Favorite St. Patrick’s Day Recipes

Since St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner, I thought it would be the perfect time to share with you some of my very favorite St. Patrick’s Day treats that I’ve made throughout the years.

Have a wonderful weekend and a happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone!!

~Enjoy~
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Irish Cream Cupcakes with Irish Cream Buttercream Frosting

Irish Cream Cupcakes with Irish Cream Buttercream Frosting

Irish Cream Cupcakes

4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups Irish Cream
2/3 cup water
2 tablespoons milk
2/3 cup butter, room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour cupcake tins or line with paper liners.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.

In another medium bowl or measuring cup, combine Irish Cream, water and milk; mix well.

In large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla extract; beat well. Alternately add the flour mixture and Irish Cream mixture to the butter mixture. Beat for approximately 2 minutes.

Spoon batter into cupcake tins, filling cups about 2/3 full. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until tops spring back when lightly touched. Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool.

Frost cooled cupcakes with Irish Cream Buttercream Frosting; if desired. (recipe below)

Makes approximately 30 cupcakes.



Irish Cream Buttercream Frosting

1 cup butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons Irish Cream
3-4 drops green food coloring
decorative sprinkles

Directions:
Cream butter with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually add powdered sugar; mix until completely combined. Add Irish Cream and food coloring; beat until well combined. If necessary, add more Irish Cream to thin or more powdered sugar to thicken frosting to desired texture.

Frost cooled cupcakes and sprinkle with decorative sprinkles.



Pistachio Cake

Pistachio Cake

6 teaspoons Ener-G Egg Replacer
8 tablespoons water
1 (18-1/4 ounce) package yellow cake mix
2 (1 ounce) packages Fat-Free Sugar-Free Jell-O Instant Pistachio Pudding & Pie Filling Mix
1 cup water
3/4 cup vegetable oil

Glaze

1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon butter, softened
2 to 3 tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10-inch fluted tube pan.

Combine Ener-G Egg Replacer and the 8 tablespoons of water in a small glass or bowl. Mix well.

In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, pudding mixes, water, oil, and the egg mixture.
Beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.

Pour batter into prepared tube pan. Bake for 60-70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

In a small bowl, combine the glaze ingredients. Drizzle over cooled cake.

Yields 12 servings.



Homemade Irish Cream

Homemade Irish Cream

Homemade Irish Cream

1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk, or 14 ounces of homemade sweetened condensed milk (recipe below)
1 1/2 cups Irish whiskey
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract

Directions:
Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend on high power for about 20-30 seconds.
Store tightly sealed in the refrigerator. Shake well before using.

Makes approximately 25.4 fluid ounces.



Homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk

1/2 cup cold water
1 1⁄3 cups nonfat dry milk powder
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:
In a medium bowl, stir milk into cold water. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir in sugar & vanilla extract. Refrigerate and cool before using.

Yields approximately 1 and 1/3 cups.



Chocolate Mint Whoopie Pies

Chocolate Mint Whoopie Pies

Chocolate Mint Whoopie Pies

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 cup milk

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add the egg and beat until combined. Add dry ingredients, alternating with milk, and mix until just blended.

Drop batter by tablespoonfuls, about 2 inches apart, onto prepared baking sheets.

Bake for 6-7 minutes, until cakes spring back when touched. Remove from oven and let cool on pan for 2 minutes. Transfer cakes to wire racks to cool completely.

Match cakes in pairs so tops and bottoms are similar in shape. Spread bottoms with Mint Cream Filling, recipe below, and cover with top.

Makes 18 whoopie pies.



Mint Cream Filling

6 tablespoons butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon mint extract
4-5 drops green food coloring
3-4 tablespoons milk

In a medium bowl, combine butter, powdered sugar, mint extract, food coloring, and milk. Mix until smooth. Spread on the bottoms of half of the cookies; top with remaining cookies.



