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Legends and cookies of Christmas 5: Poinsettias and No-Bake Christmas Cookies

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This is the fifth in a series of articles regarding some of the Legends of Christmas, each of which will be accompanied with a Christmas cookie recipe. Share these legends with your family as you make your cookies for special family times.

There is no other flowered plant that says Christmas like the poinsettia. It was first brought to the United States by Dr. Joel Poinsett, the first ambassador to Mexico. The legend related to this bright red star-shaped flower also originated in Mexico.

Once there was a brother-sister pair, Pablo and Maria, who were very poor. They lived in a village and barely had enough food to make two full meals a day. As Christmas approached, the festivities, parades and parties being held in the village attracted the children. In particular, all the children were eager to go to the large manger scene set up by the village church where each would give the Baby Jesus their best present.

Maria and Pablo also wished to get expensive gifts the Christ Child would love. Yet, as they listened to all the other boys and girls discuss what they would buy to give to Baby Jesus, Maria and Pablo knew there was no money for them to purchase for Him nor did they have anything suitable to use as a gift.

In spite of that, Maria and Pablo felt compelled to visit the baby at least once and provide Him a gift. They decided to go to the manger earlier than the others, plucking some weeds growing along the roadside to make a soft bed for Baby Jesus and decorate His crib. The other children arrived before the two completed their decorations and were teased mercilessly. They were close to tears from their shame and helplessness.

Suddenly a miracle occurred. The weeds burst into bright red petals that looked like stars and were so beautiful that everyone was in awe as they looked at them. It was then that everyone realized that a gift of love was more important to Jesus than anything money could buy. Poinsettias have been a staple of Christmas decorations ever since.

Share this story with your family as you make these No-Bake Christmas Krispies.


3 cups Rice Krispies

1 cup dried/desiccated coconut

¾ cup powdered milk

½ cup powdered sugar

60 grams (2 ounces) mixed candied fruit, chopped

60 grams (2 ounces) red and green candied cherries, chopped

¼ cup raisins

125 grams (4 ½ ounces) white vegetable shortening

125 grams (4 ½ ounces) white chocolate chips


  1. Brush 9” x 13” pan with oil. Line base and sides with parchment paper.
  2. Combine Rice Krispies, coconut, powdered milk, powdered sugar, and all fruit in a large bowl.
  3. Chop up shortening and put it with the chocolate in the top of a double boiler over simmering water. Stir until mixture is melted and smooth. Combine chocolate and Rice Krispie mixture.
  4. Press into prepared pan and refrigerate until set.
  5. Remove from pan and allow to stand for 10 minutes. Cut into squares with sharp knife.


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