May joy and peace surround you, contentment latch your door, and happiness be with you now and bless you evermore!
An Irish Blessing
Celebrating My Heritage
I didn’t learn just how Irish I was until after our sons were born and I started to do genealogical research to pass the time and challenge my brain a bit. My aunt is Mormon, so she had completed quite a bit on my mother’s side of the family.
I learned that three of the branches of my father’s side of the family were from Ireland. Two branches came through Canada and one through Ellis Island and they all settled in a small area of North Central Wisconsin. I learned that I have even more reason to enjoy March 17th and St. Patrick’s Day! Really, I think we should always celebrate our hertiage no matter the time of the year! Especially if it involves yummy food, right?
Tea Parties with Friends
What better reason to bring out my grandmother’s cups and saucers for an early St. Patrick’s celebration, than for a quiet tea with friends. Nothing was more beautiful and easy at the same time than my whole wheat banana bread made in my new Williams-Sonoma loaf pan.
Seriously, how pretty is it? Topped with a Bailey’s Irish Cream Glaze, it is the perfectly sweet compliment to our cup of tea filled with cream, sugar or even a splash of Bailey’s Irish Cream. Yes, not everyone is a tea enthusiast, so coffee was in a pot as well.
Banana bread is really quite simple. Mix. Pour. Bake. Even so, here are a few tips before I get to the recipe:
- I prefer using frozen bananas. They make a much more moist bread.
- I substituted applesauce for oil for a healthier twist.
- The Bailey’s Irish Cream Baking Chips I used tasted more like chocolate and less like Bailey’s once baked in the bread. I’ve made changes to the recipe to make up for that tweak.
- Yes, you can substitute Irish Cream syrup for Bailey’s Irish Cream liqueur in the glaze to avoid the alcohol content (it will bake off inside the bread so no worries there). But you will want to remember that it’s a cream liqueur and may need to add some for flavoring. It’s up to use because I used the real stuff and since I wasn’t drinking the glaze, then I was ok.
- 10-Minute Rule. I learned this one recently and it worked like a gem! Let your bread cool for 10-minutes, then invert to remove. No more. No less. Perfect with all the nooks and crannies which with this loaf pan was especially desired.
Since my Irish ancestor’s came there by way of Scotland, I decided to add a quaich to my table with a dram of whiskey, of course! You can see it in several of the photos and since you’ll ask….
The quaich, Scotland’s cup of friendship, has been used through the centuries to offer a welcoming drink at Clan Gatherings, and other family occasions, and to friends and visitors. “Quaich” is a Scots rendering of the Gaelic word “cuach”, meaning cup. The two-handed design of this drinking vessel incorporates trust, on the part of both giver and receiver. Quaichs were used most commonly to contain whisky and brandy but larger quaichs were vessels used for drinking ale.https://www.quaichshop.co.uk/whats-a-quaich/
Now onto the Recipe! Sláinte!
Irish Cream Banana Bread with an Irish Cream Glaze
Irish Cream Banana Bread
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 2 large mashed bananas frozen, then thawed
- ⅓ cup sugar
- ½ cup greek yogurt
- ½ cup unsweetened applesauce (snack-sized is perfect)
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup Bailey’s Irish Cream or substitute
- 2¼ cups whole wheat flour
- 1½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ bag Bailey’s Irish Cream Baking Chips (optional)
Irish Cream Glaze
- ½ cup plus 2 Tbsps Bailey’s Irish Cream or substitute
- 1 pound box powered sugar about 3½ cups
Irish Cream Banana Bread
- Preheat oven to 360°F. Spray a 9×5 loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray.
- Whisk together all the wet ingredients in a large bowl. Slowly add dry ingredients, gently folding in, without overmixing. Fold in baking chips if using.
- Pour batter into loaf pan, tapping down gently to get into nooks and crannies if using more intricate designed pan like mine.
- Bake bread for 55-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into middle comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
- While your bread bakes, make your glaze and place a dish under your cooling rack.
Irish Cream Glaze
- While the bread is baking, put powdered sugar into a small bowl. Add the Bailey’s all at once and whisk until the glaze is smooth.
- Once your bread is turned onto the cooling rack, pour or spoon the glaze all over the bread while still slightly warm.
- Leave the bread on the rack until completely cooled and the glaze is set.
- Store is airtight container until serving. Serve with unused Irish Cream Glaze for your guest to add more to their slices if they wish.
- You can change the ratio to use less Bailey’s in the glaze and some milk or use an Irish Cream Syrup to avoid the alcohol if you wish.
- Please note that I had to re-glaze my banana bread a second time as I used it the second day rather than the day I made it. I had stored it in an airtight container and while it was completely cooled, moister still damped the outside.