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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Shamrock Sugar Cookies with Whiskey and Baileys Frosting


Moist and soft, green-tinted, whiskey-infused sugar cookies with smooth Baileys frosting...Wearing o' the green never looked so good!

These are my favorite sugar cookies and are mildly adapted from my favorite cookie book, Cookie Mania.  It is out of print, but if you're lucky, you can find a gently-used copy on the Internet.  It is my secret recipe book for the majority of my Xmas cookies.   Shh, don't tell anyone. 

I don't make sugar cookies often, well, almost never really.  This recipe is very forgiving and makes a very moist cookie that holds up to frosting.  They are very plain on their own, so I highly recommend at least sugar on top.  I tried to tint them green, but alas I goofed.  No problem, I adapted.  They still turned out yummy and soft.

The addition of Jameson Whiskey really helped crisp them up and I think it was necessary as they can tend to get really soft once frosted.  Not this time!  Soft, yet still a nice chewiness.  The Baileys frosting was a BIG hit at the office.  Each time I opened the Tupperware container to share, the waft of Baileys helped the day go by so much better.  :) 

Easy recipe, cuz I don't make cut out cookies unless they are EASY! 

Erin-go-Bragh, ya'll! 
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Step-by-Step

My friend, Melanie, made me home-made pure vanilla extract!  A good thing. 
Vanilla Love.
In a large stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. 
Beat in the egg, vanilla and whiskey.  Beat well. 
Add the sour cream and food coloring (optional).  Yes, I goofed... 
Add in 1/2 of the flour mixture.  Mix well and scrape the bowl.  Add the remainder of the flour mixture and stir in most of this by hand.  Do not overwork this dough!
Divide the dough in half, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes. 
Shhh. I goofed and forget to add the green food gel with the sour cream.  No problem.  Just pulled out a disc, added the gel and mixed ever so lightly.  Do NOT do this!  Dough turned out okay, but would have been better having followed my own recipe...

 

When you are ready to roll out the dough, lightly flour your work surface.  Cut one of the discs in half, keep the other covered and in the refrigerator.  I keep the unrolled dough in the refrigerator until I'm ready. 
Roll out the dough to about 1/4 inch thickness.  Cut with a floured cutter, any shape or size.
Transfer to the prepared pans.  I keep 4 sheets going.  And to be totally anal retentive: I chill my sheets between batches.  No joke, I put them outside to cool off.   I do this for all cookies, no exception.  My secret, shhhhhh.
Bake for 6-7 minutes or until lightly browned and the cookies are just set and still soft to the touch. 
Remove from the cookie sheet to a wire rack and cool completely before frosting.
To achieve desired spreading consistency for this frosting, add 1 tbsp milk or cream.  I usually add corn syrup, but for this frosting I wanted it to harden a bit.  Hence, the cream this time.  It will have a glossiness.  Worked great!  (My lighting was a bit off on this shot.)

Sprinkle o' the Green!
  
Shamrock Sugar Cookies with Whiskey and Baileys Frosting
Adapted from Cookie Mania by Jeri Dry and Alix Engel (out of print)

Makes about 50 large cut out cookies

Ingredients

Cookies
3 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt (table)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp (Jameson) Whiskey
1/2 cup sour cream
Green food coloring/gel (optional)

Frosting
12 tbsp salted butter (1 1/2 sticks), room temp
1/4 cup Baileys Irish Cream Liqueur
2 tsp vanilla extract
Green food coloring/gel
4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
Milk or cream  
Sprinkles

Preheat oven to 400 F.  Grease cookie sheets or use parchment paper. 

For the Cookies
Sift flour, soda and salt together in a medium bowl and set aside.  In a large stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in the egg, vanilla and whiskey.  Beat well.  Add the sour cream and food coloring (optional).  Add in 1/2 of the flour mixture.  Mix well and scrape the bowl.  Add the remainder of the flour mixture and stir in most of this by hand.  Do not overwork this dough!

Divide the dough in half, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.  When you are ready to roll out the dough, lightly flour your work surface.  Roll out the dough to about 1/4 inch thickness.  Cut with a floured cutter, any shape or size. 

