Happy St. Patrick’s Day (in a week or so) from this non-Irish (Scottish & Welsh, actually) gal!
I found this easy, kitchen-helper-friendly recipe at Better Homes & Gardens (I think) a few years ago & made it again this year for our Mom’s Club’s St. Patrick’s Day party.
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 egg
- 1/4 tsp. extract of choice (I used vanilla, but you could do peppermint or almond)
- green food coloring (I’ve used both gel & liquid now, & find that liquid is just easier & doesn’t affect the dough’s composition)
- 2 cups flour
- green sanding sugar
- In your stand mixer with the flat paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed 30 seconds or until softened.
- Add sugar & salt; beat on med-high until fluffy.
- Add egg, extract, & food coloring. Beat well. Add more food coloring if necessary; it will look paler when the flour is added.
- On low speed, gradually add the flour & mix well. Divide the dough into 3 equal parts.
- Place a sheet of wax paper on a jelly roll pan or cookie sheet. Pour a generous amount of sanding sugar all over the wax paper.
- Take 1 of your dough lumps & roll it into a long “snake” 1 inch in diameter. Let your kitchen helper assist you in rolling it in the sugar to coat. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Repeat with remaining dough lumps. Toss the wax paper & leftover sugar.
- Refrigerate dough “snakes” at least 2 hours, or up to 1 week (yeah right, like cookie dough would EVER last that long in someone’s refrigerator!).
- Preheat your oven to 350. Remove one “snake” from the fridge at a time, unwrap, & slice crosswise with a sharp knife into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Take a few of your slices & cut them into thirds to make your “stems.”
- Shape your shamrocks by placing 3 slices with sides very slightly overlapping on an ungreased cookie sheet & adding a stem piece. Gently press together. Don’t forget to make a few lucky 4-leaf clovers too!
- Bake for about 8 minutes or until set in the middle. Cool on the sheet for a few minutes, then remove to cooling rack to cool completely.
To serve, position them next to each other on a serving dish or tray rather than piling them onto a plate like I did. They ended up looking like a jumble of circles so no one knew what they were until they picked them up. Presentation is everything sometimes!