Happy St. Patty’s Day!
I have plans to enjoy a green beer or two later this afternoon
I cannot wait for Spring Break next week so that I can sleep! This week has been a bit stressful and I feel like I’ve been going non-stop (more about that later). When I’m stressed I think of two things that help – running and baking. Running is great when I have a lot of anxiety and need a physical release. Baking, however, is my ultimate relaxer. It helps take my mind off of the stress and calms me. I find it therapeutic. So yesterday when I was feeling stressed I decided to bake not one, but two St. Patrick’s Day goodies.
The first goodie I baked was Irish Soda bread. The recipe was very quick and easy. The bread is slightly sweet from the currants and nutty because I used whole wheat pastry flour since it is what I had on hand. For a more traditional bread, I would use all-purpose flour. I really love this bread and I might even bake another one tonight.
Irish Soda Bread
- 3 cups flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup currants
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar together… set aside.
In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, buttermilk, and melted butter.
Combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients. Stir together with a wooden spoon. Fold in the currantss.
You can use either a loaf pan of a round 9 inch cake pan. Spray with non-stick cooking spray. Spread dough evenly into pan.
Bake for about 40-50 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.
My second goodie was a sweet treat- cupcakes! I got the inspiration from a few different blogs I read. I decided on a chocolate cupcake with a hint of Bailey’s Irish cream, coffee flavor. I also mixed in chocolate chips for fun. The frosting is a chocolate cream cheese base with a splash of Irish cream. I opted to make mini cupcakes because they are cuter.
Irish Cream Cupcakes
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons dark cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
3 tablespoons oil
1/4 cup bailey’s irish cream (I used the coffee flavor)
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup chocolate chips
Chocolatey Irish Cream Frosting
1 package low fat cream cheese
2 tablespoons bailey’s irish cream
1/4 cup dark chocolate, melted
1-2 cups powdered sugar
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Place 24 mini paper muffin liners in cups.
To make the cupcakes, in a medium mixing bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together egg, oil, bailey’s, buttermilk and sugar until well combined. Whisk in dry ingredients until just combined. Add chocolate chips. Divide cake batter into muffin cups.
Bake 20 minutes or until well risen and a toothpick inserted into cupcakes comes out with moist crumbs attached. Cool 5 minutes before transferring cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the frosting, in a large mixing bowl, using a mixer on high speed, beat cream cheese, Irish cream and melted chocolate until well combined. Slowly beat in powdered sugar until desired sweetness is reached. Pipe or spread on cupcakes.
Makes 12 cupcakes or 24 mini ones.