Wednesday, 4 January 2006

Cranberry Rock Cakes

Hallelujah! I have finally found my beloved camera. Phew. I found it under my sister's bed and I have no idea what in the world it was doing there. well at least, now that the Sherlock mystery is solved, this post is finally up!
The morning began with a quick wash up, a combing of my hair (gawd, it was everywhere. i looked like a rumpled lion) and then it was off to the kitchen.
I found a rock cakes recipe somewhere when i was blog surfing, forgot which blog. If someone knows then let me know so i can acknowledge this amazing kitchen genius! I toggled the recipe just a little to suit my own taste buds and had great fun making these.
Of course, some people find that rock cakes are a little ugly looking but I kinda like that rough look. Less like a factory made biscuit or cookie. Shouldn't we revel in imperfections? Perfection is impossible to achieve! Anyway, rock cakes have always given me that homey feeling and they're perfect on a pretty kitchen towel for afternoon picnics. Rock cakes also tend to taste slightly floury. According to my sister, she finds these tasteless but I think otherwise. The cranberries give a very nice sweet sour twang and the sugar topping gives it a very nice mild flavour. Rock cakes are best for people who don't really like the overpowering sweetness of cookies and prefer a more scone-like texture and taste. I know my dad will love em with a hot mug of coffee.
The first time I made rock cakes was in secondary school. Home econs lesson. My...that was the best lesson I ever had! The smell from these rock cakes wafting out of the oven was pretty damn amazing. Besides, I got to sneak the raisins into my mouth most of the time. Just a note of caution, cut your nails short when you make these as you need to get ur hands into the butter and flour and you don't want things to stick under your nails. Also wash ur hands with good anti-bacterial soap so your hands are really clean and none of your own body oils will mix with the oils in the butter. I think that would be pretty scary if your rock cakes had added human essence along with all the benefits of bacteria and god-knows what else. You'd be halfway on the road trip to food poisoning.

Cranberry Rock Cakes


2cups all purpose flour

1tsp baking soda

1/2tsp salt

1/2cup butter, slightly softened so it's still firm

rounded 1/3cup sugar

1tsp vanilla essence

1/3 cup dried cranberries (you can substitute this for raisins too)

1 egg, rtp

2tbs milk

coarse (or fine) sugar

Preheat your oven at 200dCelsius.

Whisk the sifted flour, baking soda and salt together. Cut up the butter and put it into this mixture. Rub it lightly with your thumbs moving outwards until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs and is light and fluffy enough to toss it about by shaking the bowl. Make sure there aren't any large bits of butter left as these tend to be very visible after baking.

Stir in sugar and the cranberries.

In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg together with the milk and vanilla. Then pour this into the flour mixture and stir (or use your hands and swiftly mix it about the bowl in circular motions) until dough comes together into a ball.

Then shape the dough into balls, dipping the tops in the extra sugar and bake for 13min or until the tops are golden. Let them cool on the cookie tray for 2min then remove to cool on wire rack. The longer you let them cool on the cookie tray, the more mushy these cakes become. Makes about 24 two-inch cookies.

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