Sunday, March 18, 2012

Irish Soda Bread Cookies

Apparently I just can’t be trusted to plan ahead for holidays, as I woke up on St. Patrick’s Day and realized we had no Guinness in the fridge and no Irish Soda Bread in the freezer.  Whoops.  Luckily I came across this recipe for Irish Soda Bread Cookies, which was not only a breeze to make, but also provided me with some extra cookies to bring into work on Monday.  As Dennis put it, “These taste just like Irish Soda Bread, only in cookie form.”  I couldn’t have said it better myself. 

Irish Soda Bread Cookies (adapted from AllRecipes)

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup buttermilk (I never have buttermilk so I just used ¼ cup milk combined with just shy of a teaspoon of lemon juice.  Let it sit for about 5-10 minutes)
1 egg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. With a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in raisins.

Mix in beaten egg. Pour in milk and mix with a fork to make a soft dough (may need a little more milk).

Scoop out teaspoonfuls of dough and put onto lined cookie sheet. 

Bake for 11 to 13 minutes or until slightly browned.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Apple Pie Muffins

At our favorite restaurant one night Dennis and I had the most amazing apple cake.  I thought about trying to find a similar recipe to make for breakfast out but thought a muffin would make more sense (not that there’s anything wrong with eating cake for breakfast).  Muffins are such a great breakfast food since you can freeze whatever you don’t eat, then take one out whenever you want some home baked goodness.

I gave one of these to Dennis warm out of the oven and was hoping he’d give me a bite.  Apparently that wish was in vain because he gobbled the muffin down in about 4 bites.  As I gazed wistfully at the few crumbs left over he assured me that the muffin was very, very good.  So at least there’s that.

Apple Pie Muffins (From

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup milk combined with 1 T lemon juice)
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
2 cups diced apples (about 1 large apple.  I used Granny Smith and would recommend using a tart variety)

1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 12 cup muffin tin or line with paper muffin cups.

In a large bowl, stir together 2 1/4 cups flour, baking soda and salt. In a separate smaller bowl, mix together the egg, buttermilk, 1/2 cup melted butter, vanilla and 1 1/2 cups of brown sugar until sugar has dissolved. Pour into the flour mixture and sprinkle the diced apple into the bowl as well. Stir just until everything is blended. Spoon into the prepared muffin tin, filling the cups about ¾ full.

In a small bowl, stir together 1/2 cup of brown sugar, 1/3 cup flour and cinnamon.
Drizzle in 2 tablespoons of melted butter while tossing with a fork until well blended. Sprinkle this over the tops of the muffins.

Bake for 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the tops of the muffins spring back when lightly pressed.