Posts Tagged ‘raisins’


Irish Soda Bread

May 7, 2012

I’m home today because Meeshie is not feeling well.  This morning she told me that she didn’t feel well and I did what I normally do, I told her she had to go to school.  I have a crazy week a head.   But she insisted.  She was actually not herself yesterday and didn’t sleep as well as she normally does.  Plus, I knew I was staying home when I told her that she had to go back to bed this morning and she agreed.  That meant no television, or electronic devices.

But that’s okay.  I’m keeping busy in the kitchen today while Meeshie rests.  Plus, I’ve been wanting to share this great recipe.  It’s Irish Soda Bread.  I know that in March this recipe is everywhere, but I love this bread all year round.   My good friend, Cathy makes a wonderful Irish Soda Bread.  This recipe, though, is from a lady who works in my office.  She said it’s an old family recipe and it makes two very large loaves.  This recipe can easily be divided into four loaves for sharing.

I’m a raisin soaker.  I know that some people like to soak raisins for Irish Soda Bread in whiskey.  It does add extra goodness to the bread, but I actually don’t have a preference.  Start with the six cups of flour, and adjust the dough accordingly.  Irish Soda Bread is dense and should not be overly dry.

Irish Soda Bread

  • 6-6 1/2 C Flour, sifted
  • 1 C Sugar
  • 3 t Baking Powder
  • 1 t Baking Soda
  • 1 3/4 C Buttermilk
  • 2 Eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 C Butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 C Raisins, soaked in warm water for at least 20 minutes (I used 1 C regular raisins and 1/2 C golden raisins)

Grease a large cookie sheet and set aside.

Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, and baking soda together in a bowl.  In another bowl, mix the buttermilk, eggs and melted butter together.  Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the egg mixture in the center.  Mix the ingredients with the dough hook on a stand mixer, if you have one.  If not, mix the ingredients with a wooden spoon.  Mix the ingredients together until well combined.  Add the raisins and knead until fairly smooth.  Turn out on floured countertop and continue to knead for another minute or two.  If the dough is overly sticky, add more flour and continue kneading.  Divide the dough into two parts.  Place on the prepared cookie sheet and pat into two round loaves.  With a butter knife, cut a cross about 1/2 inch deep on top of each loaf.  Sprinkle with flour and bake for 45 to 50 minutes in a 350 degree oven until golden brown.


Breakfast Bars

February 27, 2012

Saturday we went to Fair Oaks Farm.  It was a girl scout outing for the family.  It’s one of the largest dairy farms in the country.  We were able to see a calf being born as well as tour the farm.  What a great way to spend a Saturday.  We also enjoyed some sweet swiss cheese.  I’d never heard of it before, but we enjoyed it so much that it didn’t last the weekend.

I think that we’ll be heading back there this summer.

I brought along a tasty treat of breakfast bars.   It was an hour and a half drive, and I’m always prepared.   I found the recipe in the current issue of Everyday Food.  I love that magazine.

This recipe is simple and lends itself to so many variations.  If you want it saltier, add 3/4 t of salt.  If you don’t want chocolate, add raisins.  Lower the peanut butter amount to 1/2 C and add some Nutella.  Use half the amount of rice krispies and add quick oats.  Don’t have cashews, just use your favorite nut.  These are a great alternative to those breakfast bars in the grocery store.  Cheaper too!

Breakfast Bars

  • 7 C Rice Krispy Cereal
  • 1/4 C Butter
  • 10 oz Miniature Marshmallows
  • 3/4 C Peanut Butter
  • 1/2 t Salt
  • 1 C Chocolate Chips
  • 1/4 C Salted Roasted Peanuts, chopped
  • 1/4 C Salted Cashews, chopped

Prepare a nine-inch pan (or quarter sheet) with cooking spray and parchment paper.  In a large pot, melt the butter.  Add the marshmallows, peanut butter, and salt.  Stir until melted.  Remove from heat and stir in the cereal and nuts.  Let sit for a minute.  Sprinkle some of the chocolate chips onto the prepared cooking sheet.  Add the chocolate chips to the cereal mixture, reserving a small amount to sprinkle on top.  Press the cereal mixture into the pan, sprinkle with reserved chocolate chips.  Let cool.  Cut into 12-16 bars.  Wrap in parchment paper or Saran.

