Thursday, March 5, 2009

Shamrock Cookies

No, I'm not Irish, but I once had a wonderful friend who was Irish through and through. His name is Patrick Bresnan. He now works in New York. But in the years that our lives were connected, we never once neglected to celebrate Saint Patrick's Day.

His day would start off by going to early morning mass. He would arrive at our place of employment where he knew his friends and co-workers would be ready to celebrate his birthday. Yes, his birthday is March 17th, being Irish, he was named after his patron saint.

The rest of us would be sporting green hair, clothing, shamrocks, you name it. A wonderful luncheon of corned beef and cabbage, a huge birthday cake, Irish coffee and Celtic music playing in every corner of the building would permeate the day. Those were wonderful times. I miss them and my friend dearly.

So, even though I'm not Irish, I still celebrate Saint Patrick's Day. My love of history and anthropology have given me an appreciation of the gifts all cultures have to offer.

So for today, enjoy these delicious butter cookies made with my Mother's "Galletas de Mantequilla" recipe.

Butter Cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) softened butter
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 to 2½ cups flour

Cream butter and sugar together. Add vanilla. Slowly, add flour and knead to combine well.
Chill dough in refrigerator for 30 minutes for easier handling. Roll out a small portion of the dough between two pieces of wax paper to ¼ inch thickness.
Dip cookie cutter in flour and cut out desired shapes.
Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for 10 to 12 minutes (middle of oven) at 325°. If desired, before chilling dough, add food coloring during the mixing process. Also, after cutting with cookie cutters, you may sprinkle shapes with colored decorating sugars.
Makes about 1 ½ to 2 dozen, depending on size of shapes cut.
For the rainbow cookies, I used a round cookie cutter and then cut each in half before baking. The shamrock cookies, I sprinkled green sugar srinkles before baking. I used royal frosting to decorate the cookies. White as a base for the rainbow cookies and green tinted frosting for the shamrocks. Use M & M minis for the rainbow bands.

Royal Frosting
1 pound (1 box) confectioners sugar (powdered sugar)
6 tablespoons Wiltons Meringue powder
6 tablespoons (about 1/3 cup) water
paste food coloring, if desired

Mix all ingredients in electric mixer for 7 minutes.

The Shamrock

The shamrock, which was also called the "seamroy" by the Celts, was a sacred plant in ancient Ireland because it symbolized the rebirth of spring. By the seventeenth century, the shamrock had become a symbol of emerging Irish nationalism. As the English began to seize Irish land and make laws against the use of the Irish language and the practice of Catholicism, many Irish began to wear the shamrock as a symbol of their pride in their heritage and their displeasure with English rule.


Mommy's Kitchen said...

Those are so cute Teresa. I Love Butter cookies any way shape or form. said...

These look delicious!! And I always love the history too! Nice post!!

ARLENE said...

I love butter cookies, no matter the name, no matter the country of origin. Yours look darling and, I'm sure, taste delicioso. So good to see a post from you, Teresa. Happy St. Patrick's Day (I know, a bit early, but let me be the first).

Reeni♥ said...

How beautifully decorated these are. Thanks for sharing your Mom's recipe. I never tire of your stories. I hope your friend Patrick will see this nice little write-up.

Gloria Chadwick said...

Your cookies are beautiful. Two of my cats were born on March 17th, so I'm sure they're Irish. But then, everyone is Irish on St. Patrick's Day.

Dee said...

Cute! My dad's birthday was on the 17th of March too, and guess what his name was?

Dibs said...

Hello Teresa! How are you? The cookies look fabulous! Interesting to know about Shamrock and its symbolism! The plant looks very much like a clover - wonder if they are the same plant with different names!

Kelly said...

Those are absolutely adorable. They remind me of the cookie bouquets you can order. It sounds like you definitely had a lot of fun at work!

Happy cook said...

Wow they looks so colourful and so beautiful.
beautiful creation.

Prudence said...

Hey my beautiful mama!! How are you? Sorry for the disappearing act! I have been a bit nutty! SOOOOOOOOO good to hear from you!!

Ivy said...

The cookies sound wonderful and thanks for the information with it. In Greece shamrock is the symbol of one of the most popular football teams.

Karen said...

Nice memories :) I love the way you present the cookies... so cute!

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Megan said...

Your St. Patrick cookies are beautiful. I love a frosted (and decorated) sugar cookie the best!

Fabby's Cupcaker ;) said...

Hola Tere!

Están hermosas esas galletas!

Recibe un gran abrazo amiga!

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