Fans of Christmas cookies -- and the endearing stories behind them -- will get an early present from NewsTalk 910 KKSF. On Saturday, the station's Dining Around program will broadcast the Holiday Cookie Exchange, the popular competition that got Scrooged out of its former radio home last holiday season.

Host-commentator Gene Burns, who founded the cookie exchange years ago, will be one of the judges on this show, now hosted by Joel Riddell, his protégé and longtime producer. (The other celebrity judges will include Hubert Keller, Margrit Mondavi, Brian Boitano and Ritz-Carlton pastry chef Cindy Falatic.) The format's the same: Hundreds of amateur bakers submitted their signature cookie recipes, and those entries were winnowed to 25. All 25 contestants will be on hand for Saturday's live finale, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and home bakers will find all of their recipes posted afterward on www.newstalk910.com.

And if you'd like to offer holiday greetings to Burns -- the erudite host has been off the air while recovering from a stroke -- Riddell says you may send a card to Gene Burns, c/o NewsTalk 910 Radio, 340 Townsend St., San Francisco, CA 94107.

-- Linda Zavoral