These are a great on the go snack.  Perfect for in the car or a snack in someone’s lunch.


Carrot Cake

February 20, 2012

I must confess that before this weekend, I had never made carrot cake.  Oh, I like it.  It’s a great cake when made right.  But I think that one of the reasons I’ve never made it is because of the frosting.  Many times the cream cheese frosting is too sweet.  Oh, and there is a restaurant in town that makes the best carrot cake ever.  When I’m in the mood for carrot cake, I just drive over there and order a slice to go.  That is, until now.

I found this Southern Living recipe after Chefs Catalog sent me a link about carrot cake.  It made me want to make carrot cake.  I searched and decided on the Southern Living recipe because the frosting didn’t seem overly sweet.  I was right.  Everyone thought this recipe was awesome.  This cake is so moist, it’s the buttermilk glaze.  The hardest part was grating the carrots, which I made sure to overgrate and freeze for the next time I make this cake.  I was pleased at how pretty it looked with little effort.

Oh, don’t let the coconut and pineapple throw you.  I was confused by these ingredients myself, but was pleasantly surprised by the outcome.  And by that I mean if you don’t like coconut (and I usually don’t), you won’t know it’s there.  The pineapple is there to add moisture and allow the carrot flavor to pop.  I added raisins to the cake because I like raisins in my carrot cake.  Also, you can use walnuts, but I don’t like them so never buy them.

I served each slice with a drizzle of caramel, just like the restaurant.

Carrot Cake

  • 2 C Flour
  • 2 t Baking Soda
  • 1/2 t Salt
  • 2 t Cinnamon
  • 3 Eggs
  • 2 C Sugar
  • 3/4 C Vegetable Oil
  • 3/4 C Buttermilk
  • 2 t Vanilla
  • 2 C Carrot, grated
  • 1-8 oz crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1/3 C Coconut
  • 1/2 C Raisins, soaked in hot water for at least 20 minutes
  • 1 C Chopped Pecans, plus more for garnish

Buttermilk Glaze

  • 1 C Sugar
  • 1 1/2 t Baking Soda
  • 1/2 C Buttermilk
  • 1/2 C Butter
  • 1 T Corn Syrup
  • 1 t Vanilla

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 3/4 C Butter, softened
  • 8 oz Cream Cheese, softened
  • 3 C Powdered Sugar, sifted
  • 2 t Vanilla

For the cake:

Line 2 (or 3) 9 inch round cake pans with parchment paper and lightly grease the pans, set aside.

In a medium-sized bowl, stir together the flour, soda, salt and cinnamon, set aside.   In another bowl, beat the eggs.  Add the sugar, oil, buttermilk and vanilla to the eggs.  Beat until smooth.  Add the flour mixture, beat until well blended.  Fold in the carrots and drained raisins.  Add the pineapple, coconut and nuts.  Pour the batter into the prepared pans.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.

For the glaze:

Place the sugar, baking soda, buttermilk, butter and corn syrup in a medium-sized sauce pan.  Over medium heat, bring mixture to boil, stirring often, for 4 minutes.  Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.  Remove the cake from the oven and drizzle the glaze evenly over each layer.  Let cool for at least 15 minutes before removing from the pans.  Once removed from the pans, cool the cake completely on a wire rack.

For the frosting:

Cream the butter and cream cheese together until creamy.  Add the sifted powdered sugar and vanilla.  Beat until smooth.  Spread the frosting on each cake layer.  Garnish the sides with crushed nuts, if desired.



October 30, 2011

We love pancakes.  I have a wonderful scratch pancake mix that I keep in the pantry.  It’s a perfect recipe for the pancake lover in your life.  So is this recipe.  It marries our favorite things, oatmeal cookies and pancakes.   The oatmeal cookie muffins reminded me how much we love this breakfast too.

