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Shamrocks, Sweet Treats, and Leprechauns

Updated on February 9, 2015

Shamrocks, Sweet Treats, and Leprechauns

Well Hello and Welcome!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

What will you do to celebrate this special holiday? Any special plans and/or a unique menu?

Is the traditional Irish feast of corned beef and cabbage, plus potatoes and carrots on your agenda? That is some good food!

I share several sweet, green treats to add fun and interest to your main meal. And then show you where to find a few leprechauns.

Whatever your plans for the day, just a word of warning--don't forget to wear your green! Wouldn't want to get that unwelcome "pinch" today.

Hope your celebration is a happy one and you enjoy your day in the traditional Irish-style.

Note: The Mexican Vanilla adds a more unique and distinct flavor and is available for purchase on this page.

  • Prep time: 10 min
  • Cook time: 1 hour 50 min
  • Ready in: 2 hours
  • Yields: Makes 3-4 dozen cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 cup all-vegetable shortening
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon Mexican vanilla
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (plus 4 Tablespoons for rolling out dough)
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Combine sugar and shortening. Beat at medium speed until blended. Add eggs, syrup, and vanilla. Beat until well blended and fluffy. Combine 3 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add gradually to creamed mixture at low speed. Mix until well blended. (This is where the Kitchen Aid stand alone mixer really lightens the work load.)
  2. Divide dough into 4 quarters. Wrap each quarter of dough with plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 1 hour.
  3. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Spread 1 Tablespoon of flour on large sheet of waxed paper. Place one-fourth of dough on floured paper. Flatten slightly with hands. Turn dough over and cover with another large sheet of waxed paper. Roll dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut out cookies with floured cutter.
  4. Transfer to ungreased baking sheet with large pancake turner. Place 2 inches apart. Sprinkle with granulated sugar or colored sugar crystals, or leave plain to frost when cooled. Bake one sheet at a time for 5 to 9 minutes, depending on the size of cutouts. (Bake smaller, thinner cutouts closer to 5 minutes; larger cutouts closer to 9 minutes.) The shamrocks bake approximately 7 minutes. Do not overbake.
  5. Cool 2 minutes on baking sheet. Place sheets of foil on countertop. Remove cookies from baking sheet to foil to cool completely before frosting.

Some Useful Tools in Making Your Own Lucky Shamrocks - Plus Pots 'O Gold at the End of the Rainbow

Wilton Green Metal Shamrock Cookie Cutter
Wilton Green Metal Shamrock Cookie Cutter

Makes the perfect Shamrock cookie!

 
5 stars from 1 rating of Green Shamrock Sugar Cookies

Buttercream Frosting - Tinted Green

The perfect finishing touch for any sugar cookie.

This recipe is also one made much easier with the Kitchen Aid Mixer.

  • Prep time: 5 min
  • Ready in: 5 min
  • Yields: Yields about 2 cups of frosting

Ingredients

  • 6 Tablespoons Butter (softened)
  • 3 cups unsifted confectioners sugar
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon Mexico vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon green food coloring

Instructions

  1. Cream butter in small bowl. Add confectioners sugar alternately with milk. Add vanilla and food coloring; beat to spreading consistency.
Mexican Vanilla Totonac's Pure Vanilla Flavoring, 33.2 Fluid Ounce
Mexican Vanilla Totonac's Pure Vanilla Flavoring, 33.2 Fluid Ounce

Adds a unique and enjoyable taste not found with ordinary vanilla. It will become your signature flavor and "secret ingredient".

 

An Amazing Mixer - ... And it Comes in GREEN!

This is an amazing kitchen appliance and after having a Kitchen Aid stand alone mixer for several years, I would not want to cook without it. This mixer makes doing so many cooking tasks simple and easy. I especially enjoy it when making cookies, cakes, egg noodles, marshmallows, cake frosting, and many other recipes I cannot remember at the moment.

KitchenAid KSM150PSGA Artisan Series 5-Qt. Stand Mixer with Pouring Shield - Green Apple
KitchenAid KSM150PSGA Artisan Series 5-Qt. Stand Mixer with Pouring Shield - Green Apple

This green Kitchen Aid Mixer is most appropriate for this page about St Patrick's Day treats. I have used my Kitchen Aid stand alone mixer (which is blue) for all but one of these recipes that I share. It makes cooking tasks quick and easy.

