Sunday, December 18, 2005
My signature cookie
Silver Spring Presbyterian Church Cookbook ’98 Copyright 1998
1 c. margarine I use 1/2 c. margarine and 1/2 c Crisco because that's what the original recipe I had (that I lost) called for
1 c. sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/8 c. milk
½ lb box of currants I use raisins
3 ¼ cup flour
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. nutmeg
½ tsp. cream of tartar
½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
Cream shortening – add sugar and cream together well. Add beaten eggs and milk. Sift dry ingredients together and add to above mixture. Stir in currants. Take portions of dough and roll on a slightly floured board about 1/8 inch thick and cut with a cookie cutter. On top of stove – use an ungreased griddle over low to medium heat. Turn when golden brown – when other side is golden brown toss both sides with sugar (while hot). I don't coat them in sugar.
These Welsh cookies (or they're sometimes called cakes) are often seen in the area where I grew up (around Scranton, PA). They're made locally and sold in small sleeves. Each little cookie is fried up on a griddle like a little pancake. I think I've made these every year since I started baking Christmas cookies on my own, as an adult, probably 15 years ago. There are other recipes that held on for several Christmas but over the years I've dropped old recipes and added new recipes (my mother's fruitcake was only added a couple of years ago). This is the only recipe that I've never even considered not making anymore.
I love that these cookies are 'different'. Nutmeg is the only flavoring - no vanilla. The texture is hard for me to describe - maybe somewhere between a dense biscuit and a soft cookie. They're soft but not chewy. I use a combination of margarine and shortening because that's what the original recipe I had called for. Would butter work? I don't know. I'm not willing to experiment.
This recipe seems like a lot of work but the dough is very easy to handle and if you have a large electric griddle, you can cook these up in no time. I suggest only putting a couple of them on the griddle at first, until you get a feel for them. Since I only make them once a year, even I have to start slowly every year. I think a good temp for the griddle is around 325 degrees.
My original recipe came from my mother's copy of her church's cookbook. I lost that and was lucky enough to find this recipe in a church cookbook from this area. I was surprised to see a similar recipe in the old Farm Journal's Country Cookbook I have since I've so rarely seen anything similar in any other cookbooks.