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Irish Recipes





Maggie Bennett wanted an easily prepared soda bread. She used her grandmother's recipe from Ireland, and has been making it for the past twenty-five years. Consistency at preparation may worry you, but it bakes up wonderfully!


  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups raisins
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • Directions

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9 inch round cast iron skillet or a 9 inch round baking or cake pan.

    2. In a mixing bowl, combine flour (reserving 1 tablespoon), sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, raisins and caraway seeds. In a small bowl, blend eggs, buttermilk and sour cream. Stir the liquid mixture into flour mixture just until flour is moistened. Knead dough in bowl about 10 to 12 strokes. Dough will be sticky. Place the dough in the prepared skillet or pan and pat down. Cut a 4x3/4 inch deep slit in the top of the bread. Dust with reserved flour

    3. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) oven for 65 to 75 minutes. Let cool and turn bread onto a wire rack.

    Soda Bread


    Christmas morning in Ireland would be time to break your fast after Mass. And what better way to do so than some early morning Irish Scones?

    • 3 cups plain flour;
    • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar;
    • 1 cup of buttermilk;
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder

    Stir together dry ingredients and mix lightly with hands. Make a hollow in the centre and add enough buttermilk to make soft dough. Turn onto floured board and knead quickly and lightly until the dough is free from cracks. Roll out until 1/2 cm thick and cut into rounds. Place on greased oven sheet and bake at 200 degrees Celsius for 15 minutes.


    Stephen's Day, December 26, would often find people traveling from house to house, looking for treats as they entertained neighbors. As the story of Snick Snack and the King of the Birds is played out, tea and cookies could be served. What could be better than Irish CHRISTMAS COOKIES?

    • 1 cup butter, softened;
    • 1 cup granulated Sugar;
    • 3 large eggs;
    • 2 cups all-purpose Flour;
    • 1/4 cup Irish whiskey;
    • 1/4 cup candied citron, chopped;
    • 1/4 cup golden raisins, blanched and chopped;
    • 1/4 cup almonds, chopped
    Preheat oven to 375 F. and prepare two greased cookie sheets; set aside.

    In a small mixing bowl, cream together the butter and the sugar. Beat in the eggs until well blended. Add the flour and the Irish whiskey, and beat the dough until smooth. Add the fruit and nuts, and mix well. Drop cookie dough from a tablespoon onto the prepared cookie sheets. Bake each sheet of cookies for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the cookies from the baking sheets with a spatula while still warm. Place on wire rack to partially cool. Store the cookies in an airtight container with a slice of white bread to maintain their soft, fruity texture.

    Sugar Cookie Shamrocks


    • 1-18 oz. package Refrigerated Sugar Cookie Dough
    • Green Sugar Sprinkles

    Preheat oven to 350°F.

    Shape dough into 3/4 - inch balls; place three together to form shamrock shape on ungreased baking sheet.

    Roll small amount of dough to form stem. Sprinkle with green sugar. Repeat with remaining dough.

    Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool on baking sheet for 1 minute, then remove and place on wire racks to cool completely before serving.

    Makes 15 cookies.

    Pistachio Shamrock Cookies


    Cookie Dough:

    • 1 cup butter or margarine
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1 egg
    • 2 cups flour
    • 1 teaspoon grated lime peel
    • 1 cup finely chopped pistachios

    Lime Icing:

    • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
    • 1 cup powdered sugar
    • 1 tablespoon milk
    • 1/4 teaspoon grated lime peel


    Preheat oven to 375°F.

    Cream butter and sugar; beat in egg. Stir in flour and lime peel; mix in pistachios.

    Refrigerate dough 1 hour. Roll out dough 1/4-inch thick; cut shapes with shamrock-shaped cookie cutter (see hints below).

    Place cookies on ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned; cool completely.

    Pipe lime icing to outline cookies.

    Lime Icing:
    Combine butter, powdered sugar, milk and lime peel in a medium bowl. Mix until smooth. Makes about 1/2 cup.

    Hint: If shamrock-shaped cookie cutter is not available, cut out shamrock pattern from a piece of heavy paper and cut cookie dough using pattern and sharp knife. Or cut with 2 to 2-1/2-inch round cookie cutter and pipe icing in shamrock shape on cookies after baking.

    Another Hint: Use green food coloring if you would like the icing to be deep green.

    Irish Lace Cookies


    • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
    • 4 tablespoons flour
    • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
    • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    • 2 tablespoons milk
    • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats


    Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 2 baking sheets.

    Cream butter and sugar. Add vanilla; stir in flour, milk, and rolled oats.