Irish Cream Chocolate Chip Cookies

Irish Cream Chocolate Chip Cookies

Irish Cream Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup Irish Cream
2 cups chocolate chips

Directions:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and egg together until light and fluffy. Add vanilla extract and Irish Cream; mix until combined.

Gradually add dry ingredients to butter mixture and blend well. Fold in chocolate chips.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place on ungreased cookie sheets 1 1/2 inches apart. Flatten with the bottom of a glass coated with non-stick cooking spray.

Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes approximately 4 dozen cookies.

Molasses Spice Cookies

Molasses Spice Cookies

Molasses Spice Cookies

The weather forecast is calling for 7 to 10 inches of snow to fall in our area this weekend, and since it appears that approximately 5 inches has already fallen, it seems like the perfect time to just stay indoors and do some Christmas cookie baking.

This weekend I’m going to be whipping up a big batch of these delicious Molasses Spice Cookies, for my office’s annual Christmas cookie exchange that we will be holding on Monday. Molasses Spice cookies are one of my all-time favorite holiday cookies; with their soft and chewy texture, and sweet yet spicy flavor. My favorite way to enjoy them is alongside a big scoop of Spumoni ice cream, but either way, with or without the ice cream, these cookies are truly delicious and are a classic Christmas cookie in my book.

I originally posted this recipe on my blog back in 2009, but I think this is one of those recipes that is definitely worth repeating.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

~Enjoy~
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Molasses Spice Cookies (from “Favorite Brand Name Recipes: 100 Best Holiday Cookies” cookbook)

1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup shortening
1/4 cup molasses
1 egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 cup granulated brown sugar* or granulated sugar
*Granulated brown sugar is brown sugar that has been processed to have a light, dry texture that is similar to regular granulated sugar. It can be found in the baking aisles of most supermarkets.

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 F. Grease cookie sheets.

Beat granulated sugar and shortening about 5 minutes in large bowl until light and fluffy. Add molasses and egg; beat until fluffy.

Combine flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, salt and mustard in medium bowl. Add to shortening mixture; beat just until blended.

Place granulated brown sugar in shallow dish. Shape dough into 1-inch balls; roll in sugar to coat. Place 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheets.

Bake 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Let cookies stand on cookie sheets 2 minutes. Remove cookies to wire racks; cool completely.

Makes about 6 dozen cookies

Note: It has been suggested that, since oven temperatures can fluctuate, these cookies may turn out better for some of you if the oven temperature is turned down to 350 degrees, and the cookies are baked for approximately 12 minutes. Otherwise, the cookies may become too dark.

Whipped Shortbread Cookies

Whipped Shortbread Cookies

Whipped Shortbread Cookies

It’s Christmas cookie baking time again, and this season I’m kicking off my holiday baking with these cute little Whipped Shortbread Cookies. These crisp, light, melt-in-your-mouth little cookies are a cinch to make, and they only require four ingredients, plus decorations; if desired. They freeze well too, so you can enjoy some now, and save the rest for your holiday cookie platter.

One of the things I love about holiday baking, or any baking for that matter, is how warm and cozy it makes my kitchen feel. This time of year, when the weather is especially chilly, the extra warmth from the oven makes a wonderful, additional heating source.

I hear from various news reports, that many of my readers in the lower 48 states could really use some extra warmth. Many areas are currently in the grips of major ice storms, and are experiencing very chilly temperatures. Some places even have temperature readings well below zero degrees. We are sitting at a balmy 34 degrees right now, but we had ice storms blow through here twice in the past couple of weeks that closed schools and played havoc with driving conditions, so I can truly sympathize with what those states are currently going through.

Here’s hoping that the weather improves for those areas soon. Have a wonderful day everyone!

~Enjoy~
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Whipped Shortbread Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
decorative sprinkles

Directions:
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

In a large bowl, cream butter and powdered sugar together until light and fluffy. Gradually add flour and cornstarch, beating until well blended.

Dust hands lightly with additional cornstarch, and roll dough into 1-inch balls. Place dough balls 1-inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Press down lightly with a floured fork. Top with sprinkles.

