Tuesday, March 17, 2009
The shamrock is a symbol of Ireland. It is a three-leafed old white clover, although in modern times it is usually shown as being green. The diminutive version of the Irish word for “clover” (“seamair”) is “seamróg”, which was anglicised as “shamrock”, representing a close approximation of the original Irish pronunciation. The shamrock was traditionally used for its medical properties and was a popular motif in Victorian times. It is also a common way to represent Saint Patrick’s Day. Shamrocks are said to bring good luck.
Baileys-flavored shamrock sugar cookies
Coated with a Baileys glaze and decorated with
Baileys royal icing
1 cup (2 sticks) sweet butter
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup Baileys Irish Cream liqueur
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 cups all-purpose flour
Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add egg, vanilla, and 3 tablespoons Baileys. Sift in salt, baking powder, and flour and mix just until incorporated. Roll dough in two batches flat onto cookie sheets or cake board and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350°F and remove one batch of cookie dough from refrigerator. Cut and remove shamrock shapes, transferring to cookie sheets to be put in oven. Reroll scraps, switch to second batch of cookie dough. Bake for about 10 minutes, just until cookies begin to turn brown around the bottoms. Edges will not brown as much as normal sugar cookie recipes, so watch them carefully.
Allow cookies to cool for 5 minutes on cookie sheets then remove to racks. Immediately brush remaining 1/2 cup Baileys over warm cookies with a pastry brush (will take 3 to 5 glazings of each cookie to use the entire 1/2 cup). Cool completely and frost with Baileys Icing.
4 cups powdered sugar
4 tablespoons Baileys Irish Cream liqueur
4 tablespoons meringue powder
Green food coloring paste *
Mix sugar, Baileys, and meringue powder together until all ingredients are well incorporated and no pockets of sugar remain. If icing is too thick, add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached. Mix in food coloring paste for desired color.
Use immediately or store in airtight containers or under damp paper towels while working.
* I used a mixture of Kelly Green and Leaf Green pastes by Wilton to get the ideal color for shamrocks.