    Drop batter by the tablespoon onto prepared baking sheets; allow room for cookies to spread to about 3 inches in diameter. Each baking sheet will hold about 6 cookies.

    Bake until cookies flatten and look dry (10 minutes). Let cookies cool for 4 to 5 minutes on baking sheets. Lift from baking sheet with a metal spatula and cool completely before serving.

    Makes 2 dozen cookies.

    Hint: If making this Irish cookie recipe ahead of time, store airtight after baking. Re-crisp by warming on a baking sheet in a 350° oven 5 minutes. Cool completely before serving.

    St. Patrick's Shamrock Cookie


    • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
    • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 cup flour
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened


    Preheat oven to 325°F.

    In a medium bowl, beat butter or margarine and brown sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy.

    Stir in vanilla. Add flour and salt to the butter and blend well.

    With a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface, roll out dough 1/4-inch thick. Cut out cookies using a 3 inch Shamrock cookie cutter and place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Re-roll scraps.

    Sprinkle green sugar crystals on each cookie.

    Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until cookies are pale golden, not brown. Let stand 2 minutes. Remove to a rack and let cool completely.

    Makes 1-1/2 dozen cookies.

    Irish Tea Cookies


    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1/2 cup butter
    • 2 beaten eggs
    • 1/3 cup milk
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • Flour


    Mix first 6 ingredients together. Add and mix in enough flour to make dough stiff enough to handle. Roll thin. Sprinkle with sugar. Roll again. Cut out with biscuit cutter or any cookie cutter.

    Bake at 350°F until sides and bottoms are golden brown


    Is maith an t-anlann an t-ocras.

    Hunger is a good sauce.


    • 4 tablespoons pearl barley
    • 1 1/2 pounds eating apples
    • 2 ounces sugar
    • 3/4 tablespoon double cream
    • 1 liter water
    Apples should be peeled, cored and sliced. Put the barley in the water and bring to the boil for 2 hours prior to mixing. Add the sliced apples and continue cooking gently until the barley and apples are soft. Press through a sieve, or put through the blender, and put back in the saucepan. Add the sugar and lemon juice and bring to the boil again. Remove from the heat, allow to cool, and then chill. Serve cool with the cream stirred in.


    Carl Hogan is a Dubliner. Her daughter, Denise Hogan Laumann, gave us her recipe of Dublin Christmas Pudding.

    • 4 oz Flour
    • 1 tbsp Mixed Spice
    • 1 tbsp Cinnamon
    • 1 tbsp Nutmeg
    • Pinch of Salt
    • 8 oz White Bread Crumbs
    • 8 oz Brown Sugar
    • 8 oz Currants
    • 8 oz Raisins
    • 8 oz Sultanas
    • 4 oz jarred Cherries
    • 4 oz Almonds (Optional)
    • 1/4 lb Margarine
    • 2 Eggs
    • 1/2 Pint Guinness
    • Small Bottle of Whiskey (like an airline miniature bottle)

    Mix flour, salt and spices together. Add breadcrumbs, sugar and all the fruit. Stir until well combined.

    Melt margarine in a sauce pan. Cool slightly, add eggs, then whiskey and Guinness. Make a well in the center of the fruit mix, pour in egg mixture. Stir the whole thing together with a very big wooden spoon until your arm hurts. Get up on a chair if you must for more leverage.

    Here's where I stray from an exact recipe. After I have mixed everything completely, I smell the mix to see what I think is missing or if is seems dry. I usually end up adding more of each spice (one at a time). I add a little more whiskey and the rest of the pint of Guinness (until the mix is good and moist).

    Cover the mix and leave it overnight to set. Then check it again to make sure it smells good. Add more spices if you think it needs it. I usually add more currants to achieve a dark color in the mix.

    Now the hardest part: bring to a boil a very large pot of water with a small plate placed within. Sit a bowl (top-down) onto greaseproof paper and draw a circle. Cut out the circle and rub margarine on one side of it.

    While the water's coming to a boil, grease bowl and fill with the mixture to within 2-inches of the top. Flatten mixture in bowl. Place greaseproof paper on top of the bowl. Then fold a pleat into the center of the paper (about 1-inch pleat) and press the paper down onto the mix. Rub the edges flat into the inside of the bowl.

    Once this is completed, wrap the bowl twice with greaseproof paper. Then tie some twine (very tightly around the top of rim of the bowl. Tie the twine again from top to bottom of bowl (like you wrap ribbon on a gift). Then wrap the bowl (very tightly) in two layers of tinfoil. Follow the same technique with the twine again. The main aim is to make sure everything is wrapped and tied tight enough, that no water will get inside the bowl as the bowl needs to be completely covered by the water. (Don't forget to make a long twine handle for taking the cake out of the pot of water.)

