Bite size Irish Heart Shamrock Cookies are the sweetest little treats you'll have on St. Patrick's Day.
In an attempt to make the cutest shamrock cookies ever, I simply turned mini hearts into clovers. Adorable! Irish green cookies sitting just right on your plate make the sweetest, easy to pop-in-your-mouth-and-eat, treats. Little fingers will love helping in the process, and love eating them too.
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Use heart cookie cutters:
I used heart cutters like these, some royal icing tinted in pretty shades of green, and shiny crystals of sugar. When the little hearts are placed together on your serving tray you can make three or four leave clovers!
It's also fun to package these in a flat box and let people nibble on the little hearts when they get the gift.
What cookie dough do you use?
You could use a regular sugar cookie dough and these shamrock cookies would be delicious. For these, the dough is a rich, shortbread-type cookie with a base of confectioners' sugar. Unlike regular sugar cookies it melts a bit on your tongue when you eat it.
Make shamrocks out of little heart-shaped cookies for a St. Patrick's Day treat you can share or gift!
Pro tip: Make sure you leave time to chill the dough, it makes such a difference when rolling it out. Roll cold dough with a little muscle as quickly as you can--the butter in the dough warms quickly and holds its shape the best when it's cut cold.
If you'd like, roll sheets of the dough on parchment paper and then chill the sheets before cutting. I think this is always a fail-safe way to get beautiful shaped cookies.
When is royal icing used?
I used Royal Icing with this shamrock cookie recipe. I use royal icing when I want an icing or frosting that makes a smooth top to my cookies, when I want vibrant colors (with a butter icing the colors are harder to achieve), and when I want an icing that sets so I can package the cookies easily.
My favorite food coloring are these gel pastes. They come in so many mixable colors. I used leaf green and yellow to create the chartreuse color, and a little forest green for the darker hue.
I use my standard royal icing recipe, but I also like using this Lemon Royal Icing for a little spring brightness! It gives a little citrus kick to the flavor.
Simplify this idea as much as you'd like--Use store bought cookie dough, and canned icing. I would zap the canned icing in the microwave for a few seconds to make it a more glaze-like consistency. There are many ways to make these fun little shamrock cookies.
How do I make shamrock stems?
And for the stems! I like arranging my little clovers on whatever platter I have on hand. That means I can get creative with their shape and size. I arrange the hearts to make shamrocks and then a small brush of icing on the plate will make the cute shamrock stems. And for the lucky ones, a four-leaf clover instead of three!
- 1½ cups unsalted butter
- 1½ cups confectioners' sugar
- 6 egg yolks
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp salt
- 3½ cups all-purpose flour
- Royal Icing Recipe Below
- Food coloring
- Crystal sugar
Heat oven to 350°F. In a bowl, beat butter until smooth. Add confectioners' sugar and blend together. Beat in egg yolks, vanilla and salt. Stir in flour until completely incorporated. Wrap and chill dough about 30 min.
Roll dough to ¼-inch thickness and cut heart shapes with a 1- to 1½-inch cookie cutters. Bake on parchment-lined baking sheets for 8 to 10 min until slightly golden around edges. Cool completely.
Ice cookies with a thin icing tinted green and sprinkle with white crystal sugar. Arrange cookies to form shamrock shapes, then paint icing stems on serving platter with a brush.
Make icing by mixing together 4 cups confectioners' sugar, 4 tbsp meringue powder and 1/3 cup water. Mix until icing is the consistency of cold honey. Cover or use immediately.
And for the stems! A small brush of icing on the plate will make the cute shamrock stems. And for the lucky ones, a four-leaf clover instead of three!
Recipe by Tara Teaspoon. Photographer: Peter Ardito. Originally published in LHJ 3/10.