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  • Writer's pictureAuthor Darci Hannah

Cover Reveal & a Recipe

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I know that this is very premature, but I just had to share this adorable and very festive cover of the next Beacon Bakeshop installment MURDER AT THE BLARNEY BASH. It will come out in January of 2024--just in time for St. Patrick's Day next year!

I'm sorry that it's such a long wait, but this cover is just too cute not to share on St. Patrick's Day. As you can see, after Murder at the Pumpkin Pageant, which comes out on July 25th of this year, Lindsey and friends engage in a very perplexing St. Patrick's Day mystery in Beacon Harbor. Honestly, I never thought I'd write a St. Pat's Day mystery. I'm not even Irish, or so my parents have always told me. However, that little detail has never stop me from embracing the Saint's Day with zeal. Every St. Patrick's Day I make Irish Soda Bread and Corned Beef and Cabbage for my family. We love it and look forward to it every year. Just as I embrace traditional St. Patrick's Day fare, I loved the idea of writing about a St. Patrick's Day celebration in Beacon Harbor. Of course, I delved into the project with both feet... as images of shamrock cupcakes and rich, chocolatey, Guinness cake topped with Bailey's buttercream frosting danced in my head. Holiday baked good always inspire me!

I had so much fun writing this book that when I turned in the manuscript a few weeks ago, I felt a bit sad that I don't have one ounce of Irish in me. I'm Scandinavian and German. My sons likely have some Irish in them from my husband, but that doesn't help me any. Then, just as I was doubting my credentials to write such a story, I got the results back from a Christmas gifted 23 and Me genetics testing kit. My son thought it would be fun if we all did them. And so we did. Looking at one's genetic makeup is quite fascinating. It's full of interesting tidbits, insights, and maps. I was skeptical at first, but as I peeled back the layers of the report, my Scandinavian and German ancestry was confirmed--just like my parents always claimed we were. But do you know what? I learned something else. Unbeknownst to me, according to the test I'm also 7-percent Irish! I'm Irish!! Although my darling mother is highly perplexed by this and has no idea how that can be (it must have come from my father's German side!), I now feel a bit more qualified to write a St. Pat's Day mystery. And do you know what's even better? This St. Patrick's Day I'll be celebrating my 7-percent Irishness with the rest of the world. Thank you, 23 and Me!

In light of these new revelations, I'm sharing a recipe from the novel with you. It's what I consider to be the BEST Irish Soda Bread recipe, and you can take my word on this because... I'm Irish! (insert laughing) Seriously, here it is. If you're looking for that perfect accompaniment to your corned beef and cabbage dinner, I suggest you give it a try.

Colleen’s Famous Irish Soda Bread

Prep time: 15 minutes. Bake time: 50-60 minutes. Makes 1 large round loaf.


4 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

1/3 cup melted butter

11/3 cup buttermilk.

1 egg

1 cup raisins


Preheat oven to 350℉. This recipe works great in a cast iron skillet. If you don’t have one, cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, or the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

Whisk the egg into the buttermilk and add to the flour mixture.

Add the melted butter.

Mix just until a soft dough forms. Don’t overmix the dough. It’s going to be a little sticky.

Add the raisins.

Using your hands, shape dough into a ball and place in a cast-iron skillet, or a parchment lined baking pan. I'm using a parchment lined deep dish pizza pan here.

Using a sharp knife, cut an X into the top of the doughball.

Bake for 50-60 minutes or until the bread has a nice golden-brown crust.

Oh, doesn't this just look delightful? Happy St. Patrick's Day to all you lovely readers. Enjoy!

Print out your own copy of the recipe HERE!

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