Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Little Irish Tea!

Remember last month when I made what looked like tasty sugar cookies? And then I had to let you know that my cookies turned out to be more like biscotti? Well, this month, I have made something that is very tasty and came out just as good as I hoped it would. Here is what I own little recipe for what I am calling Irish Tea Cake.

And here is why and how I did it........
When I was a kid we were often assigned those reports where you had to tell your heritage and so, we would ask our grandpa "what's our heritage" and his answer was usually "Heinz 57". Then a few years ago at our Linn family reunion, a relative who had moved out west sent along the death certificate for my grandpa's grandpa (my great-great grandpa). There, on that sheet was the answer to "what's our heritage"? Noted on the certificate was the name of my great-great grandpa's father - Issaac Linn and place of birth was Ireland. How about that? There's a wee bit 'o Irish in me! But wait, Issaac was married to Mary McVey of Scotland! Wow, we have a wee bit 'o Scottish heritage, too. No more "Heinz 57"!! So with that in mind and St. Patrick's Day just around the corner, I felt I had to share something really tasty and a tribute to that heritage.

I needed inspiration so went to the cupboard and got out some cookbooks we picked up on a trip to England and Scotland many years ago (we never made it to Ireland). I found one that sounded tasty called "Jam Sandwich Biscuits" but I wasn't in the mood to roll out cookie dough. I was looking for something different. I decided to draw on some ingredients from the Jam Biscuit recipe and a cake recipe in one of my favorite vintage cookbooks (several without covers from the earlier 1900's). The names and measurements in the English books were very different from the terms in our U.S. cookbooks and when I saw "Castor Sugar", I wondered what kind of sugar is that? Then I remembered my gift from Shelly in Chookyblue's Secret Santa exchange and found my answer. It's granulated sugar. Simple. Shelly also made a mitt and apron for me. I put on the apron and with spoon in hand, I was ready to go.

I didn't take pics as I mixed this time as this recipe is quite easy and anyone can make this one.
You will need a 9 x 13 pan. Mist with cooking spray and set aside. Set oven temp to 350 degrees. Find a shot glass. You'll see why later.
Ingredients needed are flour, sugar (dark brown and granulated), eggs, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and vanilla.
You will also need your favorite jars of jam for filling and some white frosting for icing (I turned to Pillsbury for their vanilla frosting).
Cream together:
1 stick (4 oz.) butter
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup dark brown sugar
To this mixture add two large eggs and blend well.
Add 1 teaspoon real vanilla. Set aside.
Mix in bowl or in a paper lunch sack ( I do this all the time for my dry ingredients. I get a better blend of ingredients.) the following items:
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Add this dry mixture to the sugar/egg/butter mixture. Mix well.
Add 1 1/2 cups Oatmeal (quick-cook variety) and mix until well blended. Dough will be stiff.
The final ingredient is 2/3 cup evaporated milk. Mix carefully until you get a creamy dough/batter that looks like this............and I am here to tell you, it smelled good enough to eat at this point!!
Bake for 25 - 30 minutes in 350 degree oven until cake is golden......... or toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (you can't beat those time-tested tricks!).

While cake is still hot take your shot glass and press 12 evenly spaced indentations in the cake top as shown in the photo above. Let cake cool. You thought I was going to tell you to fix a little drink with that shot glass, didn't you? LOL!!
When cake is cooled, fill those indentations with a spoonful of your favorite jam, any flavors you like. Take one cup of white frosting and microwave for 15 seconds. Then drizzle over the cake top and you will get the delicious looking treat in the picture below and at the top of this post!!

It was so tasty, if I do say so myself. My tea choice for the day was Celestial Seasonings English Breakfast Black Tea. It was also really good with a little milk and a dash of sweetner. Now I know some folks say tea isn't tea if it comes in a bag, but this was quite a fine break for what was a very cold day here in Minnesota!! So cold, that later on tonight, I am going to have that Irish Creme hot chocolate mix you see in the photo. And also in that photo is one item for one of you. It's that little book "Tea and Friendship". I am going to take all the names of those who have commented from the January and February teas, add them to the names of Tea and Stitches Followers and those who comment on this tea and I will throw them in a basket and draw a winner of the little book. There might just be a little bit of green fabric that will come along with it, too. Hope you enjoyed today's tea. I'll be posting this month's project next (you'll find it below). It works better to do two posts sometimes and this is one of those times. :-)
Happy St. Patrick's Day!!


Valerie said...

Oh I am so excited. I am the first to comment!! The little cake looks wonderful. It actually made my mouth water. I will have to try this one.

Piecefulafternoon said...

What a lovely tea today. And the cake looks delicious. I am enjoying the teas so very much - thank you for inviting us along.

Jeanette said...

Hi Sandi, Your cake sure looked yummy. Hope to try your recipe soon. The tea sounded nice too. Wonder if i can get it her in Australia.

Bonniedoo said...

Sandi, your tea and cake look so inviting. I'm going to have to make this one soon!!! We too are stuck in the COLD and was -29.9 celsius when I got up this morning--NW Ontario.

Anonymous said...

Well, I didn't get on here last night...too much correcting for this teacher! So, the tea and cake was a nice reward today! I am definitely going to make the cake! Keep going with the posts! So interesting and meaningful!


Mary Grace McNamara said...

Sandi, that recipe looks wonderful! I really did think you were going to say to fill the shot glass with something and have a drink! Isn't that the Irish way? I guess it's the Irish reputation anyway! English Breakfast is my favorite tea. Your little tea cup pin cushion with the tea bag tag is just too cute. You are so very clever!


A little stitching poem.........

This little poem was written for one of my beginning quilting students - only 8 years old but her stitches were those of a natural seamstress!

For Bailey Anne . . . .
When this you see, think of me.
Sit down and have a cup of tea.
Then place your quilt upon your lap,
begin to stitch . . . no time to nap!
Stitch patiently and you will see . . .

how fine a quilter you can be!

©1999-2008 Sandra E. Andersen