Satisfy your sweet tooth

<strong>Penny’s Pantry</strong> Penny Case

Penny’s Pantry Penny Case

Reporter Laurie Hamame called me before Christmas. She wanted to come to my home and watch me make a homemade pie to write a holiday story about how to make the perfect pie crust.

I was going to make a sweet potato pie, but I hurt my hip and left leg the day of the interview. I even ended up going to the hospital as the pain was so bad! I thought I broke my hip, but thank God it wasn’t broke. I had a contusion of my muscles. I sure don’t know what caused that. I was laid up for a week!

I have many recipes for pie crust, but I like my mom’s best. It was flaky and melted in your mouth. She always used lard — making the perfect pie crust is all about using lard and less handling of the pie dough. Some people “play” with it too long, which causes the dough after you bake it to be tough and doughy. Pie is my favorite dessert!

I still want to make some sweet potato pies, and I never got around to making pumpkin pies during the holidays this year like I usually do.

The holidays came and went. At least we got snow, but I just couldn’t handle the frigid weather that followed. I wonder what 2018 will bring.

Here is a recipe for creamy and smooth fudge I recently received and made. All you use is a jar of peanut butter and a container of chocolate frosting. You put the peanut butter in the microwave to melt it, then add the frosting, Pour it in a square pan lined with foil or just butter it. Then you cool it (I kept mine in my refrigerator).

It is so simple to make and I can’t believe how good it is. I want to try it with vanilla frosting next to see how it would taste. You could put chopped nuts in it also. I can even imagine putting nuts and mini marshmallows in the chocolate fudge.

Stay warm and drive carefully. Spring is just around the corner. Until next time, enjoy these recipes.

Cappuccino Cookies

• 1 package (about 18 oz.) devil’s food cake mix

• 3/4 cup milk

• 8 egg whites

• 1 tsp. instant coffee granules

• 1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly spray cookie sheets with nonstick cooking spray. Mix cake mix, mild, egg whites, instant coffee, and cinnamon in medium bowl with spatula until well blended. Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheets. Bake five minutes or until the centers are set. Cool one minute on cookie sheets. Remove to wire racks. Cool completely. Makes about four dozen cookies.

Easy Turtle Bars

• 1 package chocolate cake mix

• 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, melted

• 1/4 cup milk

• 1 cup (6 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate chips

• 1 cup chopped pecans, divided

• 1 jar (12 oz.) caramel ice cream topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9×13 pan with cooking spray. Combine cake mix, butter, and milk in large bowl. Stir until well blended. Spread half of mixture into prepared pan. Bake seven to eight minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Sprinkle chocolate chips and half of the pecans oven partially baked crust. Drizzle with caramel topping. Drop spoonfuls of remaining batter over the caramel. Sprinkle with remaining pecans. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until the top springs back when lightly touched. Caramel center will be soft. Cool completely in a pan or wire rack. Makes about 32 bars.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

• 1 package (16 oz.) pound cake mix

• 3 eggs, divided

• 1 tbsp. butter or margarine, melted

• 4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice, divided

• 1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened

• 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)

• 1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin

• 1 cup chopped nuts

• 1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl on low speed, combine cake mix, one egg, butter, and 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice until crumbly. Press into bottom of ungreased 15×10 jelly roll pan. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually beat in sweetened condensed milk until smooth. Beat in remaining two eggs, pumpkin, remaining 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Mix well. Pour into prepared crust. Sprinkle with nuts. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until set. Cool. Chill. Cut into bars. Store leftovers, covered, in refrigerator. Makes four dozen bars.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Candy Bars

• 1 package devil’s food or dark chocolate cake mix

• 1 can (5 oz.) evaporated milk

• 1/3 cup melted butter

• 1/2 cup dry-roasted peanuts

• 4 packages chocolate peanut butter cups, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 13×9 baking pan. Beat cake mix, milk, and butter in a large bowl with electric mix at medium speed until well blended (dough will be stiff). Spread 2/3 of dough in prepared pan. Sprinkle with peanuts. Bake 10 minutes, remove from oven, and sprinkle with chopped candy. Drop remaining dough by large tablespoons over candy. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until the center is firm to the touch. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Makes about 24 bars.

Apricot Drops

• 1 package yellow cake mix with pudding in the mix

• 1/2 cup flour

• 1/2 cup vegetable oil

• 2 eggs

• 1 cup chopped dried apricots

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix cake mix, flour, oil, and eggs in a bowl until well blended. Stir in apricots. Drop dough by teaspoons onto greased cookie sheet. Bake eight to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool one minute. Put on wire racks to cool. Makes three dozen cookies.

Penny Case is a lifelong resident of Wellington who loves to cook and share recipes. Send recipes to her at 22 Johns St. or at

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