This mixer is in my top 4 most needed appliances in the kitchen, with the other three appliances being my oven, my refrigerator, and my dishwasher. It makes life easier and if you have not enjoyed cooking with one of your very own, I highly recommend that you get one today and let it put more joy into the cooking you do.

 

An Opportunity to Make Family Memories

Green Up Your Day!

When my children were small, I celebrated most holidays by doing something fun and special for the day. For St Patrick's Day one year, I made the traditional corned beef, cabbage and all the fixin's. But then I also made Shamrock Green Sugar Cookies for my kids, actually we made them together. We also made green Kool-Aid to drink. And another fun part of the celebration was that we all (including me and their dad) had matching green shirts that we wore as we ate our special St. Patrick's Day meal. This created a memory we still recall.

Later that night, we watched the leprechaun movie, Darby O'Gill and the Little People, which is highlighted on this page.

Now leaping forward to the current time of today, most of the dessert pictured here, I will ship to my youngest son in St Paul, Minnesota. It will be a welcome package for him to enjoy during midterm tests--which is another memory in the making.

Image: Anusorn P nachol / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Wilton 3 Piece St. Patrick's Day Cookie Cutter Set
Wilton 3 Piece St. Patrick's Day Cookie Cutter Set

A great assortment of cookie cutters to make your own magic! Even the pot 'o gold at the end of the rainbow!

 

Chocolate Mocha Cake - A Moist, Rich Chocolaty Treat

This recipe makes one 8-inch layer cake. It is moderately sweet and you can choose an icing to make it sweeter or an icing consistent with its level of sweetness.

I will add my recipe for Minty Fluffy Icing. This icing is also moderately sweet.

Cook Time

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 45-50 minutes

Serves: 9

Ingredients

  • 2 unsweetened chocolate blocks (2 ounces)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (or for this recipe you could choose to use peppermint extract instead)
  • 3/4 cup strong coffee
  • 1 1/3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Butter and lightly flour one 8-inch square cake pan. Make the strong coffee.
  2. Melt the chocolate squares in the microwave, according to package directions or melt over a double-boiler pan. Set aside.
  3. Beat the egg in bowl and slowly add the sugar, continuing to beat until well blended.
  4. Add the oil, vanilla, melted chocolate, and coffee. Beat well.
  5. Mix the flour, baking powder, and baking soda together and add to chocolate mixture while continuing to beat at medium speed. Continue beating mixture for 2 minutes.
  6. Spread in the prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Let cool and then frost with Minty Fluffy Icing.

Minty Fluffy Icing

This icing is moderately sweet and goes well with the Chocolate Mocha cake. When paired, it tastes similar to a Peppermint Mocha drink from Starbucks.

And ... just saying, this is not a recipe I would want to make without my extremely handy Kitchen Aid stand alone mixer. I know because I have done it before, beating for 7 minutes and holding the portable mixer in place the entire time. It can be exhausting!

  • Prep time: 15 min
  • Cook time: 5 min
  • Ready in: 20 min
  • Yields: Frosts two 8 inch layer cakes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • a dash of salt
  • 2 unbeaten egg whites
  • 1/2 - 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1/4 -1/2 teaspoon green food coloring

Instructions

  1. In a heavy saucepan, combine sugar, water, cream of tartar, and salt. Bring to boiling, stirring until sugar dissolves.
  2. With egg whites in mixer bowl and mixer on low speed, very slowly add sugar syrup to egg whites. Turn mixing speed up to high and beat constantly until stiff peaks form--about 7 minutes. Beat in peppermint extract and green food coloring.
  3. There will be enough icing to frost two 8 or 9 inch layer cakes.

The M & M Green Diva Coffee Mug

Here's a happy green mug to enjoy your morning coffee or tea in. A perfect combination for St Patrick's Day which provides the perfect accompaniment for this page's sweet, green treats.

I collect coffee mugs and this green M & M mug is one my friend got me for my birthday last year. It also happened to be filled with personalized blue and green M & M's. What a great present it was and the green mug is one I use often. I was happy to add it to my ever growing collection of wonderful, diverse, and unique coffee mugs.

MM's Super Size Green Character Mug
MM's Super Size Green Character Mug

This is a great coffee mug to add to your collection or just to enjoy looking at, if you are not a collector. Definitely unique and loaded with appeal!