The original recipe calls for nuts, but I don’t add them.  I guess it’s because I don’t add nuts to my oatmeal cookies.  If you do add them, please share.  I do like to brown the butter, but you don’t have to do that.  But if you want to try a new twist, try them with honey instead of the syrup.

The pancakes are a little darker than what I’m used to but that is due to the brown sugar in the batter.  They are a very moist and fluffy pancake with a hint of cinnamon flavoring…

Oatmeal Cookie Pancakes

  • 1 C Old Fashioned Oats
  • 1 C Flour
  • 1/2 C Brown Sugar
  • 2 t Baking Powder
  • 1/2 t Baking Soda
  • 1 t Cinnamon
  • 1/4 C chopped Pecans or Walnuts (optional)
  • 3/4 C Sour Cream
  • 3/4 C Milk
  • 2 large Eggs
  • 1 t Vanilla
  • 2 ripe Bananas, mashed
  • 3/4 C Raisins, soaked in warm water for at least 20 minutes
  • 1/4 C Butter, melted (brown the butter and you won’t be sorry)

In a large bowl, mix together the oats, flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and the nuts (optional).  In another bowl, whisk the eggs, sour cream, milk and vanilla together.  Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ones until just combined.  Fold the bananas and raisins into the batter.  Stir in the melted butter.

Heat a griddle over medium heat and use additional butter to the griddle.  Laddle the batter on to the prepared griddle, cook the pancakes until bubbles form on the tip and then flip them.

Serve with drizzled honey (oh yes!) or syrup.

Makes about 2 dozen pancakes.  Take the remaining pancakes and place them on a cookie sheet in one layer.   Place the cookie sheet in the freezer for about a half an hour, once they are frozen,  place the pancakes in a Ziploc bag and put them back in the freezer until you are ready to eat them.  This will prevent the pancakes from sticking together inside the bag and will allow for easy reheat on a busy morning.

On a separate note, I’ve been eyeing the pasta attachment for my kitchenmaid mixer.  Does anyone have one of those?  Any tips?


Raisin Oatmeal Cookie Muffins

October 4, 2011

I’m always looking for a great breakfast meal.  I especially love a grab and go one.  That’s why the muffin was invented, right?  To grab and go on those mornings when you don’t have time to either sit down and eat or you don’t have time.  A muffin is its own package and you can either eat it in your car, or you can eat it when you get to work.

This muffin brings two great things together, cookies and muffins.  As a matter of fact, I have an oatmeal cookie pancake recipe that I now have to make this weekend.

I’m wondering if you are a raisin soaker?  I can say that I’m a fan of soaking your raisins.  I like that a simple step can add so much to a recipe.  That extra level of plumpness really adds something to the recipe.  I like to soak them in warm water for at least a half an hour, but that’s your call.

These are a perfect companion to these cool fall mornings.  I can also see that the raisin could be replaced by dried cherries, strawberries, or blueberries.  I suppose you could use cranberries, but I’m not a fan of them, but if you do make them that way, I hope you share.

Raisin Oatmeal Cookie Muffins

  • 4 C Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
  • 2 C Flour
  • 1 1/2 t Baking Powder
  • 1/2 t Baking Soda
  • 1 t Salt
  • 2 t Cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 C Butter, softened
  • 1 C Sugar
  • 1 C Brown Sugar, packed
  • 4 Eggs
  • 2 t Vanilla
  • 1 C Sour Cream
  • 1 1/2 C Raisins

In a medium-sized bowl, combine the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.  In another bowl beat the butter and sugars until fluffy.  Add the vanilla and beat in the eggs, one at a time.   Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined.  Add in the sour cream and then add the raisins.  The batter will resemble wet cookie batter.  Measure the batter into a prepared muffin tin (I don’t use paper liners, but feel free) about 3/4 full.

Bake in a 375 degrees oven for 18 to 20 minutes, or until golden and a cake tester inserted in the centers comes out clean.  Transfer to a wire rack and allow them to cool completely.

Thanks studentmamacook for posting this great recipe!

Linked here today!  Whoe doesn’t love maple?  And maple muffins?!

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