Oh boy. I’ve been gone so long. I’m sorry. I didn’t really intend to step away for such an extended period of time; with my crazy new job and applying to grad school, it just kind of happened. But I’m back now and I’m so glad. Oh…and I got into grad school. Hooray! *happy dance*
So, St. Patrick’s Day is coming up. There are tons and tons of recipes out there. If you check on pinterest, you can find anything and everything involving a sickening amount of green food coloring and cutting things up to look like leprechauns, shamrocks, and pots of gold. No thanks. Not my speed. But these Irish soda bread muffins? They are totally my thing. I mean, why wait until lunch or dinner (or the bar) to enjoy the holiday? I prefer to start the fun first thing in the morning.
These muffins are a perfect adaptation of traditional soda bread. They aren’t nearly as dense; rather, they are just as light and fluffy as any good muffin would be. They don’t have a whole lot of sugar, so they aren’t overly sweet, and they have a healthy dose of tangy currants and, if you choose to use them, earthy caraway seeds. You can bite right into one as is, or you can enjoy it with a dab of butter and a smattering of orange marmalade. No matter how you dress them up, I’m certain you’ll love starting your St. Patrick’s Day with these simple, humble, and completely satisfying muffins.
Irish Soda Bread Muffins
from King Arthur Flour
1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. whole wheat flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 c. granulated sugar
1 1/2 c. dried currants (raisins will work if you can’t find them)
1/2 to 2 tsp. caraway seeds (optional)
1 large egg
1 c. low fat buttermilk
6 TBSP butter, melted OR 1/3 c, vegetable oil
sanding sugar, for topping
1. Preheat oven to 400° F. Lightly grease a standard muffin pan or line with papers. Grease the papers, if using.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda salt, sugar, currants, and caraway seeds, if using.
3. In a separate medium bowl whisk together the egg, buttermilk, and melted butter or oil.
4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and whisk until just combined. Using a standard-sized scoop or spoon, put batter into prepared muffin tin, filling the cups about 3/4 full. Sprinkle tops with sanding sugar.
5. Bake the muffins for 20 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Let muffins cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then remove from the pan and let cool completely.
Yield: 12 muffins