Thursday, March 17, 2011

Shamrock Cookies

Betty says that these Shamrock Cookies are “a grand St. Patrick’s Day surprise for the whole family. Faith and begorra, they’re good!” Will they be the tasty treat she promises? Read on to find out!

Shamrock Cookies
1 cup shortening (half butter or margarine)
1 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar
1 egg
1 to 2 tsp peppermint flavoring
2 ½ cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 ½ tsp green food coloring

Preheat the oven to 375̊F. Mix the shortening, butter, sugar, egg and peppermint flavoring. Stir in the flour, salt, and food coloring. To shape shamrocks, roll three small (1/4 tsp) balls of dough and a small stem. Flatten them together and shape into a shamrock shape.  Sprinkle with green sprinkles. Note: complete cookies one at a time or the tiny balls of dough may dry out and crack when you try to shape them. Bake about 9 minutes. Makes about 9 dozen cookies.

Good Luck Cookies
Make Shamrock Cookies as above, but make 4 small balls for each cookie to shape into a four-leaf clover.

Really, the first thing I had to do was look up the word “begorra.” In case you were wondering:

begorra- an interjection, used as a euphemism for ‘by God’

Okay! On to the cookies.

My first hang-up came as I was mixing up the ingredients and got to adding the mint flavoring. The flavoring itself smelled good (although strong), but once it was incorporated into the dough, the smell was kind of sickening… just a weird sort of minty bad smell.

Then, I got to the part when the dry ingredients are added. The only dry things are flour and salt, but it still seemed wrong to me to not to mix them together before adding them. Still, I decided to follow the directions and mixed in all of the flour followed by the salt, which I mixed for a long time to be sure that everything was evenly distributed.

Next, the food coloring. I first removed a small portion of the dough so that some cookies would be artificial coloring-free for Ryan. I think I used about half of my little squeezy bottle of green dying the rest of the dough!

The forming of the cookies was extremely time-consuming. Please see the following photo progression for that process.
A 1/4 teaspoon scoop for each ball.
3 balls + 1 stem= 1 shamrock! I also made a couple of four leaf clovers.
The pieces come together...
... and get squished!
A little poke in the side to get the right shape.
A little more flattening, and the shamrock is complete!
 Now imagine doing that for 9 dozen tiny cookies. Yikes!

When the first pan came out of the oven after baking for nine minutes, I found the cookies to be too dry. Also, my first one was super SALTY! YUCK! I knew I should have followed my gut and mixed the salt into the flour before adding it. Darn.
Sugary luck, fresh from the oven.
Pan Two was only baked for 8 minutes. The cookies still seemed a little dry, but they are just the type of cookie that is supposed to be more dry and crumbly than chewy, so I guess that’s okay.  The flavor was just weird, although I couldn’t quite put my finger on what was wrong with it. All I knew was that, even after a non-salty cookie, the aftertaste was not good.

At this point, I was upset about the gross-ness of the cookies and the fact that it was taking so long to form all of those little shamrocks, and- I threw the rest of the dough away.  A big ball of funny-smelling green, tossed in the trash. Good riddance!

I still gave these to a few people to try (they are pretty cute, after all), with a disclaimer that they were not good. According to some, they were “not the worst cookies” or even “good.” But most people agreed that they were kind of bitter with a weird after taste. They were even described as “like eating toothpaste”!
At least they look good...
If this is any indication, the only thing they ARE good for, apparently, is fodder for ravenous, rapidly-multiplying populations of Tribbles. 

So, if you want something good for St. Patrick’s Day, don’t make these. The recipe should say, “Faith and begorra, they’re gross!”

Pineapple cookies are up next! I know Amy is excited. :)
This cookie recipe was found on page 29 of Betty Crocker's Cooky Book. The cute, fuzzy Tribbles are from Jen. :D

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