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Bake Me, I’m Irish: 5 Tea-Infused Treats for St. Patrick’s Day

February 26, 2018

St. Patrick’s Day is coming up on Saturday, March 17.  In addition to wearing green and waving the Irish flag, try baking one of these tea-infused Irish treats to get in the mood for this festive holiday. Tea is hugely important to Irish culture, with black Irish teas filling many a cuppa in the country. Take one of these recipes for a whirl and prepare to be delighted this St. Patrick’s Day:

1) Earl Grey and Currant Scones with Vanilla Bean Glaze

This recipe from Bake From Scratch uses loose-leaf earl grey tea in the scone batter for a winning dose of bitterness. Currents provide fruity texture in each scone, while a vanilla bean glaze tops each one for an extra serving of sweetness.

2) Irish Soda Bread with Tea-Infused Raisins

This recipe from Anson Mills adds a cool twist on classic Irish soda bread: black tea-infused raisins. For centuries, soda bread has been a staple for the Irish everyman. This recipe updates it slightly, with the authors describing it as “a fine, moist, rugged country bread.” They elaborate: “Deep nuttiness, faint fruit, and a satisfying array of toasted whole bran and chisel flavors emerge from handmade whole grain rustic graham flour, while pastry flour lightens the bread’s texture and flavors the crumb with a faux butteriness.” The tea-infused raisins add welcome flavor and texture. Eat plain, or top with butter for a delicious, traditional snack!

3) Double Chocolate Irish Tea-Infused Oat Muffins

This recipe from Half Baked Harvest is a great way to bring Ireland’s fame for oats into the dessert space. Begin by steeping 2 black tea bags in coconut milk. Combine the tea-infused coconut milk with wet ingredients eggs, vanilla, maple syrup, and oil. Then mix with dry ingredients: steel cut oats, oat flour, rye flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Fold in chopped dark chocolate, and then bake. Drizzle with honey and serve with butter for two yummy finishing touches.

4) Gur Cake

Gur cake is a traditional Irish dessert associated with Dublin. It’s a treat that features a thick layer of filling in between two thin layers of pastry crust. Stale bread is soaked in tea to make the pastry. The cake gets  its name from the term gurrier, used to describe poor children to whom a bakery’s leftovers would be given. These gurriers would transform stale bread into a sweet treat: gur cake. This recipe from Wholesome Ireland offers one classic gur cake recipe. Perfect for frugal bakers!

5) Tea Shortbread Coins        

Shortbread is as classic as it gets when it comes to Irish desserts. Here, Thirsty For Tea blogger Bonnie Eng offers three different shortbread recipes, each made with a different type of tea: Earl Grey, Matcha, or Irish Breakfast. For the Irish Breakfast tea variation, Eng blends Irish tea with cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves, black pepper, and nutmeg for a Masala Chai Shortbread. On the variations, Eng says, “While Earl Grey Shortbread is fragrant and full of vanilla goodness, the matcha version is bittersweet and earthy. Masala Chai Shortbread is a yummy choice when you’re craving a touch of warm spice. And of course, you can’t go wrong with dipping or drizzling any of these with chocolate! Rich and buttery, these shortbread cookies make a great hostess gift for your St. Patrick’s Day party host, or a great way to celebrate Ireland all on your own.

Tea Recipes

5 Recipes That Use Tea For a Tasty St. Patrick’s Day

March 7, 2017

On Friday, March 17th, we’ll celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.  Chicago will dye the Chicago River green, local parades will feature bagpipe players piping their hearts out, and Americans across the country will reach for Irish goodies to sip and munch. This year, try your hand at baking a traditional Irish dish that features a tea twist. Here are five recipes that count tea among their ingredients to make an Irish classic extra special.

1) Dublin Gur Cake

Dublin Gur Cake

Gur cake is a sweet pastry that hails from Ireland’s capital, Dublin. The treat gets its name from the term “gurriers,” which was used to describe youngsters up to no good. If a young lad went ‘on the gur,’ it meant he was skipping class. Gur cake was traditionally made with leftover bread, making it cheap enough that the average gurrier could afford to buy it as fuel for a day of mischief. This gur cake recipe from Your Living City uses strongly brewed tea to make its filling, combining tea with stale bread, dried fruit, syrup, cinnamon, and other spices for a sweet, fruity filling. If you feel like channeling your inner gurrier this St. Patrick’s Day, follow this recipe and make way for mischief.

2) Tea-Infused Boiled Potatoes 

Tea-Infused Boiled Potatoes

There is no food more classically Irish than the potato. The Irish first started planting the potato in the 1600s and it became a staple in the country’s diet.  This recipe from Chef Raghavan Iyer via The Splendid Table puts a spin on potatoes by boiling them in black tea, then seasoning them with ginger, Chinese five-spice powder, red cayenne pepper, lemon juice, and scallions. Iyer found that smoking food with tea leaves resulted in an overpowering smokiness, but that boiling them left just enough tea flavor in the potatoes without commandeering the entire dish.

3) Irish Barmbrack 

Irish Barmbrack

Barmbrack is a traditional Irish sweet bread that contains raisins.  This classic fruitcake recipe from Irish Culinary TV personality Donal Skehan calls for fruit to be soaked in cold tea and whiskey overnight, making the fruit plumper and more flavorful. It’s then baked into a delicious, yeasted bread. The Irish typically bake a ring or other tiny trinkets inside the fruit cake for eaters to find. Barmbrack, sometimes nicknamed brack, typically graces kitchen counters on Halloween, but this baked good is delicious on all days spooky or not.

4) Bangers & Mash With Irish Tea Gravy

Bangers & Mash With Irish Tea Gravy

This sausage and mashed potatoes recipe from Thirsty For Tea uses Irish tea bags in its gravy. Blogger Bonnie Eng promises, “The taste of tea in this gravy is less assertive than if we had made it with Guinness but stronger than chicken or beef stock.”

5) Tea-Infused Soda Bread

Tea-Infused Soda Bread

Irish soda bread bakes quickly and is typically made by combining baking soda with buttermilk, flour, and salt. This recipe from Snapguide infuses classic soda bread with black tea by steeping tea leaves in hot milk. The tender bread goes great with jam, cheese, or butter on St. Patrick’s Day or any other morning that calls for a rich, tasty bread.