Bake for 15 minutes, or until bottoms are lightly browned. Cool for 2 minutes on cookie sheets, then remove cookies from pan and place on wire racks to cool completely.

Makes approximately 3 dozen cookies.

Chocolate Pumpkin Spice No Bake Cookies

Chocolate Pumpkin Spice No Bake Cookies

Chocolate Pumpkin Spice No Bake Cookies

We have yet to receive our first measurable snowfall, so we’ve had a rare opportunity to enjoy a long Autumn season this year. Our temperatures have dropped dramatically though over the past several days, and have only been in the 20’s. Despite the colder temperatures, I’m thankful for the lack of snow. I absolutely love the Autumn season, but in Alaska the season tends to be very short. I’m glad it has decided to stick around a little longer this year.

Now that we’ve turned the calender to November, it’s getting to be that time of year when we’re all a little bit busier with planning, and making preparations for the upcoming holidays. I can’t believe Thanksgiving is less than three weeks away. Although I tend to stick with my usual tried-and-true Thanksgiving holiday menu, I still find myself prepping weeks in advance. You’d think by now I’d be able to make Thanksgiving dinner in my sleep, but I still spend a lot of time prepping, to ensure everything turns out just right.

With my time divided between work, family, and holiday preparations, I’ve been finding little time to do any baking. That’s why this recipe for Chocolate Pumpkin Spice No Bake Cookies is so wonderful. Not only are these cookies delicious, with generous amounts of chocolate and pumpkin spice flavors, but being that they are “no-bake”, I can whip up a tasty treat for my family in no time at all.

~Enjoy~
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Chocolate Pumpkin Spice No Bake Cookies

2 cups granulated sugar
4 tablespoons baking cocoa
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup milk
1 (3.4oz) box of pumpkin spice pudding mix
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
3 cups dry quick-cooking oats
Waxed paper

Directions:
In a heavy saucepan, bring the sugar, cocoa, butter and milk to a boil. Let mixture boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat, and add the pudding mix, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice and oats to the saucepan; mix well.

Drop by tablespoonfuls onto waxed paper. Let cool until set.

Makes approximately 30 cookies.

Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodles

Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodles

Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodles

In my last blog post, I mentioned that I volunteered to make both a bride’s and a groom’s cake for a wedding reception, and I was feeling a little stressed because I had never made cakes for a wedding before. Well, I’m happy to report that both cakes turned out great, and I even managed to get them to the reception without dropping them. :)

Making the wedding cakes turned out to actually be quite fun, but I now have a new-found appreciation for those cake bakers who make them as a full-time profession. I don’t know how they do it. They must be able to handle stress a lot better than I.

There was no stress involved whatsoever in making these yummy Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodles though. They are super easy to make, and not only did this recipe produce a delicious treat packed with the flavors of the Fall season, but the aroma of the pumpkin and spice from the cookies baking in the oven filled my home with a wonderful Autumn scent. In fact, the scent might stick around longer than the cookies – they are that good.

Snickerdoodles are one of my favorite cookies, and I believe I’ve mentioned before that Autumn is my very favorite season. So it’s an extra special treat when I get to combine one of Autumn’s bountiful offerings, pumpkins, with one of my favorite cookies.

~Enjoy~
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Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodles

For the cookies:
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the coating:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Directions:
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and pumpkin pie spice; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Blend in the pumpkin puree. Beat in the egg and vanilla until combined. Turn the mixer to low speed and gradually add in the dry ingredients; mix until just incorporated. Cover and chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, combine the sugar and spices for the coating. Shape rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into 1-inch balls; roll in sugar mixture. Place 2 inches apart on cookie sheets. Coat the bottom of a drinking glass with butter. Press the bottom of the glass in the sugar-spice mixture. Flatten the dough balls slightly with the bottom of the glass.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until cookies are set and edges are lightly browned. Let cookies cool on the baking sheets for about 1-2 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes approximately 4 dozen cookies.

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