Bake up a batch of good luck and good cheer with sweet shamrock and four leaf clover cookies.
A cookie press makes it a breeze to form dozens of petite shaped cookies. With just a touch of food coloring you can quickly turn a little plain cookie dough into a plateful of festive green!
These are made with the four leaf clover and shamrock press disks from our St. Patrick’s Day 8 disk set.
(*NOTE: As of our 2019 Re-Opening our new disks are made of a solid white material, but the designs are exactly the same, and press identically.)
Making these bite-sized sweets is a snap, so let’s get to it! After posting some intricate recipe blogs last fall, this nice simple one was fun to pull together.
I used our basic go-to spritz cookie recipe for simplicity.
Impress! Vanilla-Honey Spritz
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, softened (not melted) (I recommend Land O Lakes brand as I know it creams well. I have had trouble with some generic butters not creaming properly and making the dough hard to press)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup honey
1 and 1/2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
GEL food coloring (NOT liquid), I used three different shades of green
Gather your ingredients and disks.
Preheat oven to 400°F.
For those of you who read this blog often, the rainbows are back again! A bright sunny Colorado day splashed joyful rainbows about my kitchen as I baked. I wonder if there’s a pot of gold at the end on one? 😉
Combine the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
The most important step in these recipes is creaming the butter. To make excellent spritz cookies you want to cream your butter until it is fluffy. Pretend you are making frosting, set the mixer to whip, and cream until that fluffy texture appears.
Add the sugar a little at a time, re-creaming the mixture. Add the honey and repeat. Then add the egg and vanilla and cream it all one more time returning it to its fluffy state. Slowly fold in the flour mixture until a smooth, slightly stiff dough has formed.
Perfect spritz dough is not too sticky to the touch, and is slightly stiff but very malleable.
If you’re only using one shade of green coloring, just go ahead and add it a little at a time until you achieve the color you want. I decided to mix it up a bit and do three different shades of green. If you’re doing that, separate your dough into three bowls and mix the color in by hand with a spoon.
I used Wilton® icing colors in leaf green, moss green, and Kelly green.
Load your dough into the press barrel, packing it in with the back of a spoon as you go. This helps eliminate air bubbles and makes pressing easier and more consistent. Choose a disk and start pressing.
It’s not at all unusual for the first few cookies to come out imperfectly. Just throw the dough back into the bowl to be re-pressed.
Once you’ve achieved a nice shape, try to press with a consistent rhythm. I found that the shamrocks needed to be pressed more slowly than the four leaf clovers. Once in a while a stem didn’t press and got stuck to the disk. I just pulled it off and placed it with my fingers. That sometimes happens if your dough is a little stiff (and mine was as I’d had to refrigerate it while picking my son up from school!)
The four leaf clovers pressed super cleanly. Try to keep them petite as that gives the most detail in the shape. If using a one-click-per-cookie type press remember that you don’t always have to follow that guideline. Some shapes may take more or less than one click and that’s ok! Think of the press like a pump (it’s kind of like a caulking gun). It’s simply a mechanism for pumping dough out, however many (or few) “clicks” it takes.
You can sprinkle a little granulated sugar on before baking if you like. I left mine plain as they’re quite sweet on their own.
Bake them for 6-10 minutes, checking the first batch early and often. All ovens are different and spritz cookies brown quickly once they start the process.
Let them sit on the cookie sheet for about two minutes before removing to a wire cooking rack. This helps prevent breaking.
The beautiful thing about this recipe is that it requires nothing more. Adding the food coloring is the only decorating involved. The shapes simply speak for themselves.
Have a Happy St. Patrick’s Day and as always, Happy Baking!
Disk Designer/Co-Owner at Impress! Bakeware, LLC
“Get creative with your cookie press!”
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The St. Patrick’s Day Disk set: