Iowa Ham Balls

Val Plagge, Franklin County

2.5 lbs. ham loaf
2 eggs
1-1/2 c. graham cracker crumbs
1 c. milk
1 can tomato soup
3/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. vinegar
1 tsp. ground mustard


With a food processor, grind your ham loaf into small chopped pieces (or buy ham loaf mix from local grocery store or butcher — this mix usually contains ham and ground pork, and sometimes ground beef too). Add the eggs, graham cracker crumbs and milk. Mix together with your hands, and form fist-sized ham balls. (If the mixture seems a little dry, you can add 1/4 cup of milk at a time, up to 1-1/2 cups of milk total.) Place ham balls in a 9x13 inch pan. They fit nicely three across and five down. Then mix the soup, brown sugar, vinegar and mustard until smooth.  Drizzle the glaze over the ham balls for the classic ham ball sauce.  (Or if you’re in a rush like I was this past summer, drizzle your favorite BBQ sauce over them!) Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 hour. Yield: 13-15 ham balls. These ham balls freeze well and can be warmed up in a crock pot if desired. 

Cherry Cheese Cake

Pam McCormick, Jasper County

1 pkg. graham crackers (crushed)
1/4 c. sugar
1/3 c. butter
8 oz. cream cheese
14 oz. sweetened condensed milk (eagle brand)
1/3 c. lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla
1 large can cherry pie filling

Instructions: Mix crackers, sugar, butter and press into a square 8x8 glass dish. Combine cream cheese, milk, lemon juice and vanilla, and mix well. Pour over graham cracker crust; top with one large can of cherry pie filling. Then refrigerate for 2 hours. 

Easy Sugar Cookies

Kim Firebaugh, Guthrie County

2-1/2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. shortening
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg

2 tbsp. milk

Instructions: In a bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt, then set aside. In another bowl, cream butter, shortening, sugar and vanilla. Add egg and milk. Stir and blend in flour mixture. Place on cookie sheet by spoonfuls. Flatten cookie dough with glass dipped in sugar. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 8-10 minutes.
Tip: Make the dough the day before, cover and chill in fridge overnight. Dust surface with flour, roll dough out and use cookie cutters. 

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