The Wooden Shoe in Gull Lake, Alberta in known for its wide variety of Dutch goodies, including the New Year’s Eve treat ollie bollen.

Family recipe feeds a tasty New Year’s Eve tradition

200 dozen ollie bollen? No problem for the Wooden Shoe team!

The holidays are all about family, cherished traditions… and delicious food!

You’ll find all three in one taste-tempting mix at The Wooden Shoe Store & Coffee Shop in Gull Lake, Alberta.

And the star of the show this time of year? Definitely the Dutch treat ollie bollen – essentially large donut holes traditionally served as a New Year’s Eve treat.

In flavours including apple, apple cinnamon, apple raisin, raisin and plain, ollie bollen – much tastier sounding in Dutch than when literally translated into English as “oil balls” – are best served warm, with a small dish of icing sugar for dipping.

“Every year since we opened we’ve made the ollie bollen using my mother’s recipe, which she learned from my grandmother, who came to Canada from Holland,” says Wooden Shoe owner Christine Luymes.

“It’s a traditional Dutch treat made on Dec. 31,” Christine says. “But with orders topping 200 dozen, we couldn’t keep up with the orders in one day, so we’ve expanded to two days a few years ago,” Christine says.

Don’t miss out!

Have you got your order in yet? While the Wooden Shoe will keep some of the scrumptious treats on hand for those who drop-in at 40 Lakeview Ave. in the village of Gull Lake, the safest bet is to call the store at 403-748-2000 by Dec. 29 to pre-order.

D.I.Y. Ollie Bollen:

If you’d like to try your hand at making their own ollie bollen at home, the Wooden Shoe also sells the mix.

  1. The right temperature is key to ensure they cook to a light, fluffy inside and golden brown outside. Christine’s fryer is set to 325°F, but experiment a little to get the right temperature for your fryer.
  2. To create ollie bollen of a uniform size, Christine uses an ice cream scoop, but be careful not to over-fill your fryer. When first dropped into the hot oil, the balls will drop to the bottom, then float to the top as they cook. Often they’ll flip themselves over as they cook, but if not, flip and cook until both sides are a golden brown.
  3. Remove from the oil and drain on a paper towel-lined rack, then serve warm with individual dishes of icing sugar for dipping. (If you dust warm treats with the sugar, it will just melt, Christine notes.)

In addition to these New Year’s balls of deliciousness (which in truth are just as delicious year-round), The Wooden Shoe is your source for all manner of Dutch treats, cheeses and more, in addition to yummy breakfasts, lunch and coffee. Visit from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 29, 30 and 31 for their Christmas Breakfast Buffet – and return Saturdays and Sundays year-round for a delicious start to your weekends!


A variety of Dutch treats await at the Wooden Shoe.

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