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LET'S COOK: Almond cake for Christmas

December 8, 2017
Chuck Repnow , Pierce County Tribune

It was a magic evening in the Magic City as I stood in our yard on University Avenue. The moon was shining on the glistening mantle of freshly-fallen snow. The reflection of preparing for Christmas was initiated in this moment. Lighted Christmas trees, snowmen, strings of merry lights, garlands and wreaths, stand like sentinels on our street. It was inspiring! Our addition to the sentinels came in the form of lighted Christmas candles.

Electric Christmas candles are a favorite of mine always have been because they are inviting and can be used with a variety of colored blubs. Orange is the Christmas bulb favorite in our home with clear bulbs making an appearance in the New Year. My Grandpa Repnow, who had the joy of celebrating 101 Christmases, always put a lighted orange candle in the window. He was from Germany and mentioned that this tradition and glowing color reminded him of Christmas back home.

What colors of Christmas does your eye and heart hold? Perhaps the flame of poinsettia and holly red, bright papers and ribbons, the kaleidoscope of cards or the church trimmed in tradition.

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With our move to Minot came finding a new church home and that is now First Lutheran in Minot. We enjoy being at First Lutheran and also participating in one of the weekly traditions which is coffee and treats being served after church. We attempt to serve the first Sunday of Advent as we prepare for the coming of Christmas, and did so last week. Oh, what to serve for coffee?

Scandinavian Almond Cake, Chex party mix, and homemade Cranberry Jewel punch are becoming our tradition for this coffee gathering. These are go-to favorites in our home this time of the year, and they can be dressed up or down. They take little time to prepare and yet are very tasty. So with easy to make recipes, one can accept the bountiful life you deserve of decorating the table with the colors of Christmas.

Another advantage of this duet is that they can be made well in advance, thus allowing one of plug-in electric Christmas candles or better yet giving you time to hold your heart to the unchanging joys of preparing for Christmas. The shining star that led wise men on to the Babe in his mother's arms, and reflecting of "Peace on earth; good will to all men."

Fact Box

Scandinavian Almond Cake

It is best made in the almond cake pan you can find at baking or hardware stores. I have made it in other pans and had success such as mini hearts or even recycled small tin cans.

- Spray pan with Pam or cooking spray.

- 1 1/4 cup sugar

- 1 egg

- 1 teaspoon almond extract

- 2/3 cup milk

- 1 cup flour

- teaspoon baking powder

- 1 stick of butter melted

Beat well the sugar, egg extract and milk. Add the flour and baking powder blending to smooth and then add the butter.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes. Edges must be golden brown. Very important, COOL in pan before removing. Cake will break if removed too soon.

You can serve this plain with jelly, sprinkle with confectionary sugar, or decorate with frosting.

If you desire you can sprinkle in your baking pan almonds before adding batter.

Chex Party Mix

This is a difficult recipe. Take a trip to the store, locate the Chex Party Mix seasoning packet and follow the directions on the back! I have made homemade party mix but I feel it lacks tastes so this is one time I say "get the store mix seasoning packet."



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