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Hwy. 29 • Parkers Prairie • 218-338-4392 • Toll Free 866-939-4392 Gifts, Jewelry, Ornaments Fresh Cut Trees, Wreaths, Garlands, Swags Specializing Everything in Shop in Thoughtfullnesses In Parkers Prairie is Priced Much, for Wedding, Funerals, Much, Much Lower Than Any Parties & Special Sales Special Occasions Telefloral n 24-7 Ordering Service ‘Tis the season for holiday Wedding Consultation • Call 218-338-6217 Open: Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. • Sat. 9 a.m.-1 p.m. baking - it’s better with butter n Fresh Flowers n Silk Flowers n Plants n Balloons n Baskets We’re here to serve you. Cookie, Becky, Carol When it comes to whipping up holiday treats, Here is a perfect recipe featuring traditional butter is deﬁnitely better. You’re gearing up ﬂavors that everyone is sure to love. Savvy shopping tips for a for the season and will be spending lots of quality time with the herd. Spend time with Gingerbread Cupcakes your own family in the kitchen this holiday Yield: 12 cupcakes season and bake up special memories. Ingredients: stress-free holiday season Found in almost every pantry, butter’s For cupcakes: ‘Tis the season to be shopping. And, as holiday unique ﬂavor, melting and cooking proper- 1/2 cup molasses shopping lists continue to grow with family, ties make it a great ingredient for cake and 3/4 cup very hot water friends, co-workers and even teachers to buy gifts cookie recipes, frostings, candies and more. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda for, it’s important to be a smart shopper and not 4 tablespoons unsalted California butter, only stretch your dollars but also ﬁnd quality gifts Butter has been used for cooking for centu- softened for everyone on your list. ries - according to legend, it originated when 1/2 cup ﬁrmly packed brown sugar a traveler somewhere transported a contain- 1 large egg Mom expert Stacy DeBroff of MomCentral.com er of fresh milk and unwittingly churned the 1/4 teaspoon salt has mastered how to shop for the holidays stress- cream to butter with each step. As you begin 1 teaspoon ground ginger free while still managing to get thoughtful gifts ev- to break out the baking sheets and cookie 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon eryone will appreciate. “This holiday season, you cutters for the holiday season, here are some 1 1/3 cups all purpose ﬂour have to get creative when it comes to shopping for many people on a limited budget,” says Debroff. tips to ensure your goodies look and taste 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder “Even if you have just $5 or $10 dollars to spend fabulous straight from the oven: on a person, there are great options out there; you For frosting: just have to be wise about your purchasing deci- Baking with butter tips from California hap- 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature sions.” py cows Janice and Diane: 2 tablespoons unsalted California butter, room temperature DeBroff’s No.1 holiday shopping strategy is to be * Most baking recipes call for unsalted but- 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted prepared and get organized for the hustle and bustle the season brings. She also suggests: ter (also referred to as sweet butter). How- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract ever, salted and unsalted butter can be sub- 12 small gingerbread-man cookies * Start early and stock up. Nothing’s worse than rushing into the mall, ﬁghting trafﬁc and stituted for each other if necessary. crowds for last-minute gifts. When you ﬁnd a gift you really like, consider giving that same Directions: gift to more than one person. Buy several, wrap them right away, and store them until the * It’s best to use unsalted butter when bak- Cupcakes: time of gift giving comes around. ing - you will have more control over the ﬂa- Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and ﬂour in- * Call ahead. If there’s a particular hot gift you’re looking to buy, like the latest kids’ toys, vor since the amount of salt in salted butter sides of 12 mufﬁn cups or insert paper lin- call the store ﬁrst and make sure it’s in stock. Also, call ahead to verify store shopping hours. varies among brands. ers. Mix molasses, hot water and baking Often during the holidays retailers will extend their store hours to accommodate shopper’s soda together in a large bowl. Cool to room busy schedules. * Many recipes call for a greased pan. Rub- temperature. With an electric mixer, cream bing a stick of butter along the sides and bot- butter and brown sugar until ﬂuffy. Beat in * Chip in together for big ticket items. Group gifting has become one of the latest shopping tom of your baking dish or baking sheet