March 2019


Irish Soda Scones

March 17: Feast Day of St. Patrick

Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day (much like Cinco de Mayo) is often an excuse for some people to party and drink alcohol excessively. For us, we see it as a reason to try Irish-inspired recipes from Highlander’s heritage (he is Scots-Irish, according to genealogical records) and honor the patron saint of the Emerald Isle.

For the Feast Day of St. Patrick, we modified an Irish soda bread recipe and made Irish soda scones. The currants in this recipe lend a subtle sweetness to these scones (without the dried fruit, they would really taste like biscuits, which are close to mini Irish soda bread).

Have a terrific “top o’ the mornin’” or teatime treat with some Irish soda scones on St. Patrick’s Day!

Recipe

(Adapted from Tea Time Magazine)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teablespoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup butter, cold and cut into small pieces
  • ¼ cup dried currants
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • ¾ cup+ buttermilk, whole

Directions

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, sugar and salt.

Add small pieces of cold butter and mix with a pastry cutter until it resembles coarse crumbs. Mix in the currants and caraway seeds.

Stir in the buttermilk until a sticky dough is formed. On a clean, floured surface, pat the dough to 1-inch thick circle. Cut out shapes with a 2-inch round cutter (or use a 3-tablespoon scoop to make drop-style scones). Place scones onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Brush the tops with a little buttermilk (optional). Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5-10 minutes. Serve warm with Irish butter, clotted cream and/or jam.

Notes

  • Since we like currants, we added ¼ cup more than stated in the original recipe. We also reduced the caraway seeds to ½ teaspoon because we are not too fond of the flavor.
  • Feel free to substitute the currants for raisins (black or golden).
  • Search our blog for more Irish-inspired recipes. Or see the St. Patrick’s Day recipe list under the Theme Menus option.

Fruit-Nut Toaster Cakes

March 13:National Breakfast Day

Whenever Islander and her friend Karen B. have a long day ahead of them doing baking and decorating projects, Karen would prepare a quick, healthy and convenient breakfast snack called toaster cakes. She would pre-make them, freeze and reheat so they could eat them before and while they spent the rest of the day decorating cakes or cookies to give to family and friends on special occasions.

Toaster cakes taste a little like cornbread because of the cornmeal in them. They can be reheated in a pop-up toaster (without the fruit and nuts on top), or they can be reheated in a toaster oven (with the fruit and nuts and top). Either way, toaster cakes are great to grab for breakfast on the go—or even for a more leisurely morning meal on National Breakfast Day.

Recipe

(Adapted from King Arthur Flour)

Ingredients

  • ½ cup flour
  • 1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ cup butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup raisins, cranberries or other dried fruit
  • ¼ cup chopped nuts

Directions

In a bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, oats and brown sugar, baking powder and salt.

Melt and cool the butter. Beat the egg with vanilla. Stir in the milk.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until smooth. Option 1: Sprinkle dried fruit and nuts on top after spreading the batter in six baking cups (tart-size liners or cupcake-size papers) or greased muffin tins.

Option 2: Stir the dried fruit and nuts into the batter and scoop into the baking cups. Place on a cookie sheet. Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees F for 10-12 minutes. Remove from the oven and eat warm. Reheat leftovers in a toaster (remove paper) or toaster oven (see Notes).

Notes

  • If reheating in a pop-up toaster, do stir in the dried fruits and nuts in the batter before baking or the pieces will fall into the toaster. Remove the paper before inserting the cakes into to toaster.
  • If reheating in a toaster oven (not pop-up toaster), do not stir in the dried fruits and nuts in the batter. Sprinkle them on top and bake as usual.
  • Toaster tongs are pictured in the final food photo above.