Sweet And Crumby

Baking, a Love Story


A Tale of Two Irish Soda Breads (GF and AP Flour versions)

“Challenge Accepted!”, in true Barney style, was my answer when my mom asked me to bring a GF version of my semi-famous Irish Soda Bread to her St. Patrick’s Day Themed Sunday Dinner last year.


If you have not had the pleasure of being introduced to Irish Soda Bread, then you are a little bit deprived. It reminds me of a giant scone; a little bit crumbly, a little bit sweet, and if it’s done just right then it is still moist and tender.

Recreating my tried and true favorites to be GF is fairly nerve racking for me. Although the substitution of my homemade GF flour blend and addition of either Xanthan Gum or Guar Gum has been full proof thus far for any recipe I’ve converted, every time I try a new one, I am found holding my breath and absolutely pinching a bite off the piping hot product the second it is out of the oven.


Well this GF Irish Soda Bread is a total winner. I would never even be able to taste the difference in a blind taste. Think Pepsi and Coke taste tests in the 70’s when amazed victims were choosing Pepsi over Coke. I think this bread taste test would turn out quite positive. The crumb is tender and soft and the flavor is lightly sweet and tart (from the buttermilk) and a burst of plump raisins fills your mouth with delight.

soda bread2

I have also included an iPhone snap of my original Irish Soda Bread made with All Purpose flour to please GF and non GF eaters alike. Have a Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Irish Soda Breads Two Ways (GF and All Purpose Flour)

GF Irish Soda Bread
4 c. GF Flour Blend (see GF tab for the recipe for my Gluten Free Flour Blend 1)
4 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
3/4 t. guar gum or xanthan gum
1/2 c. granulated sugar
3/4 t. salt
1/2 c. of cold butter, cut in small cubes
1 1/2 c. buttermilk
1 egg
1 1/2 c. of raisins or currants (1/2 of both!)

All Purpose Flour Version
4 c.All Purpose Flour
4 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1/2 c. granulated sugar
3/4 t. salt
1/2 c. of cold butter, cut in small cubes
1 1/2 c. buttermilk
1 egg
1 1/2 c. of raisins or currants (1/2 of both!)

To make the bread: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour through salt. Put the small cubes of butter into the bowl and mix WITH YOUR HANDS, crumbling the butter cubes as you mix. This is essential and makes for a very tender crumb with pockets of butter which create air pockets and thus makes your bread light and fluffy rather than dense. Leave your butter pea sized for optimal air pockets.

In a liquid measuring cup, pour in your buttermilk and add the egg. Beat together before adding it to the dry mixture. Stir the liquid into the dry ingredients. With the GF version, you can stir vigorously, making sure to adequately dissipate the flour. If you are making the AP flour version DO NOT MIX VIGOROUSLY or your bread will be tough. Simply stir it gently with a rubber scraper. Add the raisins and or currants and stir them in.

Knead your bread ten times, either in the bowl if big enough (keeps mess down) or on a floured pastry board. Form into a round dome and gently take a butter knife and make a vertical and horizontal cut across the top of the bread (only about 1/2 inch into the dough).

Bake for 45 minutes – 1 hour depending on your oven. The bread should turn a nice golden brown and a toothpick should come out clean when you prick it in the middle of the bread.


A Parade of Christmas Cookies to Share and Enjoy

Ho, ho, ho…the holiday spirit has taken over my house as I prepare for my BIG DAY! Sunday is Cookie Delivery Day over here and I have been making TRIPLE BATCHES of most of these cookies you see here. I’ve been making double batches of my All Purpose Flour versions and one batch of my Gluten-Free flour versions so I am certainly a busy little elf.

I have provided you with a photo line-up of my cookies, and here is my Cookie Game Plan if you need that as well. Hope you are feeling rather festive yourself, and if not, just make a batch of one of these cookies, and that may just put you in the mood.

Make these…

Perfectly cheerful and spicy Gingerbread Cut Out Cookies



Or melt-in-your-mouth Greek Crescent Cookies which are buttery, rich and the best pairing to a good cup of coffee EVER!

greek crescents


For the chocolate lover in your group, here are my Death By Chocolate Peppermint Cookies. If you are a chocoholic and they don’t rock your holiday world, feel free to file a complaint, get your money back and sue for damages because I am 100% certain they are ALL THAT.




