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Column: Giving up a year of holiday baking

It seems this past year went so fast, starting with our early spring election ads, meetings, and candidates filing for open spots. Our spring was followed by an almost perfect summer, just the right amount of moisture, very few mosquitoes and a few days of hot weather that resulted in perfect fall foliage.

The majority of farm products were harvested and the last I heard only 19 percent of the sugar beets were left in the ground.

Early this spring we opened our Twins Stadium. During the summer we waited to see how our Minnesota Gophers would do in their new stadium. It wasn't until we replaced the Viking and Gopher coaches we saw our teams win.

Now the days are slipping by until Christmas. This year I so looked forward to making a few batches of cookies that I haven't made recently.

I was at my care conference when the doctor asked if I had made plans for Christmas. He told me that I would be in the hospital until after Christmas but if it will help me get rid of the pain, I'll give up one year of baking. Really, nothing surprises.

I've attached two recipes we enjoyed making over the years. They take a little time but make a nice addition to a cookie plate.

Cherry almond balls

3/4 cup soft butter

1/3 cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups all purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup chopped almonds

60 red and/or green candied cherries.

Powdered sugar

In a bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add vanilla. Combine flour and salt and add to creamed mixture. Mix well and stir in almonds.

Roll one teaspoon of dough around each cherry. Place on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 325 degree for 15 to 20 minutes or until lightly brown. Roll in powdered sugar and cool on racks.


2 cups butter, soft

1 pint of vanilla ice cream, soft

4 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons sugar

2 cans cake or pastry filling

1 tablespoon powdered sugar

Beat butter and ice cream. Mixture may appear curdled. Add flour and sugar; mix well. Divide in four portions and refrigerate for two hours. On lightly floured surface, roll into rectangle and cut into small rectangles. Place a teaspoon of filling in center. Place two inches apart on greased baking sheets Bake 350 degrees 11 to 13 minutes. Seal. Cool on cooling rack and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Yield: 10 dozen