Okay, so I have a confession to make: I kind of hate biscuits, and cookies, and shortbread and all other members of the baked goods capable of being dunked in your tea family.
I went through a phase of making jars of Christmas cookies for my nearest and dearest in the slightly deluded believe that it would be cheaper and “more personal”. Well let me tell you something, when you are stood in your kitchen at 2am with your hands covered in boiling jam related burn marks and even the dog is covered in chocolate, cookies really start to lose their magic.
I still enjoy making them and I can sort of see the appeal, in the same way that I can sort of see the appeal of tequila. Other people love it, I have vague memories of it being enjoyable, but having more than one is likely to end with me being found in a hedge 3 days later wearing a shower curtain. Actually that metaphor may have gotten away from me a bit. Anyway, as I was saying, cookies are nice but I don’t really need more than one or two.
Welsh cakes however rank somewhere between crack and sour-cream & onion Pringles on the universal scale of addictiveness as far as I am concerned. On particularly bad days I have been known to eat an entire batch of these in less than 10 minutes. They are also just shockingly easy to make. Essentially, if you have ever baked anything, you are bound to have all of these ingredients already (minus the raisins maybe) and they require next to nothing in the way of kitchen utensils as I assume everybody has glasses and an empty bottle or two. So I think if you ever have a free hour on a Sunday afternoon you should make these. Your stomach will thank you!
225g self-raising flour (or 225g plain flour + ½ tsp baking powder) + a little extra for dusting
100g butter (at room temperature)
60g caster sugar
Optional ½ tsp ground cinnamon
Kitchen Implements that you need: Frying Pan, small glass or a round cookie cutter, rolling pin or bottle
1. In a large mixing bowl stir the flour and sugar together and add the butter. If you are using cinnamon add this to the flour as well.
2. If you have never done this before it just means you take a normal butter knife and keep cutting the butter into small chunks and stirring it into the flour. This saves you a bit of hassle later when mixing it all together.
3. Once everything looks reasonably well mixed, add the egg and knead the dough together until it more or less forms a ball.
4. Mix in the raisins and dump your dough on a lightly floured (it should not be all that sticky) kitchen surface.
5. Use a rolling pin (or a clean bottle) to roll your dough out so that it ends up being about ½ inch thick.
6. Use a round cookie cutter or small glass to cut out your welsh cakes. The size really doesn’t matter here, so I generally just use a glass that I can dump in the dishwasher afterwards.
7. Heat your frying pan to a medium to high heat (no oil necessary) and fry your Welsh cakes until they are golden on one side (about 3-4 mins) then flip over and repeat.
8. Heat till hot and spread with a little bit of salted butter.