Celtic Confections

The Guin­ness float also doubles as a hangover cure.

Saints and be­gor­rah, it’s St. Patrick’s Day! It’s time for lep­re­chauns, fair­ies and rain­bows, and a pot of gold. Mix sham­rocks and shenanigans along with some green beer (oh no!), a little blar­ney, and you’ve got to have some fun, or cra­ic (pro­nounced crack), as they say in Ire­land. That’s the truth, or my name isn’t Donna O’Zit­ter McBor­de­lon.

If, by chance, you also de­sire to make an Ir­ish Soda Bread, the fol­low­ing re­cipe is es­sen­tial. I’ve fan­cied it up a bit and ad­ded some rais­ins. Don’t for­get to mark the top of the bread with a cross be­fore bak­ing. Wheth­er you be­lieve the cross pro­tects the eat­er from evil spir­its or lets the fair­ies es­cape, the bread should bake more evenly.


4 cups all-pur­pose flour

¼ cup sug­ar

2 tsp. bak­ing soda

1½ tsp. salt

¼ cup but­ter (1/2 stick)

1 cup rais­ins

1½ cups but­ter­milk 

(Sub­sti­tute for but­ter­milk: Add 3 Tb­sp. white or apple cider vin­eg­ar to a 2-cup meas­ur­ing cup, and fill with reg­u­lar milk un­til you reach 1½ cups. Al­low to sit 5 minutes.)

1 egg, lightly beaten

- Pre­heat oven to 375 de­grees.

- Mix flour, sug­ar, bak­ing soda and salt in a bowl.

- Cut in the but­ter with two knives or fin­gers un­til mix­ture re­sembles coarse crumbs.

- Stir in rais­ins.

- Make a well in the cen­ter of dry in­gredi­ents and add but­ter­milk and egg. Mix to­geth­er with a wooden spoon only un­til just blen­ded. Mix­ture will be some­what sticky.

With clean, dry, lightly floured hands:

- Turn dough out onto lightly floured sur­face.  

- Turn dough over and knead lightly for a few turns. (Too much   knead­ing of soda bread and you’ll get tough bread)

- Shape in­to a round loaf.

- Place in the middle of a greased bak­ing sheet.

- Us­ing a knife, slice a cross onto the top of the loaf about 1/8-inch deep.

- Bake 45 to 50 minutes or un­til tooth­pick in­ser­ted in­to cen­ter comes out clean and bread sounds hol­low when tapped on the bot­tom. Tent bread with foil, if it is brown­ing too much.

Serve with but­ter and/or jam.

Here’s an easy bread re­cipe that is just about fool­proof. Any beer will do, but Guin­ness would def­in­itely make this bread qual­i­fy as Ir­ish.


2½ cups all pur­pose flour

2½ cups whole wheat flour

2 tsp. bak­ing powder

1½ tsp. salt

Two 12 oz. bottles of beer – 24 oz. (Guin­ness or any oth­er)

1/2 cup brown sug­ar

1/2 cup melted but­ter for top­ping 

1/8 cup oats for top­ping

- Pre­heat oven to 375 de­grees.

- Grease two 9 x 5-inch loaf pans

- Mix thor­oughly the flour, bak­ing powder, salt and brown sug­ar in large bowl.

- Add beer and mix un­til moist.

- Di­vide dough in­to two greased loaf pans.

- Di­vide and pour melted but­ter over each pan.

- Sprinkle oats over top of each.

- Bake about 1 hour or un­til loaves are golden brown.

Need a little something to sip while en­joy­ing your bread? Serve the fol­low­ing Ir­ish cof­fee.


3/4 cup freshly brewed cof­fee

1 tsp. brown sug­ar

1 jig­ger Jameson (or oth­er Ir­ish whis­key)

Whipped cream

- Warm your cup with hot wa­ter and then dis­card.     

- Fill cup ¾ full with your fa­vor­ite hot cof­fee.

- Add Jameson and brown sug­ar and stir.

- Top with whipped cream. Al­low cream to float on top. Drink through the cream – don’t stir.

Serve im­me­di­ately.

If you prefer a cold drink, or are afraid caf­feine will keep you up at night, here is a de­li­cious, cold al­tern­at­ive that uses some of the Black Stuff.


2 scoops of vanilla ice cream

1 bottle of Guin­ness Stout

- Chill a pint glass.  

- Put scoops of ice cream in­to chilled glass.

- Slowly pour the Guin­ness onto the ice cream un­til foam reaches part way up the glass.

- Stop pour­ing and al­low float to quiet down. (This pour pro­ced­ure is re­min­is­cent of in­struc­tions on “How to Pour a Per­fect Pint” from the Guin­ness fact­ory in Dub­lin.)

- Re­sume pour to fill glass.

Serve im­me­di­ately.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Eat well, live long, en­joy!

(Ques­tions or tips can be sent to Donna Zit­ter Bor­de­lon at Whats­cook­in­NEPhilly@gmail.com or in care of the North­east Times, 2512 Met­ro­pol­it­an Drive, Tre­vose, PA 19053)

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