Homemade Shamrock Shake

March 17: Feast Day of St. Patrick

McDonald’s offers the Shamrock Shake at select restaurants for a limited time only during a few weeks in February and March to coincide with St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. But if we want to slurp up a smooth, mint flavored, light green colored ice cream dessert, we make our own Shamrock Shake at home to enjoy any time of the year. Get in a green mood and make a festive food like this easy homemade Shamrock Shake for St. Patrick’s Day.

Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 cups vanilla ice cream
  • ¾ – 1 cup milk
  • ¼ – ½ teaspoon mint extract
  • green food coloring
  • whipped cream
  • green sugar or shamrock-shaped sprinkles
  • maraschino cherry (red or green)

Directions

In a blender, combine the ice cream, milk and mint extract. Put a few drops of green food coloring to get the desired shade of green for the shake.

Blend until smooth. Pour into a tall glass. Generously swirl whipped cream on top. Optional: Garnish with green sugar or shamrock-shaped sprinkles and a maraschino cherry. Insert a straw and serve immediately.

Notes

  • McDonald’s debuted the Shamrock Shake in 1970. It was a lemon/lime sherbet instead of today’s mint flavored ice cream shake.
  • That Irish elf sitting by our homemade Shamrock Shake above is Lucky the Leprechaun, mascot of General Mills’ Lucky Charms cereal.
  • Search our blog for more Irish-inspired or green-colored recipes to make in observation of the Feast Day of St. Patrick.

 

Irish Oatmeal Cookies

Irish Oatmeal Cookies 

March 17: Feast Day of St. Patrick

Highlander likes to eat oatmeal for breakfast to begin his workday at the top o’ the mornin’! And sometimes he can’t resist eating oatmeal cookies for a sweet snack to sustain him through the rest o’ the day. So especially in observance of St. Patrick’s Day, we used two Irish imported products to make Irish oatmeal cookies—McCann’s Irish Oatmeal and Kerrygold Butter. The recipe yields over three dozen cookies, which are enough to share with Highlander’s lucky co-workers! Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

A wish that every day for you

will be happy from the start

and may you always have good luck

and a song within your heart.

~Irish Blessing

  

Recipe

(Adapted from McCann’s)

Ingredients

  • 1 ¼ cup (2 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 cups quick cooking oatmeal
  • ¾ cup raisins
  • ½ cup walnuts, chipped

Directions

In a mixing bowl, cream the butter with the brown and white sugars. Beat in the egg. Stir in the vanilla.

Irish Oatmeal Cookies 

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda and ground cinnamon. Gradually add this to the butter mixture. Blend well. Stir in by hand the oatmeal, raisins and walnuts.

Irish Oatmeal Cookies 

Scoop a tablespoon onto lightly greased cookie sheets. Flatten slightly with the ball of your hand. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it sit on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Yield: Approximately 3-4 dozen cookies.

Irish Oatmeal Cookies 

Notes

  • Highlander traced his ancestry to Ireland and is considered an Ulster-Scot. 
  • Search our blog for other Irish-inspired recipes for St. Patrick’s Day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shamrock Shortbread

Shamrock Shortbread

March 17: Feast Day of St. Patrick

How lucky and blessed are those who can taste some homemade shamrock-shaped shortbread on the Feast Day of St. Patrick. He used a three-leaf clover, which grows abundantly in Ireland, to teach the pagans about the Holy Trinity—God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit—and convert them to Christianity in the fifth century. Inspired by the sweet symbolism, we baked shamrock-shaped shortbread sprinkled with green sugar crystals that sparkle like emeralds from the isle of the Irish patron saint. Honor St. Patrick and his evangelistic efforts and make Celtic-style clover cookies.

May your blessings outnumber


The shamrocks that grow,


And may trouble avoid you


Wherever you go.


~Irish Blessing

 

Recipe

(Adapted from Irish Culture and Customs)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened (we used Kerrygold brand Irish butter)
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3/4 – 1 cup sugar, granulated white
  • 2 cups flour
  • green food coloring (we used Wilton brand Leaf  Green icing color)
  • green sugar sprinkles (we used Wilton brand dark green colored sugar)

Directions

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter until fluffy. Mix in the cornstarch and sugar and blend well. Gradually mix in the flour until a cookie dough is formed.

