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Season’s Greetings!

For every North Texan that was expecting a repeat performance of 2009’s winter wonderland on Christmas Eve, disappointment came in the form of rain this weekend. Still, it could’ve been worse. Most of us were off to enjoy another four-day weekend, and being able to sleep in while it poured outside in 40-degree temperatures, is a rare treat. That is why we love this time of the year; holiday after holiday. We just wrapped up Thanksgiving, and now we’re wrapping gifts for the winter holidays, and soon we’ll be enjoying another day off while we wrap up 2010 and welcome 2011.

And with predictions of a 5.6% increase in manufacturing revenue in 2011 according to the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) semi-annual forecast, we have good things to look forward to in the New Year.

So, while I would love to talk about our new A-frame slabs Bluff Manufacturing now offers and get you excited about this new product, I will save that for another day in a brand new year and instead leave you with an exciting, sugary recipe easy enough for a rookie baker to make over the holidays! These “Bumblebees” are not only great for festive occasions, but are also really easy to make and the ingredients take you to a time and place when all the excitement first began!

All you need is a generous ½ cup dates, scant 1 cup golden raisins, ¾ cup walnuts, 1 tablespoon candied gingerroot (roughly chopped), ¾ dried figs, 1 ½ cups sweetened condensed milk, and sweetened shredded coconut, plus extra for coating.

Preheat oven to 325 degree Fahrenheit and line a large baking sheet with baking parchment. Put the dates, raisins, walnuts, gingerroot, and figs in a food processor and pulse to a coarse mince. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and add the condensed milk and coconut. Stir well to combine. Roll the mixture into tablespoon size balls, coat in extra coconut, place on the lined baking sheet, and bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until lightly golden. These can be stored in an airtight container for up to a month and serve as great gifts for your neighbors, or as little treats for your kids. Happy Baking and Happy Holidays from Bluff Manufacturing!