The Irish Bakery
Welcome In. Also: Cookies Are Coming, Shine Bright and Dishing on Julia
I’d planned a completely different post for today.
But, on Friday, Cherie Denham’s magnificent debut cookbook The Irish Bakery arrived and that was that.
Everything about this book sweeps you up in it. The recipes are superb and the photographs by Andrew Montgomery, mostly taken in winter, set up this beautiful, “let’s get stuck in and bake” mood — and while you’re at it, put the kettle on.
Cherie grew up close to the land on a farm in Country Tyrone in Northern Ireland, always knowing she’d want to cook as her profession. Cherie’s mom and in particular her great aunts and grannies were her teachers.
The book contains recipes and history from Ireland and Northern Ireland, along with essays featuring artisans and producers from the various counties.
The baking traditions of Ireland stretch back centuries and have been shaped by our history and natural surroundings. — Cherie Denham
Cherie has very kindly given me permission to share her recipe for Clementine Biscuits (cookies) from The Irish Bakery with you. They are so good! The texture is perfect (I broke one open so you can see in the photo below) they are tender and buttery but also crisp and the clementine zest is just that — zesty and bright and balances the richness of the butter. A wonderful cookie for the holiday season.
By the way, I came across this review of The Irish Bakery from Nigella Lawson who had this to say:
Ever since this beautiful book arrived, I’ve been clutching it to me for comfort.
I’m with you, Nigella! You can read the full review: Here
Cherie told me this recipe in particular and much of the book in general reminds her of her beloved late Auntie Evelyn who taught her so much and so well.
If you’d like to learn more about The Irish Bakery, the link is: Here.
Thanks a million, Cherie, and much continued success. ✨
Clementine Biscuits (Cookies)
Crumbly, zesty and ridiculously easy to make, these soft and buttery biscuits (cookies) are rolled in Demerara sugar for a satisfying crunch. They can be shaped into cylinders and frozen, then sliced into rounds and baked when needed. The biscuits will keep for a week in an airtight container. — Cherie Denham
Makes 28 Biscuits
4 oz. cold unsalted butter, cubed (I used Kerrygold)
1/4 cup superfine sugar. (If you don’t have superfine, pulse granulated sugar till finely ground but not powdery and then measure)
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/2 cup ground whole almonds (almond meal)
3 clementines, zested
Demerara sugar for rolling
Combine all the ingredients, except the Demerara sugar, in a food processor and blend until it just comes together in a ball of dough.
Pour some Demerara on a tray or plate
Scrape out the dough and shape into a long, thin log, 28cm (11 inches) long then roll in the Demerara sugar. Wrap in baking parchment and twist at each end to seal, then place in refrigerator or freezer to chill.
Preheat over to 350 degrees F and line two baking sheets with parchment.
Once firm, slice the log of dough into 1/2 inch thick rounds and space well apart.
Bake 12-15 min. until crisp and golden.
Remove from the oven and allow to firm up on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. ✨
Cookies Are Coming
It doesn’t have the same gravitas as “Winter is Coming”, but NYT cooking has announced that Cookie Week is coming. If you’d like to get a new cookie recipe delivered to your inbox starting December 1, the link is in the post below.
What I’m Readingwho writes the terrific Substack newsletter also has a book out and I can’t put it down. To learn more about Shine Bright: A Very Personal History of Black Women in Pop I’ve attached a link: Here. My photo doesn’t do it justice, but the cover art is also stunning.
A ‘Julia’ Podcast and a Spoiler Alert
Kerry Diamond, the founder and editor of Cherry Bomb (link: https://cherrybombe.com) is hosting a podcast ‘Dishing on Julia’ that sounds like a really fun companion to the series.
I just finished the second episode of the new season — I’ve been doling them out like treats to myself— and, SPOILER ALERT— I didn’t have Jacques Brel on my bingo card…
Mark Twain’s Birthday
November 30th is Mark Twain’s 188th Birthday, and I’ll be marking the date with tales of his night as emcee at the “Biggest Banquet in American History” at The Palmer House, Chicago in 1879 — plus his favorite dish. This Thursday for paid subscribers.
‘Tis the Season…
… for my cat and all other cats to destroy every tree and decoration in their path.
To take the sting out of this annual event, all gift and yearly subscriptions to Time Travel Kitchen will be 20% off until January 1, 2024. 🥳
Take care, everyone.