Bara Brith is a lovely Welsh snacking cake. It is quick to prepare but very hearty. Bara Brith means speckled bread in Welsh. It is a delicately sweet loaf that is loaded with dried fruits that soak in strong tea overnight. I have added a bit of rum to the tea to smooth out those black tea tannin flavours. The rum is optional, but it really brings together the tea and dried fruit flavours very well. But, by all means, leave out the rum, if you must. It is completely optional.
I have added in loads of extra flavour components to really make the flavours of this Apricot Cherry Oat Bara Brith pop! There is maple syrup, marmalade, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger as well as demerara brown sugar and dried fruit. The aromas coming from the oven are to die for!
Bara Brith has been made in Wales for over one hundred years and was traditionally eaten on St. David’s Day or Christmas day, thickly sliced and slathered in butter. It has fallen from popularity in the last ten years and therefore some major supermarkets have removed it from their shelves. Traditional Bara Brith is made with currants. In this recipe I have used a combination of dried apricots and dried cherries which go really well together. And the oats add a lovely texture to this baked treat.
This Apricot Cherry Oat Bara Brith makes a lovely addition to packed lunches. It is also excellent with morning coffee or your afternoon tea. Not bad with your favourite program or movie after dinner either.
Next time you are in the mood to bake a sweet treat for your family, try this Apricot Cherry Oat Bara Brith. It’s really hits the spot.
This is a fantastic recipe for Honey Maple Whole Oat Granola. It is chock full of dried fruit, nuts and toasty oats.
When I was a teenager I went through a phase of making granola for practically every big gathering with my friends. I made granola for potluck dinners, going away parties and camping trips. Whatever the event, I would be there with a 3 pound bag of my latest granola invention.
Granola is super easy to make. You don’t really need a recipe to make granola, but it is good to have a basic one to know the proportions of wet to dry ingredients as well as the amount of fruit and nuts to use. Homemade granola is also much healthier as it is lower in sugar and salt than store bought. And just by changing the sweeteners and using an assortment of nuts, dried fruit, and grains you can make hundreds of different combinations.
You could increase the sweetness to go on top of an apple crumble or to sprinkle on ice cream for dessert. Use less sweetener for a breakfast granola, or extra nuts for energy snacks for hikes or bike rides. A handful of chocolate chips or chocolate nibs after baking adds a burst of sweetness for a fantastic boost in energy. Excellent sweeteners to use range from maple syrup in the spring when the sap is running or honey in the fall when farmer’s market stalls are bursting with pails of wild flower, clover or buckwheat honey.
My son and I really like this granola for breakfast or snack with yogurt. It’s not too sweet and the cinnamon and ginger adds a lovely hint of flavour.
Honey Maple Whole Oat Granola with Vanilla and Cinnamon
Scones are my favourite go-to treat ever. I love them with tea for a morning snack, in the afternoon with a mug of hot cocoa as well as in the evening spread with jam. This recipe of Classic Cream Scones with Orange and Cranberry is certainly not a low-fat scone, and as it’s made with ample cream and butter you don’t really need to spread it with more butter. Add a dollop of jam if you want to amp up the sweetness.
These scones come together very fast. As such, they make a particularly perfect gift for any occasion. They would be the ideal thing to make for a new mom with a newborn, a neighbour who needs cheering up, a bake sale at your local church or school, or a fundraiser for flood relief, or a sports team. They make an excellent thank you gift for a neighbour who has been collecting your mail, shovelled your driveway after a big snowstorm, or cut your grass when you couldn’t get to it.
I baked a few dozen of these scones last November for my son’s high school Craft Fair. They sold out within a couple of hours. Many people came back to my table to tell me how amazing they were. I made a few different variations but the Cranberry Orange Scones were the most popular. You could also make cinnamon and raisin, chocolate chip or chopped ginger. I’ll make some more variations in the future and post the recipes.
5 tablespoons butter, cut into 1/4 inch pieces and chilled
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1 tsp grated orange zest
1 cup whipping cream
Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Put dry ingredients into a food processor and pulse 3-5 pulses. Add cubes of butter and orange zest. Pulse until butter-flour mixture is blended together like bread crumbs, it's ok to have a few larger pieces.
Pour into mixing bowl and add dried cranberries and stir until cranberries are coated in flour, separate any stuck together. Stir in cream until a nice dough starts to form.
Place dough and any unmixed ingredients onto table and knead the dough until it all comes together to a nice somewhat smooth dough. Flatten out into a circle, trying to keep edges smooth, until it has a 9 inch diameter.
Cut the disc into 8 triangles and place each triangle on parchment paper, about 2 inches apart.
Bake for 5 minutes, then turn pan in oven; bake for another five minutes or so, until nicely golden on top.
Remove from oven and place tray on a rack. Let scones cool for 5 minutes or so on tray, then remove from tray and place on rack. You can eat them warm or at room temperature. Store in a cool dark place 2-3 days. You can also freeze the scones for about one month.