Tomorrow is St. Patty’s Day! With a first name like Molly, a maiden name like Reilly, a married name like Meehan, and a son named Kieran…well, you can probably guess where a majority of my heritage comes from! I’m Irish, and damn proud of it.
Last year, I shared some killer Guinness-marinated beef sandwiches in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, and while they are festive and fun for the holiday, they are truly good any day of the year. You really don’t need an excuse to whip up a batch, so go make ’em. Or, you could make the stout-braised short ribs I shared last week. Those are to die for.
Or you could do it the old school way and celebrate with corned beef and cabbage. Not being a huge fan of either of those things, I think I’ll opt for the beef.
And then, to finish off the meal, I’ll be enjoying these Irish soda bread muffins!
Now, these are a twist on a traditional Irish soda bread, which I LOVE. My paternal grandmother had an incredible recipe for the traditional version. This recipe is a nod to tradition but with a few tweaks. Firstly, they are MUFFINS! So fun. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: mini versions of food are always more fun.
These muffins also have some ginger and orange zest going on; the flavors are so yummy but not too overpowering. They’re are like a slightly sweeter, moister version of Irish soda bread. Almost scone like with those incredible sugar-crusted tops.
Keeping with tradition, I included some sweet-tart currants in my batter, and not being a fan of raisins in my baked goods, the currants are the perfect addition. They are tiny and chewy and sweet. They make a statement but don’t steal the show, which is exactly how I like my dried fruit. The true star of these muffins is the overall texture and crumb. Moist, dense (but not dry!), just slightly sweet, crumbly, and…delicious.
They’re awesome with coffee for breakfast, or as a snack, and even dessert…or all three! They’re a very versatile treat.
The perfect way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day! All day long.
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup whole-wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
⅓ cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1½ cups currants or raisins
Zest of 1 orange
1 large egg
1 cup buttermilk
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Turbinado sugar, for topping
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly grease a standard muffin pan or line with papers.
Whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, ginger, and currants/raisins.
In another bowl, whisk together the zest, egg, buttermilk, melted butter, and vanilla until combined.
Combine the dry and wet ingredients until just incorporated. Do not overmix! It will be a thick batter!
Fill the muffin cups ¾ full with the batter and then sprinkle each with the turbinado sugar. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool in the pan for a few minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to completely cool. Serve warmed or at room temperature with softened butter and/or jam.
Adapted from here.