St. Patrick’s Day Cookies

As I mentioned, Brown and I experimented with some St. Patrick’s Day cookies.  I am not sure what kind of cookies are considered “traditional” for St. Patrick’s day but there seems to be a lot of green food involved in the ideas that I found.  So, we opted for chocolate sandwich cookies with mint filling.

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I have made a number of Oreo inspired cookies over the years.  Some good, some not, some easy and some more involved.  This recipe comes from Martha Stewart and is both easy and delicious.  I used a scale to weigh the dough as I portioned it into balls so that they ended up being the right size to sandwich together.  However, you can eyeball it or use a scoop of some sort.  The dough spreads out as it bakes so smaller balls that made the perfect size cookie.

St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday that I am oddly drawn to.  I am not sure if it is the semester I spent in Ireland or the emphasis on partying that gets me, but I find myself using it as an excuse to bake and drink a Guinness, you should too!

Mint Sandwich Cookies
yield @ 24 sandwich cookies

For the cookies:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour or whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp espresso powder (optional)
1 1/2 cups sugar, plus more for flattening cookies
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg, room temperature

For the filling
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar (plus more to add for desired consistency)
1/4 tsp mint extract (or more to taste)
few drops of green food coloring

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Into a medium-size bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt add espresso powder if using; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream sugar and butter until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg; beat to combine. With mixer on low-speed, gradually add the flour mixture; continue beating until dough is well combined.  Divide dough, roll into balls and roll in sugar.  Drop dough onto parchment-lined baking sheets about 2 inches apart.  Using a flat bottom glass press to flatten cookies to about 1/4 inch thick. Transfer to oven, and bake until cookies are firm, about 8- 10 minutes, rotating baking sheets halfway through. Transfer baking sheets to wire racks to cool completely.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter till soft. With mixer on low-speed, gradually add the confectioners’ sugar, and continue beating until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. The consistency should be soft but stiff, not sticky. Add the mint extract and green food coloring and beat to combine. Set aside at room temperature until ready to use

Place cream filling in a pastry bag or heavy ziploc bag and pipe about 1 tablespoon filling onto the flat side of half the cookies. Place remaining cookies on top, and gently press on each to squeeze filling to edges.

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