Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Shamrock Blarney Cookies

by Darla

Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone!! Are you wearing your green? If not, then *pinch*!

I wanted to do something really fun and festive for St. Paddy’s this year. Fun, fancy little cupcakes immediately sprang to mind, but I decided to go the cookie route after already having made the Chocolate Porter Cupcakes on Monday. Sometimes I think it’s much harder to make a cute cookie than it is to make cute cupcakes. I mean, cupcakes are cute by nature. Cookies on the other hand, bless their little hearts, are flat, bumpy, and homely most of the time. That’s not to say they’re not delicious. Yummy and pretty don’t always go hand-in-hand, but unless you’re making a decorated sugar cookie, cookies tend to be more…”homespun.”

While I was pondering this, I got to thinking about those grocery store cookies that have the little designs right in the dough. I thought, “Why can’t I do that? But with something that tastes a lot better?” So I started scheming, as usual. I’m pretty sure you’ll like what I came up with! To do these, you’re going to be making two separate cookie doughs, one chocolate and one vanilla. Both of these are delicious on their own, as well, so if you don’t have the time or the tools to make these, you should definitely try making one of the cookies by itself (I prefer the chocolate…of course).

For the chocolate cookies you need softened butter, baking powder, salt, cocoa powder, sugar, flour, an egg, and vanilla. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt; set aside. Mix the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until well mixed and fluffy. Add the egg, mixing well, then stir in the vanilla until blended. Now add the flour mixture in 2 additions, scraping the bowl between each. Divide the dough into two equal parts and set aside.

For the vanilla cookies you need egg yolks, confectioners’ sugar, salt, softened butter, sugar, flour, and vanilla. For these cookies, you’re going to do all of the same stuff you did with the chocolate, so you can skip reading this if you like!

Mix the flour and salt together in a medium bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, beat the butter and sugars together until well mixed and fluffy. Add the egg yolks, mixing well, then stir in the vanilla until blended. Now add the flour mixture in 2 additions, scraping the bowl between each. Divide the dough into two equal parts and set aside. Again divide the dough into two equal amounts.

Lay out two sheets of plastic wrap and shape each piece of the vanilla cookie dough into separate logs, about six inches long. Roll each in a piece of the plastic wrap and fold the ends over.

Next, shape the dough into a square shape by gently dropping it onto it’s four sides to flatten them out.

Do the same with your chocolate dough and refrigerate all of the logs for about two hours or overnight (to speed things up a bit, you can also chill them in the freezer for 30 minutes).

Once firm, remove one chocolate roll and one vanilla roll and unwrap them. Lay them side by side and slice 1/4 to 3/8 inch slices.

Using a mini shamrock cutter (mine is from the Pampered Chef Creative Cutters set), cut a shamrock out of each slice.

Put the green shamrocks inside of the chocolate “frames” and the chocolate shamrocks in the green ones. I considered doing a rolled recipe with this, but I felt the dough would be much easier to piece together if it was all chilled and firm. If you have a yummy rolled cookie recipe that you would rather use, you could certainly cut out all of the shapes and chill them before putting them together.

Place the completed cookies about one and a half inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper and bake for 15 minutes at 325 degrees. Repeat the process with the two remaining logs.

When they come out of the oven, they’ll be just like the store bought cookies, but even better!! These work great for any of the different holidays and other seasons too! Just pick the color you want and the mini cookie cutter shapes you like! The possibilities are endless! Allow these to cool completely before decorating or serving.

To finish these little cuties off, you can make a simple confectioners’ sugar glaze (confectioners’ sugar, milk, and vanilla). When I make the chocolate or vanilla cookies alone, I glaze the tops completely or drizzle glaze on. These are nice and pretty in the middle, though, so I wanted to enhance that instead of hide it.

After mixing up the glaze, fill a small bowl with sprinkles. Dip the edges of the cookie into the glaze and let the excess drip off, then dip the glazed edges in the sprinkles to coat them. Now just lay them on a wire cooling rack, or your baking sheets, and allow the glaze to set up.

