St. Patty’s Day Shortbread

Do wee lil’ leprechauns visit your house too?
Why, if they can’t be the most conniving little mischief-makers.
Sneaking into the fridgidaire, turning the milk green.
Hiding puzzle pieces ‘round the house which–once found–lead to golden treasure.
Getting their fingers into the cookie dough and turning it…

You thought I was going to say green, didn’t you?
Of course, leprechauns like the color green,
But they’re so much bigger than that.
{Despite them being eensy-teensy creatures.}
Size, however, does not limit ones color-palette appreciation skills. No, indeed.
The minute those sneaky Irish fellers get their hands on this simple, shortbread cookie dough,

They roll it out and roll it up and make it the most magical of colors.
Reds and blues, purples and greens. And, gold. Aye, there must be gold.
Because, after all, isn’t that what leprechauns are all about?
A wee bit of magic, a mighty hope for treasure.
All the fixings that make for a day full of luck, and pinching, and merriment.
Happy St. Patty’s Day to you and yours.
May the luck of the Irish be sprinkled throughout your kitchentops.

St. Patty’s Day Shortbread
This is a quick and simple shortbread cookie recipe. The cookies bake up firm and crisp, maintaining the shape of whatever your decide to roll into the center of your sweets. To get the colors and shapes inside each of these cookies, I used a simple rolling technique to create a log of cookie dough, then sliced extremely thin cookies off of it. If you’ve ever made those slice ‘n bake polymer clay canes (or millefiori), you will have likely done a similar technique to get a pretty design inside the circle of clay. It takes some time to get the centers just.right, but isn’t it worth it?! Just look at those fine little cookie sandwiches. You could nearly kiss them for good luck. But, why do that when you can simply gobble them up?
½ c. butter
½ c. sugar
½ c. light brown sugar
2 c. flour
Pinch of baking soda
¼- ½ c. water
Wilton gel colors
In a large bowl, combine butter sugars, flour and soda together with your hands. Add water as needed until dough is pliable, but not too sticky. Separate dough into small balls and knead in various Wilton gel colors. To create designs for the center of each cookie, I simply rolled the dough into small “ropes” then gently layered them together, and rolled them into the center of several white strips of dough. To do this most properly, keep the dough from getting too floury. That’s the most important part of this process. Keeping it just moist enough to stick together and working the dough gently. Ever so gentle. If you’re interested in more details on how to get the specific designs, I can post a photo tutorial on Tuesday or Wednesday.
Once you’ve got your “cane” or “log” of dough, place it in the freezer for about 20 minutes. You don’t want it too terrible frozen, but you don’t want it warm and bloppy, either. Remove the cold log from the freezer and use a very sharp knife to slice off EXTREMELY thin slices. (Approx. 2-3 centimeters thick, if your dough & knife will allow it.)
Bake slices on an ungreased cookie sheet, in an oven preheated to 325 degrees for 6-8 minutes. Edges should not be browned, but centers should be cooked through. Remove from heat & allow to cool. Fill cookies with Vanilla-Butter Cookie Crème.

Vanilla-Butter Cookie Crème
Vanilla? Butter? Need I say more?! Whip this up just before you need to fill the centers of your shortbread. Because you are using melted butter to make the crème, the mixture will thicken as it cools. To achieve a nice, smooth edge on my crème, I plopped the freshly-beaten icing into a large Ziploc, then piped it onto each cookie.
½ c. butter, melted
4 c. powdered sugar
1 T. clear vanilla flavoring
1 ½ T. milk
In a large mixing bowl, whip all ingredients together until very smooth. Pipe into the center of cooled shortbread cookies, then smash a second cookie on there to make a delectable, gorgeous cookie sandwich.

Can we swap lucky wishes this week?
It just so happens I need YOU to help make all my dreams come true.
Have you been watching Iron Chef, the Food Network, American Idol
over the last several weeks and seen a vaguely familiar face pop up during commercial time?
Why, yes! That’s me and my warbly pipes singing soulful praises alongside Megan Mullaly.
It’s been a BLAST being a part of the Turn the Tub Around campaign,
but now, things are getting as hot as an Irish pub at midnight.
Voting for my I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter music video begins today.
Will you help me emerge from the singing arena victorious?
to oogle my hyper-ruffly apron, giggle at my singing voice, and Vote.
(Oh, vote. Please, please, please vote.)
I’m heading into this round as the underdog, having lost last time by a handful of percentage points, so I truly thank you for taking the time to send in a mouse-click for me.

To thank you for voting,the wonderful lads & lassies of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter
have put together this incredible prize package for one lucky commenter, which includes:
Crate & Barrel serving platter
Crate & Barrel Spreader & spatula
-2 I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter recipes and
-$25 gift certificate to purchase all the ingredients.
To win, just CLICK HERE to vote, then stop back by, leave a comment
and tell me what magical plans ye’ve got up yer kilt for St. Patty’s day!