It’s March 1st, and that means it’s St. David’s Day. St. David is the patron saint of Wales, and Wales is the land of (most of) my forefathers.
My grandmother, Leona James, lived with us when I was growing up. She was one generation removed from Wales, and she brought one Welsh tradition with her that became an integral part of my childhood – Welsh Cookies. She made Welsh Cookies all the time when I was growing up – everyone in my family was addicted to them; it’s a surprise we all didn’t weight 1200 pounds.
Grandma James’s Welsh Cookies
3 cups of flour
2 cups of sugar
3 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
3 tsp baking powder
1 cup lard (you can subsitute butter but it won’t be TRADITIONAL!)
1 cup currants
3 eggs, plus milk to fill up to 1 cup
1 tsp vanilla
Combine all the dry ingredients. Add the currants so that they’re coated with the flour mixture. Cut in the lard (or butter) until the dough is in crumbly bits. Whisk the eggs, milk and vanilla together in a measuring cup and add to flour mixture.
Roll out with A LOT of flour to about 1/2″ thick. Use a round 2″ cookie cutter to cut out cookies. Cook on a griddle on medium heat for about 2 minutes a side. You want the cookies to be a medium brown. If some get a little burny, well, that’s cook’s prerogative – I eat the mistakes! Makes about 3 dozen cookies.
These cookies freeze beautifully – my dad used to grab a bag of cookies out of the freezer and eat them then and there.