Sunday, November 25, 2007

Welsh Cookies

These cookies were one of my mother's signature holiday treats. No one else made them. Many people had never heard of them. Everyone wanted to know what was in them and how they were made.

I don't remember how Mom got a hold of this recipe. Last year I was disheartened when I couldn't find it among my cookbooks so I decided to do a search on the Internet. There were several recipes but somehow they just weren't like Mom's. Finally, as I cleaned out her house in New York this past Spring, I found it and several others including her date nut bread.

You will need an electric skillet to make these. There is no substitute. I've tried these in a regular frying pan, a stovetop griddle, etc. to no avail.

Ingredients:

7 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp nutmeg
2 cups vegetable shortening
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup milk
1 cup scalded dried currants

1. In a large bowl, sift together flour and sugar, salt and nutmeg.

2. Using a pastry blender, cut in vegetable shortening until a course meal is formed. Add eggs, vanilla and milk.

3. Place currents in a small fine strainer. Pour boiling water over them or place the strainer briefly in boiling water. The idea is to plump them up. Then add currants to the mixture and mix well.

4. Wrap dough in plastic. Chill for at least 1 hour.

5. Roll and cut into shape using a round biscuit cutter.

6. Using an electric skillet set at 300 degrees, fry without any grease until lightly brown on both sides.

These "tea cakes" are traditionally served on March 1 which is Saint David's Day - Saint David being the patron saint of Wales.

5 comments:

cb said...

These sound interesting and different.

I should have shared my "pumkin chiffon" pie recipe for the holidays. Its the best pumpkin pie you'll ever have.

Anonymous said...

My first encounter with welsh cookies was from my Mother-n-law, she made them every Christmas and we loved them, she has since passed away and the grandkids are now making them...the tradition continues!

Cyndi said...

The recipe that I always have known as Welsh cookies is generally the same but has ground raisins and is baked in the oven. My Grandmother would make these all the time and we all love them. Grandma always won the burping contests that she would have with us kids so we always(and, as adults, still do)called them, "Belch cookies"!!

Susan in Amherst, NH said...

My brother-in-law introduced our family to these treats, which his grandmother (or perhaps it was his great-grandmother!) had always made for the family at Christmas. They are sooo very yummy! The only difference to your mother's recipe that I note is Jim's grandmother used butter, not veg shortening. With the whole raisins, mace, and other spice, they were a true delight! And yes, everyone does ask about them. Oddly enough, while I'm not 100 percent sure, I do think these are German in origin (Jim's family is German). If I had to describe these, I'd say they taste somewhat between a cookie and a traditional grilled Enlish scone.

Stephanie said...

My granny used to make these, and we only knew them as a cookie recipe that her mom passed down. She made them in cast iron! It wasn't until ten years ago or so that I realized it was a Welsh recipe. I've since found indications that it's tied to our family history, so it makes me feel like I'm connected to previous generations somehow. Unfortunately, I don't have her recipe, so I've been trying various versions off and on through the last few years. I'll definitely give your mom's a try! Thanks for sharing.