Sewickley church offers way to fill cookie trays

| Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Jack Morrow, 88, never cooked a thing until he retired, but now, he is “famous” for his peanut brittle, Sewickley United Methodist Church members said.

The former optometrist of Moon never fails to donate about five pounds of the treat to the church's cookie walk. The eighth such event is being held Saturday.

He said he has been making the peanut brittle for more than 20 years and makes 45 pounds every Christmas season to send to friends and relatives as far away as Texas.

“I just found a recipe one day and thought I'd try it out. There usually isn't any left over after the cookie walk,” he said.

He and his late wife, Ruthanne, known as “Tanny,” used to make the peanut brittle together. He held the pan, and she scraped the mixture out and onto the aluminum foil. After she died many years ago, Morrow said, he bought another type of pan and found a way to do both jobs.

He said he tries to make the brittle special by using “actual” butter and ordering 20 pounds of raw peanuts that he picks up at the George J. Howe Co., a candy company in Grove City.

Morrow said at one point he also made butterscotch because he remembered “quite vividly” he and his grandfather making it together when he was a child. But he decided to stick with one specialty and chose the peanut brittle.

Morrow also likes to make peanut crisps this time of year for his family. He said his mother made extra each year because they were Morrow's favorite cookie. When she died, he began making them himself and shares them with his three children and four grandchildren.

Along with Morrow's peanut brittle, another favorite at the cookie walk is ladylocks made by church member Lou Ann Scott and her daughter, Aimee Scott, who is a baker at T-Bones Marketplace in Marshall.

Church teens got together at the church to fill the lady locks last week. Several bakers made about 40 dozen sugar cutout cookies one night and then decorated them another night at the church.

Also included among the more than 30 kinds of cookies and treats at the event will be fudge, shortbread, pizzelles, snickerdoodles, lemon squares, macaroons, truffles, tassies, rum raisin balls, buckeyes, peanut butter kisses, brownies, gingerbread men, pinwheels and thumbprints.

This year, 33 bakers, consisting of women, teens and two men, will participate. Most will make their treats at home and take them to the event, said church member Donna Sawhill of Moon, event chairwoman.

Some bakers donate about three or four dozen, while others contribute 20 dozen of a particular kind.

About $1,500 is raised each year, which goes into the church's general fund. Everything for the event is donated.

Joanne Barron is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-324-1406 or

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