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.

 

Green Peanut Butter Smoothie

Green Peanut Butter Smoothie

March 17: St. Patrick’s Day

We have seen the rivers in downtown Chicago and San Antonio being dyed green while we attended St. Patrick’s Day festivities (we used to live near those cities). In our beloved San Antonio, where Islander’s brother still resides, the river is drained annually for cleaning and maintenance. When the river is refilled back to its resplendence, a Mud Festival takes place to mark the occasion, complete with a Mud Pie Ball and the coronation of a Mud King and Queen (the winners raise the most money to help fund river projects).

Our bodies need cleaning and maintenance, too, to drain some of that “mud-crud” in our systems. So drink something green, like this healthy peanut butter smoothie made with dark leafy greens, on the Feast Day St. Patrick, the Emerald Isle’s patron saint. Sláinte (Irish cheers literally translated “to your health!”).

Recipe

(Adapted from Bon Appetit)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of kale/spinach/swiss chard medley
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup nut milk, cold (we use unsweetened almond or cashew milk)
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter (sometimes we also use almond butter)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions

In a blender, place the vegetables, banana, almond milk, peanut butter and ground cinnamon.

Green Peanut Butter Smoothie

Seal the blender and blend until smooth. Pour into two small glasses and serve immediately.

Green Peanut Butter Smoothie

Notes

  • We use a Nutribullet extractor instead of a blender to make this green peanut butter smoothie. Islander has been drinking the full recipe as a meal replacement (breakfast or lunch) on Lent Fridays.
  • Search our blog for other Irish-inspired recipes for the Feast Day of St. Patrick.

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.

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.