I also like to cover the shamrocks in sprinkles! Just drip a little glaze in the center and spread it carefully with your finger or the back of a small spoon, then just turn the cookie face down into your bowl of sprinkles and press firmly to cover the whole area.

And if you really love sprinkles, you can use both techniques!

These are a lot of fun! And they are super impressive looking for something that is actually very, very easy!

Not everyone in my family likes sprinkles, so I still spread some plain glaze on the tops of some of the cookies. It’s not as pretty, but this way, everybody will enjoy them!

You can also tint the glaze, if you like. This is especially pretty when you don’t have cutouts in the center.

When I color the glaze, I like to drizzle it, rather than spread it. It just gives it a little more interesting look.

I think these will be a big hit, and chances are, you already have all of the ingredients on hand to make them! I think kids would have a blast working on these too, and they’re definitely a kid-friendly project! Make sure you have some nice, cold milk on hand to go with these, and, as always, enjoy!!

Shamrock Blarney Cookies
Makes about 6 dozen

Ingredients

FOR THE CHOCOLATE COOKIES
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

FOR THE VANILLA COOKIES
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
Food coloring, if desired

FOR THE GLAZE
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1-1 1/2 tablespoons milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
Food coloring, if desired

To make the chocolate cookies: In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Scrape the bowl and beat in the egg. Stir in the vanilla until well blended. Add the flour mixture in 2 additions, scraping the bowl as needed. Mix well between each addition.

Divide the dough into 2 equal portions. Shape each portion into a log about 6 inches long. Wrap each in plastic wrap and flatten the sides to give the log a square shape. Chill for 2 hours or overnight.

To make the vanilla cookies: In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt; set aside.

In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, beat the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Scrape the bowl and beat in the egg yolks. Stir in the vanilla until well blended. Add the flour mixture in 2 additions, scraping the bowl as needed. Mix well between each addition.

Again, divide the dough into 2 equal portions. Shape each portion into a log about 6 inches long. Wrap each in plastic wrap and flatten the sides to give the log a square shape. Chill for 2 hours or overnight.

Once the dough is firm, preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Remove one chocolate roll and one vanilla roll and unwrap them. Lay them side by side and slice 1/4 to 3/8 inch slices. Using a mini cookie cutter, cut a shape out of each slice. Put the vanilla shapes inside of the chocolate “frames” and the chocolate shapes in the vanilla ones. Place the cookies about one and a half inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper and bake for about 15 minutes.

Transfer the cookies to a wire cooling rack and allow to cool completely before decorating or serving.

To make the glaze: Whisk the sugar and 1 tablespoon of milk together. Stir in the vanilla and mix well. If the glaze is too thick, add more milk. If it’s too thin, add more sugar.

Vanilla cookies adapted from: Baking Illustrated

Pin It

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 bttrflybabydoll March 26, 2010 at 12:42 am

I think I'm going to do a big baking day on Saturday. I'm going to get all the ingredients together tomorrow for everything I've been wanting to make, and get the kids in the kitchen helping me out.

Then we may have to deliver some goodies to the grandparents to get it all out of my house! LOL There are sooooo many things I want to try, but just don't have a ton of time normally. These cookie are so cute and look so simple and fun for the kids. We'll do some fun shapes that aren't holiday themed though!

Reply

2 Anonymous November 5, 2010 at 5:24 pm

I just wanted to say, I've been browsing this blog for about the last three hours, and love it! Love the pictures, too!
Have to say, these are brilliant! :D

Reply

3 Alice October 15, 2011 at 1:37 am

I want to say how much I just love your site . It’s so inspiring > Just love it xx

Reply

4 Laura November 1, 2011 at 12:21 pm

Cute idea! I definitely think I’ll make these with Christmas cookies. Since they’re firm, they should be perfect for shipping cookies.

Reply

Leave a Comment

{ 3 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: