juicy roast that makes an impression every time my mom serves it for dinner. The creamy horseradish sauce adds a little kick to the crispy-coated slices of beef. —Kerry Sullivan, Maitland, Florida
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Palmiers

It takes just two ingredients to make these impressive but easy-to-do French pastries, which are often called palm leaves. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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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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Lemon Creme Brulee

Here’s a refreshing, tangy twist on a classic. Don’t have the kitchen torch traditionally used for creme brulee? Simply pop the ramekins under the broiler.—Sara Scheler, Helenville, Wisconsin
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Cornish Hens with Potatoes

This special slow-cooked dinner is delicious. I serve it with green beans and French bread. —Deborah Randall, Abbeville, Louisiana
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Mocha Yule Log

Mocha Yule Log

This eye-catching dessert is guaranteed to delight holiday dinner guests. Chocolate lovers will lick their lips over the yummy cocoa cake, mocha filling and frosting. For a festive touch, I garnish the log with marzipan holly leaves and berries. —Jenny Hughson, Mitchell, Nebraska
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Cassoulet for Today

Cassoulet is traditionally cooked for hours, but this version of the rustic French classic offers the same homey taste in less time. It’s easy on the wallet, too. —Virginia Anthony, Jacksonville, Florida
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Mushroom-Bean Bourguignon

In our family, boeuf bourguignon has been a staple for generations. I wanted a meatless alternative. All this dish needs is a French baguette. —Sonya Labbe, West Hollywood, California
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Roasted Turkey with Maple Cranberry Glaze

I prepare turkey with a taste of Canada in mind. The sweet maple flavor comes through even in the breast meat. You may start to notice it's caramelized color after about 2 hours. That's when I cover it loosely with foil while it finishes cooking. The meat will stay tender and juicy. —Suzanne Anctil, West Vancouver, British Columbia
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Steamed Mussels with Peppers

Use the French bread to soak up the deliciously seasoned broth. If you like food zippy, add the jalapeno seeds. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Italian Sausage Minestrone

This no-fuss minestrone is perfect family fare on chilly days. Feeling daring? Substitute a can of butter beans or pinto beans for one of the cans of cannellini beans. I serve it with warm with crusty French bread for dipping into the broth.—Elizabeth Renteria, Vancouver, Washington
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Beef Filets with Portobello Sauce

Beef Filets with Portobello Sauce

These tasty steaks seem special but they are fast enough for everyday dinners. We enjoy the mushroom-topped filets with crusty French bread, a mixed salad and a light lemon dessert. —Christel Stein, Tampa, Florida
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Strawberry Creme Crepes

I always feel like a French chef when I serve these pretty crepes. Although they take a little time to prepare, they're well worth the effort. My guests are always impressed. —Debra Latta, Port Matilda, Pennsylvania
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Dijon Pork Chops with Cabbage and Fennel

While living in Switzerland for a few years, my friends introduced me to an area renowned for their cabbage, pork and potato dishes. I decided to try a cabbage and fennel combination and believe they complement each other well. —Grace Voltolina, Westport, Connecticut
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Beef Short Ribs in Burgundy Sauce

As an Army general, my stepdad got this beef short ribs recipe from his aide, who said it was his mother's best Sunday meal. It’s a mouthwatering family favorite. —Judy Batson, Tampa, Florida
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Ham 'n' Egg Sandwich

Whenever the whole family gets together for a holiday or long weekend, they request this all-in-one breakfast sandwich. I can feed everyone by stacking ham, tomato, scrambled eggs, onion and cheese inside a loaf of French bread. Then I simply pop it in the oven to warm up. —DeeDee Newton, Toronto, Ontario
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Croque-Madame

My son and I love having a croque-madame (a fried egg atop our grilled ham and cheese) for lunch. If eggs aren't your favorite, you can make the sandwich without it (which makes it a croque-monsieur). —Carolyn Turner, Reno, Nevada
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Quick Nicoise Salad

Like the French, I pack my classic Nicoise salad with veggies, potatoes, tuna and eggs. Cooking the potatoes and beans together helps the dish come together fast. —Valerie Belley, St. Louis, Missouri
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Warm Cabbage, Fennel and Pear Salad

