It is one week until St. Patrick’s Day! As I mentioned in a prior post, I love the wisdom and humor of the Irish. Although I have never been to Ireland, I love the picture books and travel programs that show the beautiful landscape and Irish hospitality. For many years I watched QVC on St. Patrick’s Day when they had their 24-hour special programming. There are many small business owners such as Stephen Walsh of Connemara Marble that became well-known names in many Irish-American homes. Connemara Marble is a family-owned business that started as a rosary company. I love Stephen’s stories and look forward to this once a year “visit”. I should mention that I have many pieces of marble jewelry – it is just beautiful!! I love hearing the history of the company, how the marble is mined, and turned into jewelry. Be sure to visit his website and he has free shipping on orders over $100. From my St. Patrick’s Day shopping sprees through QVC, I have a new fragrance Inis and Inis Or; Irish music; a ton of jewelry, and many many sweaters! I only watch QVC on St. Patrick’s Day – this year I am looking at a Colm de Ris Emerald teapot. I adore tea and collect teapots. This one is very different so it might need to be added to my collection. If I do purchase it, I will share a picture! Below are a few pictures of items I have purchased over the years.
In additional to Stephen, I enjoyed the other events of the day that included music, dancing, and videos of master crystal cutters and glass blowers. Last year QVC stopped the 24-hour show and chopped it up pretty bad. Prime time is dedicated to beauty, kitchen, and electronics. Hopefully I will catch Stephen Walsh but other than that I most likely will not watch it as they ruined the programming. (Yes, Stephen is my favorite!) On the bright side, the change saves me a lot of money because this is the one time I do not worry about a sale as discussed in this posting.
To celebrate the day, I made Shamrock cutout cookies. I made them ahead and froze them until I had a chance to ice and decorate them. Ice the cookies with either white icing or add green food coloring for a more colorful cookie. You can be creative with adding white or green candies as decorations. When you are shopping look for anything that makes a nice decoration. I had some white pearls left over from my Valentine’s Day dessert. Plus I purchased mint covered almonds; and white, green, and yellow sprinkles.
Shamrock Chewy Cut-Out Cookie Recipe
3 1/2 cups Bread Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 cup Margarine, softened
1 cups White Sugar
½ cup Dark Brown Sugar
2 teaspoons Vanilla (I make my own with Rum and a vanilla bean)
Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together, set aside. In a large bowl, cream together the margarine and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, and then stir in the vanilla. Gradually blend in the sifted ingredients. Cover dough, and chill for a couple of hours. I like to chill my dough overnight.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line baking pans with parchment paper. On a clean floured surface roll out small portions of the chilled dough to about 1/4-inch thickness. Cut out shapes using cookie cutters.
Bake 5 to 7 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are barely brown. Remove from cookie sheets to cool on wire racks and decorate with Royal Icing and holiday sprinkles if so desired. They also store nicely without any icing until you need them.
Icing and Decorating the Shamrock Cookies
Make Royal Icing (see here for the recipe) and have all your decorative items assembled. I like to ice a few cookies then decorate them.