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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

Drink Me, I’m Irish: Irish Tea Cocktails For St. Patrick’s Day

March 9, 2017

St. Patrick’s Day is Friday, March 17, and with it comes the chance to celebrate all things Irish. Like its European neighbor England, Ireland is a country of tea drinkers. So in addition to wearing green, drinking booze, and praising St. Patrick for chasing the snakes out of Ireland, be sure to carve out some time to enjoy a cup of Irish breakfast tea.

But what exactly is Irish breakfast tea?

As explained by Kitchn, Irish breakfast tea is a black tea that boasts a malty flavor. It is stronger than English breakfast tea, but weaker than Scottish breakfast tea. The tea in a cup of Irish breakfast tea originally hailed from Assam, India, where the East India Company operated tea plantations before shipping the product back to an insatiable public. Strong Irish, English, and Scottish black teas went perfectly with a hearty breakfast, giving the tea its name.

A plain cup of Irish breakfast tea is a simple pleasure all on its own, but this St. Patrick’s day, try combining Irish tea with another staple of the Irish culinary world: alcohol.

If you’re hosting a St. Patrick’s Day, consider making a signature cocktail with Irish breakfast tea as a starring ingredient, or treat yourself to a fancy concoction while you watch the St. Patrick’s Day parade solo on TV.

Here are five scrumptious cocktail recipes that use Irish breakfast tea to get the party started:

1) Apricot & Black Tea Irish Whiskey Cocktail

Apricot & Black Tea Irish Whiskey Cocktail

Apricot and black tea blend for an appetite-whetting whiskey cocktail in this recipe from Holly & Flora. Start by making a black tea simple syrup from water, cane sugar, and Irish breakfast tea. Add the simple syrup to an ice-filled glass along with whiskey, apricot liquer, lemon juice, and bitters. Shake, strain, and add a dash of soda water to finish the drink off.

2) The Tullamore D.E.W. Elevenses

The Tullamore D.E.W. Elevenses

This recipe from triple distilled and triple blended Irish whiskey Tullamore D.E.W. mixes 3 parts Tullamore D.E.W. with 1 part lemon juice, 2.5 parts Irish breakfast tea, and 2 spoons of raspberry preserves. Shake and serve over ice, with a lemon twist for a classy garnish.

3) Blood Orange, Tea, & Whiskey Cocktail

Blood Orange, Tea, & Whiskey Cocktail

This recipe from Healthy Delicious recipe developer Lauren Keating starts by steeping Irish breakfast tea bags in whiskey. Add the whiskey tea to blood orange juice, lemon juice, and honey in a shaker, and give it a good shake. Strain and pour over ice. Add a splash of club soda and garnish with mint if desired.

4) Irish Hot Toddy

Irish Hot Toddy

This recipe from Chrystal Mahan is perfect if you’re celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in a cold climate. Begin by brewing Irish breakfast tea. Add whiskey, honey, and lemon, then garnish with a lemon slice, and you’re well on your way to warming up.

5) Spiced 46 Martini

Spiced 46 Martini

This martini recipe from The Restaurants of Neiman Marcus begins with Spiced Iced Tea made from Irish breakfast tea bags, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, Tang, and almond extract. For grown-up fun, add Maker’s 46 (bourbon handmade whiskey from Maker’s Mark) as well as mint, peach puree, and lemon juice.

 

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.