Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Happy St David's Day!

Today is St. David's Day, folks! It is to Wales and Welshmen what St. Patrick's Day is to Ireland and Irishmen. But instead of green hats and green beer, we embrace daffodils and the mighty Welsh Cookie.

When I was growing up, my grandmother (whose father had emigrated from Wales to the Scranton area alone at age 16) used to make Welsh Cookies all the time. Every week, maybe? It seems like they were always in the house. And boy oh boy were they delicious! There are variations of this recipe all over northeastern Pennsylvania, where so many Welshmen settled to work in the coal mines. I've made them only a handful of times since my childhood, but the smell, the taste, even the look of them sends me rocketing back to childhood.

Mmmm.....look how pretty.......

Here is my grandmother's recipe:
Leona James’s Welsh Cookies

4 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
3 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp salt
1 tbs baking powder
scant tsp baking soda
1 cup (8 oz) lard (you can use other shortening if you don’t want to use lard, but your cookies will not taste as tasty!)
1 cup currants
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

Mix all dry ingredients.Cut in lard and then add currants. Put eggs in a measuring cup and add milk until you get 1 cup. Add vanilla to this mixture. Add to lard/flour mixture. You may need to drizzle a bit of water on dough to get it all mixed together. Let chill for 30 minutes.Roll out flat on a floured surface.Use a 2” round cookie cutter dipped in flour to cut out cookies. Fry on heated (but ungreased) griddle (325 degrees on electric griddle) until cookies are golden brown on both sides. Makes about 3 dozen.

These cookies are best eaten hot off the griddle, or warm, or at room temperature, or refrigerated, or frozen. Enjoy and Happy St. David's Day, everyone!


Ele said...

I have made these and they are awesome! While I am not Welsh (I'm Irish and Italian and English but don't hold that against me)I do make a mean welsh cake. They must be tried and are worth the time!

Curlygirl said...

Don't forget the 3 teaspoons of Nutmeg! The Nutmeg is what makes them so delicious!!

Your loving sister, who has made these cookies many times!

diana said...

Ele - Yay! I'm so glad you love them too!!

CG - oops did I forget nutmeg? Will correct immediately!

roseygirl said...

My family are also Welsh, and growing up my Mum always made Welshcakes! I now also make them :)

Anonymous said...

What if you don't add the currants? I have a family member who doesn't like them?

diana said...

roseygirl - I love hearing that you grew up with them too!!

Anon - you could leave the currants out and the cookies would still be delicious!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Diana I was not sure about leaving them out without asking. Didn't know if they made a big difference in the flavor.
I hope to make these tomorrow after a run to the store.
thanks for the recipe.