Have you ever heard of Burns Night? I am shocked that I only heard about this two weeks ago. Apparently, Scotland, Scottish people, and weird English-major types celebrate the birthday of Robert Burns (Scotland’s favorite poet; he wrote “Auld Lang Syne”) with a well-structured dinner of pageantry, whiskey, Burns poetry, and haggis. As a weird English major-type, this is right up my alley…you know, except the haggis. I can’t believe I hadn’t come across it before. What else am I missing!? The world never ceases to amaze.
I heard of this strange phenomenon by being invited to a loose adaptation—with the Scotch and some of the foods, but less haggis and more dancing. We celebrated a week late and just read one Burns poem; so it was more of a normal party with a nod to quirky tradition. I wanted to bring something Scottish, but the only traditional Scottish foods I’m familiar with are haggis (the garbage of meat stuffed into the garbage bag of meat…no thank you) and bannock (oat bread). Apparently every food in Scotland sounds like a dirty euphemism. Someone made neeps and tatties. They were not as alarming as you’d think. I was going make bannock, but decided to Google around to see if there were any funnier names with simple recipes. That’s how I found out about Singin’ Hinnies.
A Singin’ Hinny is like a griddle-fried biscuit. (‘Singing’ for the sizzle they make when cooking and ‘hinny’ for honey—the term of endearment rather than the food, which isn’t traditionally included.) They’re supposed to be made with lard, but that grossed me out. I looked at several recipes and did what you’re never supposed to do: created my own recipe, without a trial run, and no time to spare before the party. In such desperate times: add more butter. They were delicious. They got compared to fast-food biscuits, so I had to have done something
terribly wrong right.
Heather’s Singing Hinnies
- 1 C flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ C butter (cold)
- 2 Tbsp honey
- ¼ C currants
- 1/3-1/2 C milk
- A splash of vegetable oil
- Combine flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Cut in the butter until the mixture looks like coarse meal.
- Stir in the honey and currants.
- Slowly add the milk, a little at a time, until the dough comes together and is tacky.
- Roll or pat out on a floured surface to about ¼ inch thickness.
- Cut into rounds (I used a pint glass. Classy.).
- Heat a heavy skillet with a splash of vegetable oil and fry the hinnies on each side until brown. It will take about 4-5 on each side, over low-med/low heat.
- Serve warm.
This recipe makes about 6, flakey, buttery, slightly salty, slightly sweet hinnies. Delicious. To be honest, they would probably be great with a little less butter. They would also be really easy to adapt with different flavors. You could add cinnamon, ginger, and cardamom. Or go savory with green onions and pepper. When I made these I thought it was a weird party-theme-food moment that I’d forget, but I’m holding onto this recipe for a last minute breakfast treat or quick dessert (aka: a new Nutella canvas, as if I needed one) that won’t require a trip to the store.