Sunday, March 16, 2008

St. Patrick's Day

Time to Party! St. Patrick's Day also just happens to be my mother-in-law's birthday - so, today, in honor of her birthday and St. Patrick's day (we are an Irish household), we had a small family party. Here is the menu:

Mini-Irish sausages wrapped in puff pastry (so good...)
Irish cheeses (Dubliner & KerryGold swiss) w/ crackers and blackberries
Shamrock sugar cookies (recipe below)

Main Dishes (all individual-sized)
Shepherd's pie

Vanilla 3-layer cake with strawberries and cream cheese frosting
(more) Shamrock sugar cookies
My mother-in-law's FAMOUS Irish soda bread

The soda bread is loved by shown by my adorable cousin

So, since they came out so cute - I thought I would pass along the recipe for the sugar cookies. This dough came together really fast and I made it the day before and let it sit in the refrigerator until I was ready to roll and cut out the shapes. Sometimes sugar cookies can be a bit dry and boring (exciting to look at, but lacking in taste), but these were really good. I would definitely advise icing them with some type of frosting though to enhance their appeal :)

Shamrock Sugar Cookies (dough - Good Housekeeping Perfect Desserts; icing - me :)

1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 tbsp vanilla extract
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Beat butter and sugar until blended; then mix at a higher speed until light and creamy.

3. Beat in egg and vanilla until blended; then add in flour and baking powder, mixing until just combined.

4. Divide dough into 4 pieces and wrap (I use wax paper and plastic wrap); refrigerate about 1 hour (or more) or until firm enough to roll out.

5. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface approximately 1/8 inch thick (the thickness can be changed depending on how chewy/crisp you like your cookies - adjust the baking time accordingly). Cut into shapes (I used shamrocks), place on parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for approximately 10 minutes.

6. Top with icing of choice and any other toppings (I used Wilton St. Patrick's Day themed sprinkles for mine). I was going to do a fancy piped icing, but ran out of time and ended up going with the old standby: sifted confectioner's sugar and water (or milk) with a dash of vanilla extract. There is no real ratio, just add the liquid until you reach the consistency that you are looking for (usually I'm going for spreadable and not too runny). The icing will harden after about 1/2 hour.


Anonymous said...

Jade, everything looks so GREAT! That pic with your little cousin has to be the cutest EVER! What a great time you must have had. Wish I could have been there! :)

Susan from Food Blogga said...

We always called them "pigs in the blanket," but no matter what you call them, they're addictive! And your cousin eyeing that bread--OH MY GOD is she precious!

Jessy and her dog Winnie said...

I like the picture of the girl with wide eyes in front of the the soda bread. lol.

michelle @ TNS said...

the picture of your cousin with the cake is the best thing i've ever seen.

no matter how refined my palate becomes (hint: not very), my love of pigs in a blanket will never be diminished. it just ain't a part unless you've got pigs in a blanket.

Jessy and her dog Winnie said...

I just saw the comment about my no-knead bread. The first couple of days, the bread didn't have much of a flavor, which was sorta a bummer, but by the end of the week, the flavor deepened significantly. The bread had nice big holes, and was so easy to make! I would definitely give it a shot!

Anonymous said...

oh my what a funny looking child

Tartelette said...

Your cousin is just adorable! The whole table is just a great set up of food!