American Irish Soda Bread

My Irish ancestors, the McGinns, who lived in County Cork would no doubt hang me for even naming this bread like the soda bread that they used to make. It’s so not Irish Soda Bread-but American Soda Bread just sounds all wrong doesn’t it?

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While they’d hang me, they’d probably cut me down the minute they tasted the bread–as it’s delicious. It’s not dry and crumbly like most. It’s more of a light cake or treat bread. It also doesn’t have raisins which is my doing-I hate them in breads.

Make it-it’s so easy and so so so yummy!

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American Irish Soda Bread

Ingredients:

For bread:

  • 12.75 ozs self rising flour (I used King Arthur Brand)
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 4.25 ozs granulated sugar
  • 3/4 tbsp caraway seeds (or more or less per taste)
  • 1 large egg
  • 14ozs light buttermilk
  • 2 ozs unsalted butter, melted
  • feel free to add currants, dried cranberries or raisins.

For topping:

  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 2 tbsp sparkling sugar

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375f. Spray a 9×5 loaf pan with non-stick baking spray.
  2. In a large bowl add the flour, baking soda, sugar and seeds. Whisk to combine and break up any lumps.
  3. In another bowl add the egg and buttermilk and whisk until completely combined.
  4. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry, working quickly and gently. Do not overmix. Add the butter and continue to stir gently but thoroughly to incorporate all ingredients. The dough will first seem very wet from the butter but when you continue to stir it will come together beautifully.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Smooth out and drag your finger around the inside of the pan to make a moat.
  6. Drizzle the milk over the top of the dough (the  moat will keep it from going down into the pan) and sprinkle the sugar evenly all over.
  7. Bake for 50-60 minutes.  When it’s done an instant read thermometer inserted into the center will read 200-210F. The top will be golden brown and a knife inserted will come out clean.
  8. Remove the bread from the oven, allow it to cool for 5 minutes then run a knife around the outside to loosen any suck areas. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool. Slice and serve.

Yield: 1 loaf. Adapted from King Arthur Flour’s recipe.

Note: I served this with whipped honey butter. Soften 1/2 stick of butter, put it in a mixing bowl, squirt honey in to taste and go to it with your electric mixer until fluffy and light.  Use as much or as little honey as you’d like. And let your dog taste it to make sure it’s perfect.

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Baileys Cupcakes

St. Patrick’s Day has come and gone again.  For so many years I went to the parade in the city and it was always cold and rainy.   I haven’t been to the parade in ages now and I guess that’s ok-you can’t drink on the street anymore. Where’s the fun in that?

I’d tried to make Bailey’s cupcakes a few times and they always came out awful-either runny, not tasty, never set, hard as a rock or just flat gross. These were the opposite. While the cake is dense (almost like pound cake) the flavor’s there.  These are pretty sweet hence the small schmear of frosting.  Too much frosting irritates me anyway.

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Bailey’s Cupcakes

Makes 24 cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs at room temp
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cups Bailey’s Irish Cream
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Insert 24 liners into tin(s).
  2. In a the bowl of a stand mixer cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add eggs and vanilla to the sugar mixture and beat well.
  4. In a separate smaller bowl combine the Baileys water and milk. Mix well.
  5. In third bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt.
  6. Add the flour and Baileys mixture (alternating as you add) to the sugar mixture. Beat on medium speed for approximately 2 minutes.
  7. Fill cupcake liners ¾ full and bake for about 25 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched.

Frosting:

Makes about 1 cup of frosting.

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tbsp Baileys
  • 10 drops green food coloring
  • white or clear finishing sugar

Directions:

  1. Put butter in bowl of stand mixer and, with beater on low, slowly add the powdered sugar until combined.
  2. Add Baileys until desired taste/texture is achieved
  3. Add food coloring until desired shade is reached.
  4. Frost cupcakes. Finish with sugar if desired.

Note: if you put foil under the cupcakes while sprinkling the sugar you won’t lose any that falls off. Just resprinkle. See below.

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Cake recipe from cupcakerehab.com