 

Green Candied Popcorn

Crunchy sweet, vanilla-flavored, popcorn treat, colored appropriately for St. Patrick's Day

Cook Time

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 45-60 minutes

Serves: 18-20

Ingredients

  • 18 -20 cups popped corn
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup light-colored corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar (or more to suit your taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Mexican vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon soda
  • 1/2 - 1 teaspoon green food coloring

Instructions

  1. Remove any unpopped kernels from popped corn and place in a greased roasting pan.
  2. In a heavy 2-quart saucepan, combine sugar, water, corn syrup, vinegar, and salt. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until mixture boils, stirring to dissolve sugar (about 6 minutes). Then reduce heat to medium and continue boiling at moderate rate, stirring occasionally. Use a candy thermometer to cook to hard-ball stage or 250 degrees, this takes approximately 20 minutes.
  3. Remove saucepan from heat. Stir in vanilla, food coloring, and soda. Pour candy mixture over popped corn and stir gently to coat.
  4. At this point, if mixture is too sticky, you can bake in a 300 degree oven for 15 minutes. Stir mixture. If more baking is required, bake another 5 minutes to reach a dryer consistency.
  5. Spread on buttered foil to cool. Store in tightly covered container.
  6. A Few Hints:
  7. If you like the popcorn more tangy, add 1 Tablespoon of vinegar.
  8. The green food coloring is just a range, you choose how much for the color you desire.
  9. Another flavoring can be used instead of vanilla, maybe peppermint to match the color.

A Wee Bit of Irish History

Saint Patrick, who lived over 1500 years ago, is the patron saint and national apostle of Ireland. He was credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland. March 17, 461 is the date of his death and the date we celebrate St. Patrick's Day in his honor. The color green and the native Irish clover, also known as the Shamrock, are tied into St. Patrick's Day celebrations. The reason for this probably has to do with his Christian teachings. He explained the Holy Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) to others by relating the three to the Shamrock, which has three leaves. Therefore the three-leafed Shamrock, which was always green, is connected with celebrations of Saint Patrick's Day. The holiday that honors Ireland's famous patron saint and his memorable Christian teachings.

I have developed a personal interest in this Irish holiday due to my red-haired, paternal grandmother's Irish roots. It is a holiday of legends, magic, and fun traditions.

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Lucky Charms - Official Cereal of Lucky the Leprechaun

What better cereal for breakfast on St Patrick's Day?

Remember back when the TV commercial was of Lucky and his magical Lucky Charms which consisted of yellow moons, pink hearts, orange stars, and green clovers. Then a few years later blue diamonds were added and back then the oat cereal was way more abundant than the fun colored marshmallows. But now today, there are multiple, different shapes, I could never name them all. Things change and now Lucky Charms includes way more marshmallows than it used to, which is a good thing for kids!

Lucky Charms 2 Bags, 46-Ounce
Lucky Charms 2 Bags, 46-Ounce

This is a colorful breakfast cereal, filled with magical enchantment. Perfect for a St. Patrick's Day breakfast.

 

Darby O'Gill and the Little People - A Walt Disney Movie

Darby O'Gill and the Little People is a magical movie. It is a favorite movie that I watched with my children when they were small. We loved the magical experience and the path it provides through opening your imagination to many possibilities. The Leprechauns are so cute and intelligent. Experience the magic and fun while building a memory.

Darby O'Gill and the Little People [VHS]
Darby O'Gill and the Little People [VHS]

An enchanting movie to watch with the kids in celebration of Saint Patrick's Day

 

And Now For Your Poll Taking Enjoyment, A Few Saint Patrick's Day Questions ...

Is St Patrick's Day a day of celebration for you?

What is your favorite St. Patrick's Day tradition?

See results

St Patrick's Day is To Me ...

I believe Saint Patrick's Day is

See results

Have You Ever Seen a Leprechaun?

Do Leprechauns really exist?

See results

Thank you for visiting and come again sometime :)

What makes Saint Patrick's Day special to you? - Share Your Thoughts

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    • profile image

      Elastara 4 years ago

      St Patrick's Day is round the corner and I am looking forward to the day :).

    • squidoopets profile image

      Darcie French 4 years ago from Abbotsford, BC

      I'm going with finding my pot of gold on St Patrick's Day! Also, am going to feature this on Green Celebrities - love the Green M &M :D

    • TTMall profile image

      TTMall 5 years ago

      Very informative lens. Well done!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      looks interesting, i like to try some

    • micheleburke profile image

      Michele Marie Burke 5 years ago

      I am Irish and have many memories of fun St Patrick's days growing up. My mom made a big deal of the holiday with decorations and special foods.