Out of Helens Kitchen - A recipe dedicated to a friend


Helen Drysdale
Neepawa Banner & Press

This week’s recipe is dedicated to a special person that was taken away suddenly in a tragic accident. Mary Anne Nylen was a true friend who made time for people. She shared her baking, energy and wonderfully positive attitude towards life with everyone. Her beautiful smile and laughter will be sadly missed. Mary Anne hooked me on to spelt. She gave me this recipe after I tasted her delicious cookies this winter.

Spelt is a cereal grain in the durum wheat family, but it is not the same thing as wheat (same genus, different species). The grain has been cultivated for centuries, in both central Europe and the Middle East.  Spelt has a unique nutty flavor and, because of its high water solubility, its vital nutrients are quickly absorbed into the body. Rolled spelt can be stored up to a year in the freezer or 6 months in the pantry. Spelt flour is best stored in the freezer and will last up to 6 months. It is not readily available in all grocery stores, but most specialty stores have it. It is also available from organic growers, Pat and Larry Pollock who live outside of Brandon. They sell any quantity of rolled spelt or flour and can be reached at 204-728-7672.

Spelt cookies

1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
2/3 white sugar
2 well beaten eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups spelt flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
3 cups rolled spelt
1 1/2 -2 cups of your choice of raisins, chocolate chips, pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds or a mixture of several.

Cream butter and sugars together. Add the eggs and vanilla. In another bowl mix the flour, salt, soda and cinnamon. Stir in to the creamed mixture. Add the rolled spelt. Add the extra goodies as chosen. Drop from teaspoon onto a lightly greased cookie sheet. They spread so do not place them too close together. Bake at 375° for 10-12 minutes.