When I was younger, my family lived in Wimbledon, N.D., a small farming community west of the Red River Valley. My grandpa was one in a long line of farmers, so I was used to seeing the rolling hills of ripening wheat, barley and sunflowers as harvest was nearing.
When we moved to Hillsboro, the fields looked decidedly different. Hillsboro and Wimbledon are only about 100 miles apart, but the scenery – and the farming – was quite different.
I had never before seen a sugar beet, but suddenly harvest was less about golden heads of wheat waving in the August sun, and more about the green and black of the sugar beet fields, completely parallel with the horizon line, and the nip of fall in the air.
I’ve gotten used to the sight – and smell – of sugar beets in the years since, but I never fail to be impressed with the impact they have on this area.
I also never fail to feel a surge of pride every time I pick up a bag of sugar at the store. It reminds me of a time when I was in college and when I mentioned my hometown, a classmate asked, “Do you know the people who make the American Crystal sugar?” I chuckled at the mental image of like two people sitting there slicing and boiling beets by hand.
But yes, I know many of the people who make the American Crystal sugar, and I know how hard they’re working – especially this time of year.
I am grateful for their hard work because I love homemade goodies and – especially in a recipe like this with few ingredients – using the best-quality products you can find is paramount.
We’ve been baking cookies or bars at least once a week since school started because I’m raising a little food snob who refuses to eat store-bought cookies for his snack break (not that I blame him). But I like to vary the lineup and throw in some new additions to keep things interesting.
This is a variation of a recipe I found on a cooking app. I like flourless cookies and cakes because I like a dense versus cakey texture. These cookies depend on eggs for their structure, so they develop a crackly, almost meringue-like top but keep a soft and fudgy interior.
These cookies also are naturally gluten-free, if you have dietary restrictions.
For the recipe, please subscribe to the Banner's online or print edition.