    Once the water has boiled, sit the bowl into the pot, turn the heat down to a simmer and let it cook for 8hrs.

    December 26 is St. Stephen's Day, or Boxing Day. It is when presents are exchanged. It is also the day when the Wren Boys would go house to house and beg for food and drink, or money, in parts of Ireland. If you have people coming over, you can serve them a tasty dessert.

    • 4 to 5 medium apples, peeled, cored, quartered, and thinly sliced
    • 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts
    • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 3 tablespoons apple juice concentrate
    • Dash nutmeg
    • 1 tablespoon butter
    • 3/4 cup oatmeal
    • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

      DIRECTIONS: Preheat the oven to 350° F. Combine the apples, nuts, spices, and juice concentrate in a mixing bowl and toss until the spices coat the apples evenly. Transfer to a 9-by-9-inch baking pan. Melt the butter in a skillet. Stir in the oats until evenly coated with the butter. Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the apples. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown and the apples are tender.


    • 3/4; pound (3 sticks) plus 2 T butter, softened
    • 1 1/4; cup plus 2 T all-purpose flour
    • 2/3 cup coarsely chopped candied cherries
    • 1 1/4; cup seedless raisins
    • 1 1/4; cup white raisins
    • 1 1/4; cup dried currants
    •  1/4; cup finely chopped mixed candied fruit peel
    • 2 T finely chopped candied angelica
    • 1 1/4; cup sugar
    • 7 eggs
    • 1 tsp ground allspice
    • 1 T salt
    • 1 cup finely chopped walnuts

    Preheat the oven to 300 deg;, using a pastry brush, coat the bottom and sides of a 9x3 inch springform cake pan with 2 T of the softened butter. Sprinkle 2 T of the flour into the pan, tip it from side to side to spread the flour evenly, then invert the pan and rap it sharply on the bottom to remove excess flour. Combine the cherries, seedless and white raisins, currants, candied peel and angelica in a bowl, add ¼ cup of the flour, and toss the fruit about with a spoon to coat the pieces evenly. Set aside.

    In a large bowl, cream, 3/4; pound of softened butter and the sugar and 2 more tablespoons of the flour together by mashing and beating them against the sides of the bowl until they are light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then slowly beat in the remaining flour, the allspice and the salt. Combine the nuts with the fruit mixture and add the mixture to the batter, about 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, spreading itout with a spatula. Bake in the middle of the oven for 1 1/2; hours, or until the top of the cake is light golden in color or a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cake completely before removing it from the pan. Makes one 9-inch round white fruitcake.


  • Citron 1 lb.
  • Candied orange and lemon peel, combined, 1/2 lb.
  • Dates, 1/2 lb.
  • Glace cherries, 1/2 lb.
  • Raisins, 3 3/4 Cup.
  • Currants, 2 3/4 Cup.
  • Almonds and pecans, combined, coarsely chopped, 1 lb.
  • Brandy, 3/4 Cup
  • Brown sugar, 1 lb.
  • Butter, softened, 1 lb.
  • Egg yolks, beaten until thick, 15
  • All-purpose flour, sifted, 4 Cups
  • Cinnamon, 1 Tbsp.
  • Cloves, 1 Tbsp.
  • Allspice, 1 Tbsp.
    Nutmeg, 1 Tbsp.
  • Mace, 1 1/2 tsp.
  • Egg whites, beaten until stiff, 15

  • Chop the citron, orange and lemon peels, dates and cherries. (Reserve a few cherry halves for decoration.) Add the raisins, currants, almonds, and pecans. (Reserve a few nut halves for decoration.) Pour on the brandy and let the fruits marinate while preparing the rest of the ingredients. Cream the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add the beaten egg yolks gradually, beating constantly. reserve 1 cup of the flour and sift the remaining 3 cups with the spices. Add the sifted ingredients gradually to the butter mixture, beating well after each addition. Fold in the egg whites carefully. Sprinkle the fruits with the reserved 1 cup of flour and mix well. Fold the fruits into the batter. Oil and line a 12-inch springform pan with waxed paper. Place batter in pan and bake in 300 degree F. oven with pans of hot water in bottom of the oven, for 2 1/2 hours. Cool the cake and wrap in cheesecloth that has been soaked in brandy. Place in airtight container and store until ready to use. Every 3 weeks, re-dip the cheesecloth wrapper in brandy. Before decorating, glaze the top and sides of the cake with either apricot jam, thinned with a little water or red currant jelly. This will help the marzipan to adhere to the cake sides.


