Irish Soda Bread with Whiskey Sauce

 In honor of an Irish tradition, this classic staple is made with simple ingredients. The hard crust and dense center is very filling and meant to be eaten often with meals. The sign of the cross on top symbolized protection of the family. Since yeast is not used, preparation comes easily and on short notice for unexpected guests who pop in. Make this bread today and the aromas linger to keep your home smelling nice in the days ahead. 
IRISH SODA BREAD WITH WHISKEY GLAZE
Ingredients:

1 cup raisins 

1/2 cup Irish Whiskey, or water

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon 

2 1/2 cups flour

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder 

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons butter, softened 

1/2 cup buttermilk 
Irish Whiskey Glaze:

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon butter, softened 

3 teaspoons Irish Whiskey*

*For nonalcoholic glaze, substitute with 1/4 teaspoon vanilla and 2 1/2 teaspoons milk. 
Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375Β°. Grease baking sheet. In a small saucepan, combine raisins, Irish whiskey or water, and cinnamon. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, and then reduce to a simmer until the raisins are plump and the liquid is almost evaporated. Remove from heat. Do not drain. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Cut butter into flour mixture until it resembles fine crumbs. Add raisins plus liquid. Stir to blend. Gradually stir in buttermilk until the dough pulls away from the side of the bowl. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead 2 minutes until smooth. Shape into a round loaf. Transfer to baking sheet. Cut an “X” in the top before baking. Bake 35 minutes or until golden brown. While the bread is is in the oven, combine powdered sugar, butter, and Irish whiskey. Stir until creamy. When the bread is finished, brush with glaze. Serve warm. 

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