Shamrock Shortbread

Tint with green food coloring to the desired shade. Roll the dough into a ball, place in a covered bowl and refrigerate till firm (about an hour). Divide the dough into two or three smaller pieces. Place between sheets of waxed paper. Roll each to ¼-inch thickness. Cut with shamrock-shaped cookie cutters. Place on greased baking sheet at least an inch apart. Refrigerate for 15 minutes. Re-roll the dough scraps, place between sheets of waxed paper, roll to ¼-inch thickness and refrigerate for another 15 minutes or until firm. Continue cutting out shapes and refrigerating.

Shamrock Shortbread

Sprinkle the tops of the cookies with green sugar sprinkles. Bake in a preheated oven at 275 degrees F for 30-35 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Shamrock Shortbread

Notes

  • While this shortbread recipe is tasty, we prefer other sugar cookie doughs that are easier to handle. This one requires lots of chilling time and patience in order for the cookies to hold their shape. They do spread out a little in the oven but the puffiness goes down toward the end of the baking cycle.
  • Irish butter is creamier and more yellow than the domestic one. This may have affected the dough being more moist than other recipes.
  • Add a little flour to the work surface or waxed paper so the dough does not stick too much.
  • Baking time is longer for this recipe because it has a lower heat (275 instead of 350 degrees).
  • Search our blog for other shortbread, cookies and other Irish-inspired recipes for St. Patrick’s Day. We also recommended browsing for more feast day food ideas from Catholic Cuisine.

Irish Cream Liqueur Cake

Irish Cream Liqueur Cake

March 17: Feast Day of St. Patrick

Slainte! Of all the booze we bake with, Bailey’s is our favorite. The flavor of this Irish cream liqueur is milder than the other alcoholic beverages that we stock in our cabinet. The cream adds a sweet balance to the strong whiskey. Bailey’s is also good “on the rocks,” added as a shot in coffee or hot chocolate and infused as an ingredient in recipes, such as cakes. Highlander most often requests a “Bailey’s birthday cake” from Islander and he takes it to the office to share with his co-workers.

In the “spirit” of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, we baked a Bailey’s cake. More Irish cream liqueur in the frosting enhances the flavor for a festive St. Patrick’s Day dessert.

Recipe

(Adapted from Duncan Hines)

Ingredients

  • ½ cup boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee (we used Muvaldi brand Kona instant coffee)
  • ½ cup Irish cream liqueur (we used Bailey’s brand but Carolans and St. Brendan’s may be substituted)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (we used Hawaiian Vanilla Company brand)
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 box (18.25 ounces) Duncan Hines brand butter recipe golden cake mix
  • 1 package (3.4 ounces) vanilla instant pudding mix
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter (we used Kerrygold brand pure Irish unsalted), softened
  • 2 quantities Bailey’s Irish cream frosting (see the recipe from a past blog post here)
  • 1-2 ounces (1-2 squares) semi-sweet chocolate (we used Baker’s brand), melted
  • chocolate-covered coffee beans (we used Island Princess brand)

Directions

Prepare the wet ingredients. In a small bowl, dissolve the instant coffee in boiling water. When cool, pour in the Irish cream liqueur. Stir in the vanilla and almond extracts. Prepare the rest of the cake ingredients.

Irish Cream Liqueur Cake

In a mixing bowl, combine the cake mix and vanilla instant pudding mix. Add the coffee mixture. Beat in the eggs with the butter until smooth and well blended.

Irish Cream Liqueur Cake

Pour the batter in a greased baking pan (we used a 10-inch round cake pan). Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 40-45 minutes, testing with a toothpick for doneness. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan. Transfer the cake to a platter or cake board.

Irish Cream Liqueur Cake

Make the frosting.  Generously spread the top of the cake and sides. Drizzle melted chocolate on top of the cake in a criss-cross pattern.

Irish Cream Liqueur Cake

Use extra frosting to pipe swirls on top of the cake (we used Wilton tip 1M). Pipe borders on the bottom of the cake (we used Wilton star tip 18). Finish the cake by garnishing the swirls with chocolate-covered coffee beans.

Irish Cream Liqueur Cake

Notes

  • Instead of chocolate, melt green candy wafers to add an emerald color to the cake for St. Patrick’s Day. Also, substitue the chocolate-covered coffee beans for green M&Ms to match.
  • Search our blog for more St. Patrick’s Day recipes.

