Monday, March 15, 2010

Mom's Famous Sugar Cookies - Shamrock Style!

Hello again! I have another recipe for you for St. Patrick's Day...Shamrock Sugar Cookies! My mom always used to make these each year for St. Patty's, and even though I haven't really been home for St. Patty's Day in recent years, I think of these cookies each time the holiday comes around. :) And this year I decided to make them on my own!

For a change, I'll share all of the pictures with you first, followed by Mom's "famous" recipe for the cookies...

Here's the cookie recipe! And then I'll share the frosting recipe...oooh, the suspense!!

-3/4 cup margarine (1 and 1/2 sticks)
-1 cup sugar
-2 eggs
-1/2 tsp. vanilla
-3 cups flour
-1 tsp. baking powder
-1 tsp. salt

Beat margarine and sugar until light and fluffy. Blend in eggs and vanilla. Add combined dry ingredients; mix well. Chill several hours or overnight (or even just one hour works too, according to Mom :)). I actually made this dough ahead of time and froze it for a few days until I was ready to make the cookies... Here are a couple pics of my dough, ready for the freezer! And yes, that's red saran wrap.

When you're ready to make the cookies, on a lightly floured surface, roll the dough and cut with cookie cutters. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 5 - 7 minutes or until done to your likeness. Cool slightly on the pan and then cool on a rack.

Okay, frosting time! I had to do the frosting just like Mom did...she always made it the perfect mint-ish green color, and she'd usually put green sugar crystal sprinkles on them. So I did too! Next up are the pictures of the frosting making process, followed by the frosting recipe.

Here are the ingredients for the frosting:
-3 cups powdered sugar
-1/2 cup margarine/butter
-3 Tbsp. milk
-1 tsp. vanilla
-food coloring (green for St. Patty's, of course!)

Combine all ingredients, and mix well. Frost, decorate if you wish, and ENJOY!! :)

You can see from the pictures above that I put green sprinkles on some of the cookies before baking. I did that in case some people didn't like frosting (not sure who wouldn't like frosting though?! ;-)). I also experimented with a couple different shamrock cookies made with balls of dough rather than the rolled out dough. I made three little balls, rolled each one in sprinkles, and then smushed them together! And then I smushed a little "tail" on there too, as you can see here (it's the one on the left...obviously!). They were fun to make and tasty too. I'd definitely recommend trying it! I think it'd be a fun activity for kids to help out with as well.

Okay, now I have a confession to make... I didn't use a cookie cutter for the shamrock cookies! I looked in the stores but I couldn't find a shamrock shaped cookie cutter. Had I been thinking waaaay ahead, I suppose I could have borrowed my mom's! But I clearly wasn't on the ball with that one. Now, I actually did try to make my own shamrock cookie cutter, I'll have you know. :) It was a process! It actually looked like a shamrock...but it didn't work quite as well as I'd hoped. I semi-followed instructions from this site, as well as this one. I won't really go into much detail in words here, but I'll show you a few pictures of my cookie cutter making process...if you want to read more about it, just check out those links I just provided!

The cookie cutter I made was a little flimsier than I'd hoped, and that's one reason why I didn't end up using it. The edges also weren't quite as smooth as a regularly manufactured one, so the edges ended up pretty uneven on the couple cookies I cut using the homemade cutter. So, despite my noble attempt at making my own, I didn't end up using it! I used a small paring knife instead...I hand "carved" each shamrock! They obviously weren't as uniform as cookies made with a typical cutter would be, but I actually kind of liked that. Each one was a little unique!! :)

Overall, this sugar cookie recipe was incredibly easy. You should try it! And obviously, the cookies end up being quite deeelicious! Everyone will gobble them right up, I promise you. 

You can try these sugar cookies for other holidays too. My mom always did! She'd make heart shaped cookies for Valentine's Day with pink frosting, and then she put little conversation hearts on each one. :)

 She would often make them for my high school and college field hockey teams too. She even somehow found a horse cookie cutter! Skidmore's mascot was the Thoroughbred, so our team was lucky enough to have cookies shaped as our mascot from time to time. How fun is that?! Mom thought we were pretty special, apparently...and we all thought (and still think) she was (and is) pretty darn special too! 

Phew, that was a long post. I hope you were able to read it without getting too sleepy! ;-) And I hope you all have a wonderful St. Patty's Day filled with delicious, festive foods and drinks!


  1. You are so creative Colleen! I want you to come over to my kitchen and bake me cookies. :) Those are adorable.

  2. Awwww, why thank you Jenn! :)

  3. Hi sista, Do you know approximately how many cookies one batch makes? I've forgotten. (and I know it obviously depends on the size/shape of the cookies too!) thanks!