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Baking is her forte

By Staff | Jan 13, 2012

Beth Hulstein, of rural Melvin, whips up a batch of her Swedish white brownies.


Farm News staff writer

MELVIN – Beth Hulstein, and her husband, Rodney Hulstein, are grain farmers west of this central Ocseola County community.

The Hulsteins farm 320 acres with sons Scott and Mark.Scott and Janie Hulstein live on the home place with their three girls. Beth and Rod Hulstein built a new home just a few miles down the road.

“When we built this house,” said Beth Hulstein, “I wanted to arrange my kitchen so that I could entertain my guests and not have them seeing a mess in my kitchen.”

The farm cook has both formal and informal dining areas accessible from the main living room. The kitchen is settled between both dining areas.”I think my kitchen is one of the most efficient I’ve seen,” Hulstein said.

Hulstein has a knack for the art of baking. “I am often asked to provide goodies for events at our church or for family gatherings. So often the recipe is also requested.”

The holidays were a busy time for the family. Hulstein said they try and fix some old favorites for their Christmas celebrations, but they also like to try new things. “We like variety and trying something different,” she said.

The couple prefers living close to their children and grandchildren, but, Hulstein said, they “love to travel and plan at least two major trips each year.”

They recently returned from Oregon and enjoy sharing tales of all the people places and things they have seen all across the United States.

Whether it’s driving up the East Coast or cruising the Caribbean, this farm couple is often on the move.

Almond bars


1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup Crisco

2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

Add 3-4 tablespoons of water to make a rollable dough. Cool for awhile in the refrigerator. Roll out half of the dough and put in a 9-by-13-inch pan.

Pour in filling and cover with the remaining rolled out dough. Polk holes in the top crust with a fork.


4 egg yolks

2 cups sugar

4 teaspoons almond extract

8 tablespoons milk

6 tablespoons flour

Mix filling ingredients all together.

Bake on middle rack at 450 degrees for 10 minutes. Brush with milk and sugar and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

Best carmel corn

1 cup unpopped popcorn

3 cups brown sugar

3/4 cup corn syrup

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

Pop corn in a large heavy pan, mix brown sugar and corn syrup. Stir constantly over medium heat until mixture starts to boil. Boil for five minutes. Stir in soda and remove from heat.

Quickly stir mixture into popcorn. Use two 9-by-13-inch cake pans. Bake at 200 degrees for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes.

Remove from pans, break apart and cool.

Almond coffee cake

3/4 cup softened butter

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs

Pinch of salt

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 teaspoons almond extract

Cream butter and sugar together, then add eggs. Mix in flour, vanilla, almond extract and salt.

This mixture will be very thick. Spread into a 9-inch greased and floured spring-form pan. Sprinkle with sugar and sliced almonds.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes at 350 degrees. Let cool before taking out of pan.

Swedish white brownies

4 eggs

2 cups of sugar

2 cups of flour

1/4 tsp of baking powder

1/2 tsp of salt

1 cup of melted butter

2 teaspoons almond extract

Powdered sugar

Beat the eggs and sugar well. Add the rest of the ingredients except powdered sugar.

Pour into greased and floured 9-by-13-inch baking pan.

Bake at 325 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Contact Robyn Kruger at rangerob@hickorytech.net.

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