    3 (9 oz.) cans almond paste

    Form 2 cans of the almond paste into a ball. Place on lightly sugared or floured board and roll into a rectangle 1/8 inch thick. (The width of the rectangle should match the height of the sides of the cake. The length should match the circumference.) Circle the cake with the almond paste and trim the edges to fit perfectly. Roll the remaining paste into a circle the size of the top of the cake. Place the circle on the cake and trim. Let the almond paste dry overnight. Ice with Royal Icing


  • Egg whites, 2
  • Lemon juice, 1 Tbsp.
  • Confectioners' sugar, 1 lb.

    Beat the egg whites with the lemon juice until they are the consistency of cream. Beat in the sugar a little at a time. Continue beating, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally, until the icing is smooth and shiny. It will be very stiff. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth if the icing is not to be used immediately. Cover the almond paste with a thin layer of icing. Dip the knife in hot water if the icing is difficult to spread. To decorate the cake, form peaks on the sides and edges of the top of the cake with the remaining icing using the tip of a knife.


    Despite its name, plum cake contains no plums.

  • 8 oz. butter
  • 8 oz. sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 tsp. almond extract
  • 3 Tbsp. corn syrup
  • 3 oz. finely ground almonds
  • 4 cups unbleached white flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • pinch salt
  • 12 oz. milk
  • 2 cups sultanas (golden raisins)
  • 2 1/2 cups currants
  • Grated rind of 3 oranges
  • Grated rind of 2 lemons

  • Cream butter with sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time and beating well after each addition. Beat in the syrup, almond extract and ground almonds. Reserving 1/2 cup of the flour, sieve the remainder with baking soda and salt. Add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with the milk, beating well after each addition. Coat sultanas and currants with reserved flour and fold into batter along with grated peels. Mix well and pour into a well-buttered tube pan, distributing batter evenly. Bake at 300 deg. F. 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours. Let pan cool for 45 minutes, then turn out onto wire rack to further cool.



      1 cup white flour
      3 eggs
      3 cups wholewheat bread crumbs
      1 cup sultanas (yellow raisins)
      1 cup raisins
      1 cup currants
      2 tsp. grated orange rind
      1/4; cup orange juice
      1 cup Guinness
      1/4; cup Irish whiskey
      1 tsp. baking powder
      1 tsp. ground cinnamon


      125g (5 oz) butter
      1/2; cup Demerara sugar
      1/2; cup golden syrup
      2 tbsp. Irish whiskey
      1 cup cream (to serve)

    Place sultanas, raisins, currants, orange rind and juice, Guinness and whiskey in bowl, cover and leave overnight. Grease a medium size pudding steamer (approx. 6 cup plastic bowl) with melted butter. Fold bread crumbs through fruit mixture and leave to stand for 5 minutes. Stir in the eggs, and sift in flour, cinnamon and baking powder. Spoon into prepared pudding steamer, lower into boiling water and steam for two hours. Leave to stand for 15 minutes before turning out of steamer.

    TIP: Steam again, before serving for a deeper, richer flavor. Pudding can be eaten hot or cold, but tastes delicious piping hot and topped with whipped cream. The pudding freezes extremely well!

    SAUCE: Place butter, sugar and golden syrup in a heavy pan, stir until the sugar has dissolved. Add whiskey and stir in cream. Pour sauce over hot pudding and serve with whipped or ice cream.


    Makes 2 Loaves of Irish Soda Bread
    Prep Time: 10 minutes

    Cook Time: 40 minutes

      Total Time: 50 minutesIngredients:
    • •4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
    • 2 teaspoons sugar
    • 3 cups whole wheat flour
    • 2 cups buttermilk
    • 1 cup milk
    • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

    Sift the all-purpose flour, salt and baking soda into a large mixing bowl. Add the sugar and whole wheat flour, and stir to combine. In another bowl, mix the buttermilk, milk and oil. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and mix just until combined. Form 2 round, flat loaves on a greased baking sheet.

    With a floured wooden spoon handle, or the side of your hand, make a deep cross-shaped indentation in the top of the loaves, almost down to the pan (see photo). If desired, dust the top lightly with flour for a more rustic look. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until golden brown. Best served slightly warm.



    You can't go wrong with this simple but classic recipe for Irish coffee. It's usually served with a thick dollop of whipped cream on top.


  • 1 cup hot coffee
  • 1 1/2 oz Irish whisky
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • Preparation:

    Mix together in a mug and top with whipped cream, if desired.

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