Ah, the Emerald Isle. Ireland is special in our house (in our family, actually) because not only did my grandparents grow up there, my husband and I got engaged in Dublin. It’s a country steeped in tradition, and one to which we feel connected. International travel isn’t something we’re (yet) brave enough to attempt with a wee lassie so we’re using the St. Patrick’s Day holiday as an excuse to share a little bit of Ireland with the next generation.
Culinary talk of the Celtic nation is fraught with references to soda bread and corned beef hash, but there’s so much more to their food. On one of my trips there I purchased a cookbook with recipes of traditional baked goods (many of which are indeed variations on soda bread!) but when I selected a recipe to make with my little one, something different caught my eye.
I set out to bring Ireland’s culinary repertoire into our kitchen via a universally recognized delicacy, chocolate! Vanilla bread with chocolate butter, although not a well-known and traditional Irish dish, was a fun way to cook with my toddler and introduce her to our family history. I knew the delicious spread would catch her attention and taste buds. Full disclosure: Since this is a yeast bread, I made the dough while she was at preschool. I figured it was really the chocolate butter that she’d be after anyway and we made that together when she got home.
Enjoy sharing a tasty tidbit of our family history with your own. In addition to melting beautifully on the warm vanilla bread, the chocolate butter is excellent with all sorts of other foods as a spread, dip or snack. Who doesn’t love to share in a little Irish culinary delight come St. Patrick’s Day, especially when it’s so delicious!