Many years ago, I was a 4-H member in West Virginia. I spent ten years developing the four H's (head, heart, hands, and health) under the tutelage of dedicated leaders. 4-H was a huge part of my development as a person and I have very fond memories of all my 4-H adventures. One thing I did not experience, though, was being a 4-H exchange student to a foreign country. However, a friend did, and she spent six months in the British Isles, living with several families and soaking up the rich Celtic culture that runs through our Appalachian veins. One of the best things she brought home and shared was the recipe for Welsh Cakes. It came from one of her host mothers, who made these treats often. The recipe sounds like an old one, which in my mind, makes it all the more special.
Start with one stick of butter and two cups of flour.
Use your hand to "rub the fat into the flour." Then add a half cup sugar, 2 teaspoons baking powder, and 1 teaspoon salt. Continue to mix with your hand. Next, add "a good handful of raisins."
Beat a large egg (or two really small ones) and add to the mixture. Work the egg into the flour with your hand until the dough forms into a ball.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface.
Roll the dough to about 3/8 inch thick. 1/4 inch is too thin; 1/2 inch is too thick!
Cut with your favorite size biscuit cutter. I've always used a 2 1/2 inch cutter, but this time I tried a smaller 2-inch cutter and I think I like the smaller size better.
When positioning the cutter, try to avoid raisins under the edge: they are difficult to cut through.
Place the discs on a cookie sheet.
Heat a griddle, iron skillet, or electric skillet to medium-low heat. You'll learn what setting works best for you after you've made a batch or two. Melt 2 or 3 tablespoons of butter in the skillet.
Fry the discs til they are lightly browned. Watch them closely! It doesn't take long and you don't want to overcook them.
Turn and fry til lightly brown on the second side.
Remove to a wire rack and allow to cool. Yes, you must wait. You don't want to bite into a hot raisin: it will burn your mouth!
And now you have Welsh Cakes! See, I told you they were simple. And so yummy. I could eat the whole batch in a day all by myself.
Welsh Cakes are especially delicious when paired with a cup of hot tea and a good friend. Give them a try. I hope they make your day just a little sweeter!
2 cups flour
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
8 TBSP sugar (1/2 cup)
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 large egg, beaten
A good handful of raisins
Rub fat into flour. Add sugar, salt, and baking powder. Add raisins, then egg.
Work into dough and roll to 1/4 inch. Cut into discs. Fry in butter over a slow
flame until golden on both sides.