I have a confession to make. And it doesn’t involve baking. Okay…Here it goes.
I love Harry Potter.
The books that is…I realize Harry is a work of fiction.
I know that there are people out there that feel that this series is, well, I guess the word would be evil. I only mention this because a few of my closest friends happen feel this way. I have to say that I completely respect this opinion. I just disagree with it.
I think that the Harry Potter series is just a really good story. In fact, not only is the storyline amazingly detailed and the characters highly developed, but there are actually uplifting themes running throughout — themes like love, friendship, loyalty, determination, courage, and doing what’s right.
Now you might be wondering what all this Harry Potter talk has to do with this blog. Well, there is one more minor theme that occurs often in these books and that is food. I’ve always been intrigued by all the different foods mentioned in these books. Maybe it’s because they are set in Britain and many of the food I haven’t heard of before. Like treacle fudge. Which later I learned is molasses fudge. Not really my cup o’ tea, but there are others.
Take rock cakes for instance. Hagrid is mentioned on one or two occasion making them for Harry and his friends. Since Hagrid’s character is not known for his prowess in the kitchen, I’ve always kind of thought that they were just called rock cakes because they were hard…like rocks.
Alas, in one of my $5 baking cookbooks from JoAnn’s I came across a recipe for rock cakes. I just had to try them.
Let me just say that I am so glad I am a better baker than Hagrid. If magical is not the word to describe them, it comes close. Rock cakes are something between a biscuit and a scone. They are just slightly sweet and very tender but with a nice, golden-brown bite on the outside. They are filled with raisins (also I used currants) and, strangely, Maraschino cherries. I sprinkled them with raw sugar for added treat. Besides tasting good, they’re really quite pretty too. They just sparkle. They are really easy to make (just make sure not to over mix) and bake up quickly. They are just the thing for curling up with a hot cup of tea and a really good book…whatever your choice of books may be.
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup butter (5 1/3 tablespoons), cold and diced
1/3 cup raw sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1/2 cup raisins (I used currants)
2 tablespoons chopped Maraschino cherries
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons milk (I ended up using about 3 tablespoons)
Whisk together flour and baking powder. Add butter and rub into the butter the flour with your fingers until the mixture looks like bread crumbs.
Stir in the the raw sugar, raisins, and cherries. Add in the egg and milk to moisten and bring together in a soft dough.
Spoon 8 mounds of the mixture onto a buttered cookie sheet. Sprinkle with more raw sugar. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown and firm when gently pressed.
Remove rock drops from the cookie sheet. Serve hot from the oven or transfer to a wire rack to cool before serving. They are really good either way!