Fat rascals have been around since the mid nineteenth century, but are seldom found outside of Yorkshire, England. No, I'm not making disparaging remarks about people of Yorkshire! Fat rascals are tasty little buns, similar to scones, that go down a treat with a nice cup of tea or glass of milk.
It's been several years since I developed my recipe in honor of my Yorkshire grandfather (who may not have ever eaten a single fat rascal in his entire life, for all I know). Kids love this low-sugar treat because the buns have cute little faces, and they love putting on the eyes (dried cherries) and teeth (slivered almonds).
Makes 10 buns
1 1/3 packed cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2/3 packed cup whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 cup dried currants
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
1 large egg
3/4 cup milk, approximately
20 dried cherry halves
30 slivered almonds
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease, or line with parchment paper, a large baking sheet. In a medium bowl combine the flours, sugars, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal. Stir in the currants, being sure to separate any that are clumped together.
- In 2-cup glass measure, combine egg and enough milk to make 1 cup liquid; reserve 1 tablespoon for glaze and pour the rest into dry mixture and gently mix with wooden spoon until just combined.
- Divide dough into 10 pieces, each measuring 1/4 cup. Shape each into a ball. Arrange 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheet. Flatten tops slightly. Brush tops with egg glaze. Decorate each with 2 dried cherry halves for eyes and 3 slivered almonds for smile. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature with butter.