Carefully transfer the cut out cookies onto the prepared pans.  Leave 2 inches between each cookie.  You can sprinkle with sugar, if you like, or leave plain to frost later.  Bake for 6-7 minutes or until lightly browned and the cookies are just set and still soft to the touch.  Remove from the cookie sheet to a wire rack and cool completely before frosting.

For the Frosting
With a paddle attachment on a stand mixer, beat the butter on medium until broken up, but not smooth about 1 minute (you don't want you butter to get too hot=runny).  Add the Baileys, extract and food coloring/gel.  Beat on medium for one minute, scrape bowl until just emulsified.  Beat for another minute, scrape bowl. 

Slowly add in all the confectioners’ sugar.  Beat on medium for 1 minute, scrape bowl.  Beat on medium for 1 minute, scrape bowl. To achieve desired spreading consistency add 1 tbsp milk or cream and beat for 30 seconds, repeat as necessary until desired consistency.   Beat for 1 minute on medium high. 
Happy St. Patrick's Day! 

Ellen

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11 comments:

  1. I can taste the frosting. Oh, how I want to make some and just eat it with a spoon. :)

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  2. the frosting is DIVINE. I think just about anything with Irish cream is delicious, and these are no exception. The cookies have just the right amount of sweetness, and the frosting is actually FLUFFY, but it does set up nicely and hold its shape and the sprinkles.

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  3. These sound soooo good! I'll have to add this to my list of things to make. :)

    And lookie there--our vanilla made it to your blog!
    -Mel

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  4. You've got the Irish pegged--Booze in everything...LOL!!

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  5. Yum.. I'm going to make these into regular round shapes but still use your recipe... YUM.

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  6. I wonder if substituting Creme De Menthe for the Irish Whisky would be Ok. I have seen lots of Baily's and Creme De Menthe blends and it is Green.

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  7. I made these last night. I am going to a St. Patrick's Day Party and I thought these sounded good. Big mistake! I followed the recipe to a tee and I had too many problems with it. I had to make a different recipe and scrap this one! The dough looks and taste fine when it is mixed up. However the dough rises to much during the baking process and it ends up turning out like biscuit dough. I wonder if the recipe has a mistake in it, perhaps it should be baking powder instead of baking soda? Or perhaps the amount of alcohol per batch alters the dough during the baking, I simple do not know. I will not be making this recipe again! Total flop and disappointment. Such a waste of money. I spent a lot of money to make this recipe and how frustrating. I was literally in tears at one point. Perhaps the author has some words of wisdom??????

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    Replies
    1. Hi Lisa, Ellen asked me to post this response from her:

      I am so, so sorry Lisa. I checked the recipe and it's correct. I've been making these cookies, sans booze, for a very, very long time. The ones I made with the booze were as pictured. It is a very soft dough with the addition of the sour cream and does require a proper chilling prior to rolling out. I always flatten my divided dough so that chilling is even. Also, if the butter and kitchen are warm resulting in a looser/warmer dough, then longer chilling might be required. And, the baked cookies are a soft sugar cookie and may look a bit puffy compared to traditional sugar cookies which have a much higher ratio of sugar to butter. Cut to 1/4 inch will give a baked cookie that is on the thicker end of the sugar cookie thickness spectrum. I am so very sorry that these didn't turn out for you - I know that frustration. If only I was close by - I'd make a batch for you so that you'd have them for your party. Thank you for sharing your experience - so very sorry that these didn't turn out for you. Best, Ellen

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  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  9. Hi Ellen,

    Thank you for the reply. However, I followed the instructions you mentioned. The cookies in the picture series do not appear to be from the same batch of cookies. The first picture under where it states to bake for 6-7 minutes, looks nothing like the last picture in the series under where it states to remove from cookie sheet to a wire rack. My cookies turned out like the last picture in the series and not at all a soft sugar cookie. As previously mentioned I will not be making this recipe again. Jameson is too expensive to be adding to a recipe that in my opinion needs some revising. I commend you for having made this recipe for many years. My experience was rather short lived. I understand that some recipes are not for everyone. Maybe others will have no trouble with this recipe and if so that is great. Thank you and happy baking!

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