will egg. In a large bowl, sift together salt, ginger, trends. In fact, 83 percent of women and 75 percent of men say they’ve participated in group ensure nothing sticks during removal. cinnamon, ﬂour and baking powder. In three gifting and plan to do so again this holiday season. Sears offers Givetogether a great online additions, alternately add dry ingredients tool so you can gather together with friends and family to share in the cost of a great gift. * Read recipes carefully to know what tem- and molasses mixture to butter mixture. Mix From home electronics and appliances to jewelry, housewares and apparel, you will ﬁnd the perature the butter should be for baking. thoroughly after each addition to make sure best selection and gift options for everyone on your list. Some recipes call for softened butter or there are no lumps. “For me, Givetogether is a better way to shop and makes it easier for families and friends to melted butter, while recipes for dough usu- Evenly divide batter between cupcake molds. pool their money together to give a great gift with lots of thought behind it,” says DeBroff. ally call for cold or hard butter for a ﬂakier Bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle “This online shopping tool really taps the social power of the Internet to allow a group to give texture. comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Cool for a more signiﬁcant gift than they could manage individually.” 15 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the * Use only sticks of butter when baking to pans. Cool completely before frosting Lastly, remember to spread the holiday cheer with acts of kindness as you shop. After all, that ensure even measurements. Measuring is could be the greatest gift you give this season. easy using the printed measurement on the Frosting: wrapper: With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add butter, sugar and vanilla Tips to manage credit card debt 1/4 pound = 1 stick = 1/2 cup extract. Beat until smooth. If cream cheese Loan consolidation has its ups and downs, but, front of you will help you to determine the best 1 pound = 4 sticks = 2 cups is very soft, refrigerate for 30 minutes. With if handled properly, it can help a family afford to steps for bringing your debts under control. a piping bag, swirl cream cheese frosting on get out from under debt. * Do the math * Some butter packaging is stamped with top of each cupcake. (You can also frost them a “best used by” date, intended to tell how with a table knife or small spatula.) Place a The average American household had $8,329 in Calculate the interest rates for all the debts long the product will be at top eating quality. gingerbread-man cookie on top of frosting or credit card debt in 2008, according to the Nil- you’re paying now, and then calculate what It can be kept at room temperature for short wedge the cookie into each cupcake. son Report in April. And that didn’t depend on your new interest payments will be for all the if the household currently had an active credit different consolidation options. The concern is periods of time, but should be refrigerated to card open. that the new single interest rate through your maintain peak ﬂavor. credit card or bad credit loans will probably be “Debt control and management is a possibility a higher amount, so you need to make sure your Did you know that California produces more for everyone,” says Daniel Wesley at Credit- overall payments are fewer than what you’re butter than any other state in the U.S. and Loan.com. “And there are many resources avail- currently paying on multiple debts. able - ranging from credit consolidation compa- exported 555 million pounds in 2008? Look nies to credit counselors - that can help people * Determine the risk for the Real California Milk seal on pack- bring their debt to a manageable level.” ages of butter, which certiﬁes it’s made ex- You can consolidate all your debt to one credit clusively with milk produced on California Some tips to help evaluate if debt consolidation card that has a lower interest rate now, but there dairy farms. is an option for you are: is the risk that those rates will increase in a year. And if you don’t have your debt paid down that * Get organized quickly, this type of consolidation probably Cupcakes are one of our favorite treats, and won’t make the best sense. Another type of con- a popular baking trend that has inspired List all the debts you have, all the interest rates solidation is taking out a home equity loan, but both pastry chefs and home bakers alike. you’re paying and all the annual income your with this, you have the risk of your home being family brings in. Having all this information in taken away if you default on the payments.