Hunter serves up sweet treats

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 23, 2007

DEMOPOLIS &8212; Ann Hunter has been cooking as long as she can remember. One of her specialties is making desserts, which she has been making for friends and family for many years.

Although she has been retired for the last five years, she is still busy with her hobbies: cooking and gardening.

Hunter says she is always experimenting and trying different things. She also boasts an extensive recipe collection, numbering in the thousands, that she has collected for a long time.

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In addition to cooking for small groups, she has been able to cook for some larger events as well. Recently, she made all the desserts for a three-day leadership conference held at her church, First Christian Church in Demopolis.

Even when she is cooking for a large group, such as the 65 to 70 attendees at the conference, she prefers to cook in her kitchen at home.

Another memorable cooking feat was helping to cook for her family reunion held in Forkland two years ago. She and her niece were responsible for the menu for approximately 70 people.

When asked what her favorite thing to cook was, she responded, &8220;I really enjoy cooking everything. But what people ask me to make most often are my chocolate chip cookies.&8221;

Hunter says her chocolate chip cookies are a favorite because she likes to mix up the recipe. Sometimes she uses peanuts in them instead of the traditional walnut. Other times she will forgo real nuts at all and add coconut. Either way, she always has someone asking her to make more.

Her chocolate chip cookies have also traveled great distances to please hungry stomachs. She regularly sends cookies to her children. Her son, Will, lives in New York and has a job working for the NFL. Her daughter, Gemara, lives in Orlando and is a teacher.

Hunter learned most of what she knows about cooking and baking from her mother, who was the head cook at what used to be Food Fair.

One of her mother&8217;s specialties was teacakes, which Hunter remembers fondly.

Not all of her recipes have come out exactly the way she wanted them too, however. She once tried to duplicate a dessert that was similar to an apple dumpling at a local bakery. When she tried to recreate the apple dish, her luck was not so good.

In spite of this mishap, she has been able to come up with some very quick and delicious desserts. One of them is what she calls an &8220;apple basket,&8221; which is essentially apples wrapped up in a doughy basket. She came up with the recipe at the spur of the moment.

Now the simple dish is a regular one that she makes, it&8217;s also one of her husband&8217;s favorites.

Whether she is cooking for loved ones, or for large groups, Hunter says she just enjoys making good food.

Some of Hunter&8217;s favorite recipes include:

Cinnamon Apple Basket

1 prepared crust

3 sliced Granny Smith apples

1/2 cup sugar

1 Tablespoon cinnamon

1 Tablespoon nutmeg

2 Tablespoons flour

Unroll crust and let set until it reaches room temperature. Slice apples very thin. In a separate bowl, combine sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg. Roll out crust to the size of a dinner plate. Add apples to the cinnamon mixture and mix well. Pour apples into the middle of the crust and fold edges to form a small basket. Place onto a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees until the crust is golden brown, approximately 45 minutes. You can also brush the crust with butter to get it extra brown. Serve hot.

Lemon Berry Cheesecake

1 graham cracker crust

1 8 oz. package cream cheese,


1/2 cup Lemonade mix

2 Tablespoons sugar

1/2 cup milk

1 8 oz. container of whipped


Beat cream cheese, drink mix and sugar in a large bowl until well blended. Gradually add in milk, mixing until well blended. Gently stir in whipped topping, being careful not to beat it. Spoon mixture into crust. Refrigerate for one hour or until ready to serve. Garnish with fresh berries of your choice.

Spicy Rum Cookies.

1 box spice cake mix

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 cup water

1/3 cup molasses

2 Tablespoons vanilla extract

Preheat over to 375 and grease a cookie sheet. In a large bowl, stir together cake mix, baking soda and ginger. Make a well in the center of the mixture and pour in water, molasses and vanilla. Thoroughly blend all the ingredients together. Roll into 10 balls and place them 3 inches apart onto the prepared cookie sheet. Flatten lightly with a fork. Bake 13 to 15 minutes or until the tops are cracked and the cookies are firm. Remove from cookie sheet and spread icing on each cookie.

2 cups confectioner&8217;s sugar

1/4 cup whole milk

2 Tablespoons dark rum

Combine all ingredients and spread over top of cooled cookies.