Sunday, March 18, 2012

Irish Soda Bread Shamrock Cookies

I realize I'm a day late (literally) and a dollar short with this post since St. Patrick's Day was yesterday, but I still wanted to share this delightful, festive cookie recipe with you. For the past few years I've made the traditional Irish soda bread for St. Patty's. I bought buttermilk last week with the intention of making soda bread again this year, but then I all of a sudden had an inkling to try something different.

I thought, I wonder if there's a recipe out there to make Irish soda bread-ish cookies? Why of course there is! I found a few very similar looking recipes online and finally settled on trying one from a site, Grandma's Kitchen.

The cookies were quite easy to make. It is a little time consuming to roll out the dough, but it's not difficult at all. The flavor of these cookies was fantastic! I was honestly pleasantly surprised by how much I liked the taste of these cookies. I did think they'd be good, but I guess maybe I didn't expect to like them quite as much as I really did. They were certainly sweeter than an actual Irish soda bread, as they called for much more sugar than the bread recipes call for. They were almost a cross between a sugar cookie and a shortbread cookie of sorts. It's hard to pinpoint exactly what they tasted like, but the bottom line? They're delicious! I gave many of these cookies away to several friends over the weekend, and they all gave their stamp of approval as well. :)


-2 cups all-purpose flour
-3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. sugar
-1/2 tsp. baking soda
-1/4 tsp. salt
-1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold
-1/2 cup currants
-1/4 cup buttermilk
-1 egg


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, 3/4 cup of the sugar, baking soda, and salt. Using a box grater, grate the chilled butter into the flour mixture. Stir the mixture with a fork or pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the currants.

In a small bowl, combine the buttermilk and egg. Add to the flour mixture and stir until a soft dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead 5 times. Divide the dough in half, and using a rolling pin, roll one half of the dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Using a 2-inch biscuit cutter or a cookie cutter of your choice, cut out the shapes and place on ungreased cookie sheet (I actually put parchment paper on my cookie sheets). Repeat with the remaining dough to form additional cookies.

If you cut the dough into circles, using a knife, score the top of each cookie with a large "X." Sprinkle the cookies with the remaining 2 Tbsp. of sugar. OR, you do not need to score the cookies if you don't want to (especially if you used other, shaped cookie cutters like I did with the shamrocks). I also chose to sprinkle mine with green colored sprinkles instead of the sugar.

Bake the cookies until lightly browned on the bottoms, about 10 minutes. Transfer cookies to cooling racks to cool completely.

This recipe made about 3 dozen shamrock shaped cookies for me.

No, that's not cheese. :) It's the grated butter! The grater worked so well to break up the butter. I think I'll use this method more often when I'm making scones and other similar items.


I couldn't make shamrock shaped cookies on St. Patrick's Day without adding green sprinkles to them!

Oops! Which picture here doesn't belong? These were the green beers that Mike and I drank at home the evening of St. Patrick's Day. It was difficult to make them a really "pretty" shade of green, but you can still tell that we attempted!

I hope you all had a wonderful, festive St. Patrick's Day! This very Irish gal sure did. :)


  1. Everyone must have feel "lucky" eating these cookies :D

    Happy Belated St Patrick's Day!

  2. oh these are so cute!...and I love your festive plate!

  3. I'm not the biggest fan of Irish soda bread (a lot of really bad, dry bread memories) but in cookie form...sign me up! LOVE those green beers. I feel like the color must make them taste better...or at least make them feel more festive.

  4. These look SO delicious, especially with the sprinkles!

  5. Really pretty cookies - I bet they tasted delicious
    Mary x

  6. Those cookies look delicious! Happy belated St Patrick's day!

  7. What a creative change-up from the usual soda bread!