Tuesday Teatime: Nunnymollers
Liam has the Redwall bug. He’s whipping through the series like a hurricane. His older brother had the same reaction to the Redwall series. I cooperated with the addiction by reading two of the books aloud to the entire family. Yes, they’re delightful in their own way and Brian Jacques has to be commended for creating clever dialects, delightful animal characterizations and repeatedly stimulating battles that keep kids on the edge of their seats.
Not so much for moms, though, I confess. I have a hard time keeping my mind on the plots being that they are a tad predictable. Good guys, bad guys, heirloom swords, epic confrontations, moles with Yorkshire accents.The usual drill. I’ll be reading along and suddenly pages will go by while my brain is elsewhere (like, say, on lunch or when is that orthodontist appointment again?, and Oh! I can’t wait for American Idol to start…). Suddenly, out of the blue, one of the kids will ask, “What do you think Mom? What will happen next?”
Uh, Simon will be mean to a girl from South Dakota?
Oh, wait, Redwall, you say. Thinking, thinking. I used to stumble around bluffing, until one day, I stumbled on a sturdy, reliable answer—one I could use at the end of every chapter for every book. I offer it to you, in case, like me, your mind wanders a wee bit while you read: “The bad guys are getting ready to attack Redwall Abbey and the good guys are getting ready to defend it.” Works just about every time. 🙂 (Thought it might help Melissa Wiley, too.)
Now honestly, I love the series. I love the way it engages readers, infects them with the drive to read hundreds of pages. More than anything though, I thank Brian Jacques for making my kids’ mouths salivate with a desire for dandelion cordial and meadowcream because those cravings drove us to purchase the Redwall Cookbook last week. Unlike the fictional series, I’ve combed every page for meal time inspiration.
Liam and I were immediately drawn to the recipe for Nunnymollers. We sifted the flour and confectioner’s sugar together while cutting in the crumbled butter. We palmed the mixture into small balls of dough which we then flattened into five inch discs. We spread a thin layer of honey across each one, dotting the tops with three fresh raspberries each. Finally, Liam and I pinched the sides up into little purses and topped them with dollops of raspberry jam.
Into the oven they went. 30 minutes later we had teatime ala Redwall. My mind didn’t wander. Neither did my tongue… or my hips which now proudly sport the effects of white flour, sugar and butter. New Year’s weight loss resolutions be damned. I snarfed down four of those suckers. Oh. My. Deliciousness. They are sooooo good.
Here’s the recipe:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 c. confectioner’s sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter cubed
12 strawberries, 12 raspberries (fresh)
Raspberry or strawberry jam
1. Preheat oven to 350. Whisk flour and sugar together. Add butter and rub it in with your fingers (or pulse in food processor) until mixture resembles fine bread crumbs. Sprinkle 3-4 tablespoons of ice cold water, mixing with fork or pulsing in food processor.
2. Divide dough into twelve 2-inch balls. Use your palm or rolling pin to flatten each ball into a 5-inch round.
3. Spread each round with a thin layer of honey. Place 1 strawberry and 1 raspberry in the center. (We used three raspberries and no strawberries in ours.) Fold edges of dough “in” toward the center, leaving a small opening in the middle. Pinch folds. Put a dollop of jam on top.
4. Bake until firm and golden, about 20-25 minutes. Let cool on wire rack before serving.
Make some fragrant tea to go with them. If you’re tired of straight black tea, you can enhance the flavor by adding a fistful (bunch) of fresh mint leaves to steep with your tea bag. Once steeped, pour into mugs and add honey to taste. (Another recipe compliments Redwall.)
By the way, I need more teatime photos from your houses! Send them to me: Julie [at] bravewriter [dot] com. I’ll post them on Tuesdays. They are often the favorite posts of the week. For your trouble, we send a complimentary issue of the Arrow or Boomerang.
Your Nunnymollers look just like Hamentashen, the cookies that Jewish people eat on Purim in the spring! Yum, yum.
Oh, I can so-o-o identify, Julie. If only we could get Per and Liam together! Per’s on a major Redwall kick, racing through book after book. Jan was the same way right about this age. And like you, I do appreciate the series, but let’s be honest: Any series that’s churned out this quickly is going to fall victim to predictability. Not to Per’s mind, though. He’s right there in the thick of it, living it out. And now I can help him do so even more with a batch of Nunnymollers! I had no idea there was a Redwall cookbook. I suppose with three more potential Redwall fans waiting in the wings, I should consider adding it to our shelves! xoxo
Colleen, Ha! Too fun to have you identify. 🙂 Cookbook is darling and the food is yummy.
The Redwall series is one that never did interest any of my children, ….. and I really did try to get them interested. I started reading them at two different times and finished the first book. I ended up giving them away to my cousin’s son.
My ds 11 was in a Redwall frenzy last year. We read EVERY book and I am more than grateful that our library carried a few of them on CD! Jacques is clever and he had my son spellbound (I was like you and was caught daydreaming many a chapter :). Thanks for the recipe. I appreciate your blogs (and your book). Keep up the good work. Katie
Hi, Julie…you really should look up some of the full-cast recordings – they are very well done and can relieve the eye- or throat-strain of reading all those pages. At the official Redwall site from England they are offering a cute compendium of about 20 original songs that are contained within the different story CDs. The Redwall songs made their way into a certain girl’s stocking this past Christmas and have been much listened to and sung since then!
Linda, that sounds great! Thanks for the suggestion.
(Liam is reading Ulalia right now!)
I wanted to share my nunnymollers experience. I made them yesterday as dessert for my sister’s baby shower. My own sweet children were less than thrilled that these delicious looking goodies were not for our family’s consumption.
At the shower, it was quite amusing as the guests asked me what the yummies were called. I told them, “Nunnymollers.” A questioning look arose.
“Have you heard of Brian Jacques?” I asked? Blank stares.
“The book Redwall?” Continued blank stares. At this point I attempt to launch into a description of what Redwall is…but after about 15 seconds of continued stares I settle for, “It’s a fantasy series about rats that was made into a cartoon series on PBS a while back.”
“Oh…cool.” And we proceeded to devour the nunnymollers.
Back at home, my own kids were THRILLED to learn that I had leftovers and was able to bring home a cookie for each child. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced such verbal delight as they each savored their nunnymoller. Truly, the “Oohhhhs” and “ummmms” were hilarious.
In short, thanks for sharing! I’m sure we’ll be repeating this recipe for teatime in the not too distant future!
[…] We saw your previous post that showed Nonnymollers.Â After I cleaned up the drool from my computer keys after reading your blog, I decided that this would be a great project to do with my son for fun, and it would fulfill a Boy Scout requirement for him. […]
[…] We saw your previous post that showed Nunnymollers. After I cleaned up the drool from my computer keys after reading your blog, I decided that this would be a great project to do with my son for fun, and it would fulfill a Boy Scout requirement for him. As we made them, the process became, â€œone raspberry in the mouth, one raspberry for the recipe.â€ Yum! Making them was as scrumptious as eating them. Although they didnâ€™t look exactly like yours, they were melt in your mouth good. […]