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Trial and error was baker’s mentor

By Staff | Jan 18, 2013

Dianne Andersen prepares a plate of treats recently at her Humboldt home.



HUMBOLDT – Dianne Andersen, a lifelong Humboldt area resident, is known for treats she bakes for friends and family. What might surprise other, she said, is that she hasn’t always known her way around a kitchen.

Andersen said when she was first married she was not skilled in the kitchen.

“I couldn’t cook for nothing,” she said. “I wasn’t all that interested in learning, but it evolved from there.”

THIS IS A sample of some of the goodies Dianne Andersen enjoys baking for Christmas and other occasions. The Danish kringla are made from a recipe she received from her mother-in-law, Fern Andersen.

Learning to cook led to learning from mistakes.

“I learned through trial and error,” said Andersen.

Andersen eventually learned and she became accustomed to cooking for her eventual family of five.

All three of her children, Andersen said, have grown to be great cooks and the grandkids also enjoy helping in the kitchen.

Andersen said she prefers to bake and enjoys baking cut out cookies for most holidays. She gives them away to friends and neighbors and mails them to the children so they each get their own plate.

Dianne Andersen

In addition to baking cut out cookies, Andersen said, she also bakes a variety of bread, giving those away as well. She said her son, Craig Andersen, enjoyed helping with bread baking when he was younger. His bread, Andersen said, was commonly used for gifts to teachers.

“I enjoy making something and giving it to other people to enjoy,” she said.

Andersen said she’s had her cut out cookie for a very long time. All of her children helped when they were growing up and her right hand now is her husband.

The Danish kringla she makes is a recipe from her mother-in-law, Fern Andersen. She used to make more than 1,000 cookies each year to give away, and Andersen said she only wishes she could make them as fast as she could.

The Andersens have been married for 44 years. Their three children are Debbie Place, and her husband, Dave Place, of Hampton; Darcy Hickethier, and her husband, Craig Hickethier, of Iowa Falls; and David Andersen, and his wife, Sheri Andersen, of Rockwell City.

They also have seven grandchildren, two great-grandchildren and a great-grandchild due in February.

Cut out cookies

3 cups flour

2 teaspoons cream of tartar

Dash of salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup margarine

2 eggs

1 cup white sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

Combine flour, cream of tartar, salt and soda.

Cut in margarine like a fine pie crust. In a small bowl, beat the eggs. Add sugar and vanilla, mix well.

Add egg mixture to flour mixture. Combine together with a fork. Roll 1/4 to 1/3 of the batter on floured surface to desired thickness. Cut out with favorite cookie shapes.

Place on greased cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly brown.

Turning pan halfway through.

Yields about 50 cookies per batch. They can be made ahead of time, covered and refrigerated.

Danish kringla

3 cups flour

1 1/2 cups real butter

1/2 teaspoon yeast

1 cup whipping cream, soured

Sour the whipping cream the night before by adding one teaspoon lemon juice or one teaspoon of vinegar.

Combine flour and yeast, cut in butter to a fine crumble.

Add soured whipping cream and mix together with a fork. Roll 1/4 of the dough fairly thin on a lightly floured surface.

Spread dough with whipping cream and plenty of sugar. Cut dough into narrow strips long enough to form a pretzel shape. Place dough on greased cookie sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 6 to 8 minutes or until lightly browned, turning pan halfway through.

Remove from pan immediately.

Pineapple bread

1 cup white sugar

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon mace

1 egg

1 8-ounce can crushed pineapple with the juice

1/2 cup milk

1/4 cup oil

3/4 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix ingredients together.

Pour into greased bread pan. Makes three to four loaves or five small loves or seven mini loaves.

Bake 40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Cream of potato soup

3 cups potatoes, cubed

2 cups water

1/2 cup celery, chopped

1/2 cup carrots, peeled and sliced

1/4 cup onions, chopped

1 teaspoon parsley flakes

1 teaspoon salt

Dash of pepper

1 chicken bouillon cube

1 1/2 cups milk

2 tablespoons flour

1/2 pound Velveeta cheese, cubed

Combine first nine ingredients and simmer until cooked.

Remove from heat. Mix flour and milk together. Stir into soup mixture.

Return to heat. Add cheese and stir until melted.

Pumpkin dessert

Mix together:

1 cup flour

1/2 cup quick oatmeal

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup margarine

In a separate bowl mix together:

1 cup evaporated milk

2 eggs

3/4 cup white sugar

1 can pumpkin

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/4 teaspoon cloves

1/2 teaspoon salt

Pour first mixture into a greased 9-by-13-inch pan. Bake 15 minutes at 350 degrees.

Pour second mixture onto first layer and bake for an additional 20 minutes.

Mix with a fork:

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons softened margarine

Crumble on top of baked second layer and bake an additional 20 minutes.

Serve when cool and can be served with dollops of whipped topping.


8 ounces sour cream

8 ounces Cool Whip

1 cup brown sugar

1 16-ounce can crushed pineapple, drained

2 to 3 pounds red grapes, halved and dried.

Mix all ingredients together and chill thoroughly. Can use fresh diced peaches.

Cherry coconut bars

1 cup flour

1/2 cup margarine, softened

3 tablespoons powdered sugar

2 eggs

1 cup white sugar

1/4 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

3/4 cup chopped nuts

1/2 cup coconut

1/2 cup Maraschino cherries, diced and dried

Mix first three ingredients and spread evenly in a greased 9-by-9-inch pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25-minutes. Beat eggs, add remaining ingredients and pour on top of first layer.

Bake for an additional 25 minutes. Cool.

Cut into small squares as they are very rich.

This recipe can be easily doubled for a 9-13-inch pan, adding extra time for the second layer to bake.


1 cup white sugar

1 stick margarine, softened

4 eggs

1 can Hershey’s chocolate syrup

1 cup flour

Cream sugar and margarine. Add eggs and mix.

Add syrup and flour. Mix thoroughly.

Pour into greased jelly roll pan and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Cool and frost.

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