Penuche Icing

The word penuche is a bit of an orphan. In the 1800s, it was derived from a Mexican Spanish word that referred to coarse, raw sugar; while it still means that in the Philippines, the root has moved on to describe other things culinary (and as vulgar slang for other things). In the Southwest, panocha refers to a pudding of sprouted wheat and raw sugar. But in the North and Northwest U.S. the word penuche suggests the use of brown sugar.

ksu_folder A family recipe provided by Jennifer Kiel of Washington, DC, from her mother-in-law’s collection, started in Kent, Ohio.

Penuche Icing

Mix thoroughly 2 cups brown sugar (packed), 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 cup shortening, 1/2 tsp. salt. Bring rapidly to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Boil exactly one minute or 220 degrees. Beat until lukewarm. Blend in one tsp. vanilla. Continue beating until icing loses its gloss and is thick enough to spread. This requires considerable beating for creamy consistency. If it gets too thick, add about one tsp. cream.

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