These Orange and Chocolate Chip Cookies with Rosemary may seem odd to you but they are honestly my most requested cookie (by adults!) at the holidays. They are tender, a bit chewy, citrus-y, and a hint of rosemary makes them special (in a good way).

Orange Rosemary


AND I add these two favorites from around the blogosphere…

Flourless Peanut Butter Blossoms from Recipe Girl. You would never, ever believe these cookies don’t have flour so they are naturally Gluten-Free and are so ridiculously simple to make. They are a hit every year!


A Recipe Girl Original Photo


And the new one that is making it to our Holiday Cookie Baskets are these crazy, crazy delicious Gluten-Free Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies from Gluten-Free on a Shoestring. We could not keep our hands of these…nor our mouths for that matter.

Let me know if you give any of these a go and please feel free to add a link to your favorite holiday cookie in the comments! Happy Holidays!



A Christmas Cookie Gifts Game Plan and Ginger Crinkles (GF and AP Versions)

If you are on my Christmas Cookie box delivery list then lucky you, and if you aren’t, you may want to start sending some bribes my way. I always accept bribes, usually in the form of compliments; I am a total compliment whore. Yeah, that’s right, I said it and my previous PG rating for Sweet and Crumby (S&C for those cool kids in the know) just went down the tubes. Sigh.

ginger cookies

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Leftover Cranberry Sauce-d Bread Pudding {With Dark Chocolate and Brandy}

Raise your hand if you still have a few extra dinner rolls and some bright and tart cranberry sauce from the Big Day? Then you have most certainly come to the right place. I love homemade cranberry sauce, and eat it with gusto on Turkey day, BUT, somehow I always end up with a hefty Tupperware container of extra sauce and there are so many delicious ways you can use it. One doozy of a way to elevate this already bangin’ sauce and to finally use up those going stale dinner rolls is to make a dark chocolate and cranberry sauced bread pudding. There is nothing left-over feeling about this boozy and blinged out dessert and nothing will be going to waste in your kitchen.


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A Line-Up of Soups for those Blustery Days

Brrrr, are you all freezing out there? So sorry…I really have no clue what that is like since I am a bit chilly in sunny So. Cal. and I think the low is about 63 degrees Fahrenheit today. I know. I am a big baby. I’m spoiled…a California Girl through and through…although I don’t surf…but there’s still time yet.

If you need a little something cozy, comforting and warm to thaw you out, then dig into one of these hearty bowls of soup.

Sausage, Kale and White Bean Soup with a “How to” on creating your own soup recipes.

sausage and kale

Creamy, dreamy Spinach Soup gives you the strength to take on the week of cooking and shopping ahead.


Or how about my famous Sweet Potato Soup which has been given the honorary Kristy seal of approval.

Sweet Potato

Finally, don’t to be afraid to make my scary vampire red Heirloom Tomato Soup. It’s herby and begs to be dipped in by a crispy and gooey grilled cheese sandwich.

tomato soup

If you make one of these soups, you are sure to be warmer and toastier very soon. Happy almost Thanksgiving to all of those celebrating.


Bait and Switch Delectable Gluten Free Pumpkin Pancakes

I am honest to a fault. Seriously to a fault. I always bring baked goods and then instantly blurt out ANYTHING minuscule that went awry, as if someone slipped truth serum into my coffee. My most recent admission was,..”I got wrapped up in watching re-runs of Chuck and may have left these muffins in a stitch too long.”

The pictures you see here, unfortunately, are from my last year’s post of my AP Flour pumpkin pancakes. My problem was that I kept making my delicious, fabulously soft, not gritty and very fluffy GF pumpkin pancakes and running out of time to take pictures. Life’s a bit of a bumpy ride for the moment at best (more like an unpaved road in a construction zone. See? Honest to a fault).

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A Parade Of Halloween Treats and Meals…

I am a bit of a Halloween addict I am afraid and when perusing my own blog, I realized just how many recipes I have posted for Halloween inspired food. So here is the parade…and an easy spot to find all the fun and scary food you are looking for…

Blood-Red Heirloom Tomato Soup with Vampire Fang Grilled Cheese

A Spider Webbed Chocolate Macaroon Bundt Cake from Cooking Light
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