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Cooking and baking with Wisconsin products supports local farmers and processors, and gives your holiday dishes a fresher taste. Look to Wisconsin for everything from cheese and sausage to fruits, vegetables, meats, sauces and condiments. All year long, the tastes of Wisconsin products are truly hard to beat.

CTL Foods, Inc. provides the perfect ingredient for any dessert. They have been blending and packaging Soda Fountain® Malted Milk Powder for over 40 years. Thanks to real dairy ingredients in every batch, their malt has a premium, fresh malty taste.

Their recipe for Malty Puppy Chow is delicious, and – caution – it can be addicting! Substitute half of the powdered sugar in a traditional puppy chow recipe for a unique taste on a classic. Be sure to use real, Wisconsin butter in the recipe for the freshest taste.

Malty Puppy Chow

¾ cup peanut butter

1 cup chocolate chips

¼ cup Wisconsin butter

8 cups rice squares cereal (Rice Chex)

1 cup powdered sugar

1 cup Soda Fountain® Malted Milk Powder

Add dried Wisconsin cranberries for an added Wisconsin flavor

Melt the peanut butter, chocolate chips, and butter together. Pour over the cereal in a large kettle or bowl and stir well.  Pour the powdered sugar and malted milk powder into a large brown bag or plastic zip lock bag and add the cereal. Fold the bag to seal and shake well to coat evenly.  Add dried cranberries if you choose.

Original spice blends from Spark Spices can spark up any entree, side dish, or appetizer this holiday season. Their spice-maker has 30 years of dried spice experience and works to create unique spice blends ensuring that your taste buds will spark!

Visit their website for great recipe ideas full of unique flavor experiences. I made their zesty snap cranberry dip, and just like the malty puppy chow, it is addicting! The dried cranberries add the perfect mix of sweet and zesty to the dip, and highlight our state fruit.

Zesty Snap Cranberry Dip

8 oz. cream cheese

½ cup sour cream

¼ cup dried Wisconsin cranberries

2 T. Spark Spices Zesty Snap seasoning

Blend cream cheese, sour cream and Zesty Snap seasoning together. Mix in dried cranberries.

A true family company, Inthewoods Sugar Bush mixes maple traditions with the latest technology to make their products. Their maple syrup is award winning, and has claimed multiple blue-ribbon awards. Located in Manitowoc, they tap approximately 1,300 maple trees each year.

Pure Wisconsin maple syrup is not only delicious on pancakes, but is also great for baking. The recipe below includes both Wisconsin maple syrup and real Wisconsin butter. Cook and bake with local, Wisconsin butter to support our state’s dedicated dairy farmers.

Maple Sugar Cookies

3 cups all-purpose flour

½ tsp. salt

1 cup Wisconsin butter

½ cup granulated sugar

½ cup light brown sugar

1 large egg yolk

½ cup Inthewoods Pure Wisconsin Maple Syrup

Preheat oven to 325°F.  Beat butter and sugars until pale and fluffy.  Add the egg yolk and mix until fully combined. Repeat step with maple syrup, flour, and salt, mixing after each.

Scoop dough, roll into a ball and place on lined baking sheet. Chill cookies until firm.    Bake cookies for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned on edges. Cool for 5 minutes and transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

Order all of these Something Special from Wisconsin™ products online for easy holiday shopping. The Something Special from Wisconsin program requires at least half of the ingredients, production, or processing come from Wisconsin. Search for CTL Foods, Spark Spices, Inthewoods Sugar Bush, and more great Wisconsin products at somethingspecialwi.com.

Abigail Martin is serving as Wisconsin's 72nd Alice in Dairyland.

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