To be truthful, I've never really celebrated St. Patrick's Day until recently. I remember once being at a bar with friends and drinking sickeningly sweet liqueur shots chased down with Sleeman's (way back in the day when I could drink more than half a pint and still stand up!) and playing scrabble. I also remember taking a sip of Guinness from one of my friends and being totally turned off. But that was then ...
Last year, my St. Patty's day was spent visiting the grave site of one of Canada's former Prime Ministers (we left him some shamrock pins as a gift), pretending to be from the East Coast and riding the VIA.
This year, there were still no big parties or heavy drinking games, but we decided to have a nice quite celebration of our own.....
There was stew ... made with beef (which I don't eat, but hey, the broth was great!), celery root, onions, carrots and Guinness...
There were Guinness chocolate cupcakes, a beautiful recipe from Everybody Likes Sandwiches, originally adapted from Nigella.
And there were these little Bailey's shortbreads. Originally, I was just going to make the cupcakes, but I thought I'd try to get creative and try something I'd never done before.. and my secret weakness for Bailey's won over in the end. I was worried because in traditional shortbread recipes, you don't add liquids and I was afraid that the texture would come out weird. But, I remembered a cute, delicious shortbread-like cookie that I made recently that called for a shot of espresso (thank you Anna Olsen!). I took her basic recipe, cut it in half and substituted the espresso for the Bailey's. It worked perfectly. It smelled really strongly of Bailey's when it was baking, but the taste is very subtle. And it had a lovely texture as well. Crumbly, buttery and not quite crispy not quite soft. It's by no means a traditional shortbread, but it's a very delicious way to celebrate St. Patty's Day!
Bailey's Shortbreadish Cookies
1/2 cup soften butter
1/2 cup icing sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 liquid ounce Bailey's Irish Cream liqueur
1 cup of all purpose flour
pinch of salt
1. Cream the butter and sugar until smooth. Add the vanilla and Bailey's and mix around as best as you can. It will look separated and weird, but that's ok, the flour will make it better.
2. Add the salt and flour, a little at the time, mixing in between additions to incorporate well. You should end up with a soft dough.
3. Shape the dough into logs (I can't measure.. just decide how big you want your cookies and shape your log to that size), wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
4. Cut the logs into little circles (1/4 inch I think .. I hope..) and place on a non-stick or parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies get golden brown and you can smell Bailey's coming from your oven.