Guinness Brownies

Guinness Brownies

March 17: Feast Day of St. Patrick

Slainte! St. Patrick’s Day is a time to celebrate Highlander’s heritage. He has traced his ancestry to the Ulster-Scots (Scots-Irish). Today is also a time to eat brownies boozed up with beer from Dublin, Ireland—Guinness. The dry Irish stout, mixed with a “trinity” of chocolate (unsweetened, semi-sweet and white),  makes this dessert dense and delicious! Shake some shamrock sprinkles on top for an edible emerald color contrast. Get into the “spirit” of St. Patrick’s Day and indulge in Guinness brownies.

Recipe

(Adapted from Detroit News)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup flour
  • ¾ cup unsweetened/baking cocoa powder (we used Nestle Toll House brand)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces (8 squares) of unsweetened chocolate (we used Baker’s brand)
  • ¾ cup white chocolate chips (we used Nestle Toll House brand premiere white morsels)
  • 6 tablespoons butter (we used Kerrygold brand Irish unsalted butter)
  • 1 cup sugar (we lessened the amount to ¾ cup)
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 ¼ cup Guinness beer, room temperature
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (we used Ghirardelli brand)
  • candy shamrock sprinkles (optional)

Directions

Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with foil. Mist with cooking spray. In a bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder and salt. Set aside. Melt together the unsweetened chocolate squares, white chocolate chips and butter. 

Guinness Brownies

Stir until smooth. Beat the eggs. Add the sugar. Mix in the melted chocolate. 

Guinness Brownies

Gradually add the flour-cocoa mixture. Stir in the Guinness beer and blend well. The batter will be thin. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Spread evenly with a spatula.

Guinness Beer

Sprinkle with chocolate chips. Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees F for 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven. Cool completely. Slice with a plastic knife. While the brownies are still warm, sprinkle candy shamrocks (optional). Yield: 24 square brownies.

Guinness Brownies

Notes 

  • The background in the final food photo above features Highlander’s family tartan, a plaid with green, blue and white colors.
  • Instead of the shamrock sprinkles, dust the Guinness brownies with powdered sugar before serving.
  • Search our blog for more brownie and Irish-inspired recipes.

Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes

with Bailey’s Irish Cream Frosting

Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes

March 17: Feast Day of St. Patrick

Irish beer, Irish butter, Irish cream. The trinity of these traditional Irish ingredients is included in a contemporary chocolate cupcake recipe for the Feast Day of St. Patrick, the patron of Ireland. Legend states that he used the shamrock to explain about the Holy Trinity when he converted the Irish pagans and Druids to Christianity.

We baked these “spirited” shamrock-sprinkled sweets for a St. Patrick’s celebration at Islander’s brother’s Catholic university. The cupcakes were a festive dessert that provided not only food for thought about Irish cuisine, culture, politics and religion but also an opportunity for campus ministers to teach students about the trinity and our faith, much like St. Patrick did in Ireland in the fifth century.

Recipe

(Adapted from Feast by Nigella Lawson)

For the cupcakes

  • 1 cup Guinness beer, room temperature
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter (we used Kerrygold brand unsalted butter)
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups sugar, granulated white
  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 cups flour, all-purpose, sifted
  • 2 ½ teaspoons baking soda

Directions

In a small saucepan, melt the butter over low heat and pour in the beer.  Whisk in the cocoa powder and sugar and mix until smooth. Remove from heat and cool slightly. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs with the sour cream and vanilla. Pour in the beer mixture and blend well.

Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes

Gradually add the flour and baking soda and mix the batter until smooth. Scoop into muffin tins lined with cupcake papers. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool in the muffin tins for another 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Make the frosting.

Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes

For the frosting

  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
  • +3 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 tablespoons Bailey’s Irish Cream
  • pinch of salt

Directions

Cream the butter with a mixer paddle. Gradually add the powdered sugar, mixing until the frosting is smooth. Pour in the Bailey’s Irish Cream until the frosting is at a spreadable consistency. Fill a pastry bag and pipe the frosting on top of each cupcake. Decorate with shamrock-shaped sprinkles. Yield: Approximately two dozen cupcakes.

Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes

Notes

  • The cupcakes are moist and aromatic. The Guinness beer’s sourness is balanced by the Bailey’s Irish cream frosting’s sweetness.