This crunchy salad makes an elegant first course or side, but it's hearty enough to be an entree when paired with a crusty artisan bread. We love it served warm. —Grace Voltolina, Westport, Connecticut
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Spicy Shrimp

Not too hot but full of flavor, these shrimp are one of a kind. They're easy to make and take to parties, where they'll impress the other guests. —Bob Gebhardt, Wausau, WI.
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Beef Tenderloin with Sauteed Vegetables

This is the most elegant, tender beef. It’s made the classic French way—so easy! —cleo gonske, redding, California
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Slow-Cooked Ratatouille

I get my son to eat eggplant by cooking low and slow on this classic French veggie dish. A side of rice and garlic cheese bread also help. —Diane Goedde, Red Lodge, Montana
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Slow Cooker Boeuf Bourguignon

I'd wanted to make beef Burgundy ever since I got one of Julia Child's cookbooks, but I wanted to find a way to fix it in a slow cooker. My version of the popular beef stew is still rich, hearty and delicious, but without the need to watch on the stovetop or in the oven. —Crystal Jo Bruns, Iliff, Colorado
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Simple Herbed Scallops

Living in Kansas, fresh seafood can be hard to come by. Luckily, frozen scallops aren't. This dish offers coastal flavor to those of us in the Midwest. —Sarah Befort, Hays, Kansas
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Onion French Bread Loaves

Since I love variety in my cooking, I tried adding dried minced onion to my usual recipe in attempts to copy a bread I had tasted, creating these two tasty loaves. Using the bread machine on the dough setting is a great timesaver. —Ruth Fueller, Barmstedt, Germany
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Brie Toasts with Cranberry Compote

Just six ingredients are all I need to create an elegant appetizer perfect for entertaining. The tart cranberry compote pairs well with creamy Brie cheese. —Katherine Watson, Omaha, Nebraska
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Broiled Lobster Tail

No matter where you live, these succulent, buttery lobster tails are just a few minutes away. Here in Iowa, we use frozen lobster with delicious results, but if you're near the ocean, by all means use fresh! —Lauren McAnelly, Des Moines, Iowa
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Roast Rack of Lamb with Herb Sauce

The sauce uses eight of my favorite herbs, but making it is a cinch. The aroma of the lamb while it roasts is amazing. —Mya Zeronis, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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Chicken Liver Mousse

A rich, custardlike mousse is included on the paté plate with high success at La Boucherie. Liver loves bacon, so fry a few pieces and enjoy this highly palatable first course. —Matthew Lawrence, Vashon, Washington
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Three-Cheese Fondue

I got this easy recipe from my daughter, who lives in France. It’s become my go-to fondue, and I make it often for our family.—Betty A. Mangas, Toledo, Ohio
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Basil Polenta with Ratatouille

For our wedding reception, we wanted to provide a vegan menu to our guests. Not one complained; they raved about the polenta topped with colorful ratatouille, our version of the classic French stewed vegetable dish. —Kimberly Hammond, Kingwood, Texas
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Cherry-Brandy Baked Brie

No one will believe this impressive cherry brandy appetizer is so easy to make. You can substitute dried cranberries or apricots for the cherries and apple juice for the brandy. —Kevin Phebus, Katy, Texas
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Pomegranate Pistachio Crostini

Pomegranate seeds intrigue me, so I sliced French bread, smeared it with cream cheese, and added seeds, pistachios and chocolate. —Elisabeth Larsen, Pleasant Grove, Utah
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French Christmas Cookies

These moist treats will have everyone reaching for more. Folks tell me they enjoy these French Christmas cookies. In fact, the batches I make ahead for my family and store in the freezer until Christmas seem to mysteriously disappear each year—even though the chocolate topping I put on before serving hasn't been added yet! —Judy Wilder, Mankato, Minnesota
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Pheasant and Wild Rice

Everyone in my family hunts, so we have an abundance of game. This recipe also works well with wild turkey or grouse and even with chicken if you prefer. I love to make this dish on special occasions and for guests.

Jacqueline Weiss
Jacqueline is a blogger and writer, passionate about sharing the latest in helpful tips and trends in food and cooking. In her spare time, you’ll find her trying new restaurants and experimenting in the kitchen.
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