Paddy’s Day Party Prep

St. Patrick's Day entertaining menu recipes corned beef and cabbage irish soda bread

I love to entertain.  Over time, I’ve found the more gatherings you host, the better you get in terms of time management.  Like the best known entertainers will tell you, you host events to spend time with your guests…and how much time are you spending with them if you are constantly in the kitchen?

St. Patrick’s Day gatherings at our house have become a yearly thing.  Luckily, the food is so easy to prepare, and so naturally flavorful and good that getting an algorithm down for preparation isn’t half bad.  It is a meal that is a good place to start if you are just getting into entertaining.

My usual menu goes a little something like this:


  • Cheese plate with crackers/fruit
  • Pretzels with a fun mustard
  • Crudites with some type of dip
St. Patty's Day entertaining recipes hosting meal planning

*I always try to stick with a theme when entertaining.  For St. Patrick’s Day, I’ll typically pick up an Irish Cheddar, a stout infused cheese and something like an English Cotswold or an Apricot Stilton or some other fun variety.  For veggies and fruit, I choose what I serve using yellow, green and white as my color palette.

St. Patrick's Day entertaining menu recipes corned beef and cabbage irish soda bread

Main meal

  • Corned beef and cabbage (and carrots and red potatoes)
  • Irish Soda Bread
  • Salad of mache, crisp green beans and tomatoes with a white wine-whole grain mustard dressing
irish soda bread recipe St. Patty's Day menu planning hosting entertaining tips tricks

*I find that the traditional corned beef in a bag that you get from your grocer is sufficiently delicious for this meal. It is so easy to not have to worry about brining and seasoning…it always comes out great!  So, to amp up the foodie factor, I spend time making my own bread and a nice salad.


  • Rich chocolate stout cake with a ganache drizzle and french vanilla ice cream
  • Coffee and Bailey’s
chocolate stout cake recipe St. Patty's Day menu planning hosting entertaining tips tricks

* This meal is so rustic and simple, it almost demands a decadent dessert for a strong finish! A great way to round out a fabulous meal.

The key to a smooth evening is prep earlier in the week.  Cut your veggies (cabbage into quarters, red potatoes halved or quartered , depending on size and carrots peeled and chunked for your CB&C and slice your crudites for appetizers) 1-2 days ahead of time and put them in easy to grab ziploc bags or reusable containers.

St. Patrick's Day entertaining menu recipes corned beef and cabbage irish soda bread
St. Patrick's Day entertaining menu recipes corned beef and cabbage irish soda bread

I love to add blanched green beans to a simple mache and heirloom tomato salad with mustard dressing – blanch your green beans ahead of time, slice your tomatoes and make your salad dressing early.

St. Patrick's Day entertaining menu recipes corned beef and cabbage irish soda bread
St. Patrick's Day entertaining menu recipes corned beef and cabbage irish soda bread

One thing I love to do, since a cheese plate is always a staple, is cut the label from a cheese wrapper and affix it with scotch tape to a simple toothpick.  Trader Joe’s has a great cheese selection and particularly cute labels, so it is identification and cute decoration, all-in-one!  Place unwrapped cheeses in a reusable container, ready to plate!

St. Patrick's Day entertaining menu recipes corned beef and cabbage irish soda bread

If making Irish soda bread the day of (which should definitely be eaten right out of the oven!), get your wet/dry ingredients portioned out in mixing bowls and cover in plastic wrap so they are ready to go. I typically pop my unbaked loaf into the oven just after guests arrive as it takes a little over an hour to bake.  Nothing better than the smell of fresh baking bread! And don’t forget to take some butter out of the fridge the morning of to allow to soften for serving.

St. Patrick's Day entertaining menu recipes corned beef and cabbage irish soda bread

Clear out one shelf in your fridge and stick everything for that day there, so you don’t have to search for things.

St. Patrick's Day entertaining menu recipes corned beef and cabbage irish soda bread

Plan out what servingware you’ll use, pre-wash them, and set them out how you want them arranged the night before.

St. Patrick's Day entertaining menu recipes corned beef and cabbage irish soda bread

Iron your fabric napkins and polish your silverware and glassware with a clean cloth.

St. Patrick's Day entertaining menu recipes corned beef and cabbage irish soda bread

And most importantly, have a great time and enjoy your guests the day of!  Happy Entertaining!

entertaining for St. Patrick's Day

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Stout Decadence

bon appetit chocolate stout cake st. patricks day dessert recipes ideas

Since my Lime-Pistachio Tart last year was such an ordeal, I decided I wanted to make a different dessert for St. Patty’s Day dinner this year.  I still wanted the same decadence since the main meal is so simple and decided to go the chocolate route.  Bon Appetit Magazine published a recipe for a Chocolate Stout Cake in 2002 that has gotten rave reader reviews on (one of my go-to websites for culinary inspiration), so this one was a no-brainer.  I adapted the recipe to use a bundt pan, and instead of their icing, I used Martha Stewart’s recipe for Chocolate Ganache Glaze.  Serve each slice with a dollop of  french vanilla ice cream and some Bailey’s infused coffee and you’ve got a fabulous ending to a great meal!



  • 1 cup stout (such as Guinness)
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process)
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup sour cream


  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup

bon appetit chocolate stout cake st. patricks day dessert recipes ideas



  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a bundt pan.
  2. Bring stout and butter to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.
  3. Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in large bowl to blend.
  4. Using electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl to blend.
  5. Add stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat just to combine.
  6. Add flour mixture in 3 parts and beat on slow speed until just incorporated after each addition.
  7. Pour batter into prepared bundt pan. Bake until tester inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Transfer cake to rack; cool 10 minutes. Turn cake out onto rack and cool completely.


  1. Place chocolate in a medium-size heatproof bowl. Bring cream and corn syrup just to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium-high heat; pour mixture over chocolate. Let stand, without stirring, until chocolate begins to melt.
  2. Using a flexible spatula, gently stir chocolate and cream until totally combined; begin near the center of the bowl and gradually work your way toward the edge, pulling in as much chocolate as possible, until the mixture is smooth and glossy. (If any chocolate pieces remain, strain mixture through a fine sieve and discard solids.) If not using immediately, glaze can be refrigerated up to 5 days in an airtight container. Reheat gently before using.
  3. Pour glaze into a container with a spout (like a Pyrex liquid measuring cup) and generously drizzle over cake.

This recipe creates a moist and dense cake with an incredibly rich and chocolatey glaze.  It will be my go-to recipe for chocolate cakes in the future, St. Patty’s Day or not!

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Everyone Loves an Irish Chocolate Cupcake

dark chocolate cupcake recipe bailey's irish cream cheese frosting like sprinkles st. partick's day ideas

I always make some kind of treat for my staff members around the various holidays of the year. This St. Patty’s Day, I was inspired by the Sprinkles Irish Chocolate seasonal cupcake and decided to try to create something similar at home.  I found a recipe for delectable, rich dark chocolate cupcakes from Cooks Illustrated and topped the cupcake with a basic cream cheese frosting, infused with Bailey’s Irish Cream.

I’ve had difficulty in the past with getting my cream cheese frostings to be stiff enough to be pretty for cupcakes – while they always taste delicious, they never look fabulous by the time they get to their recipients!  So, I did some research for tips on how to keep my frosting nice and presentable – and boy was I happy with what I found!



(makes 12 cupcakes; per the original recipe, do not double…make two separate batches if you need more)

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I used Lindt 70% cacao)
  • 1/2 cup (1 1/2 oz) Dutch-processed cocoa
  • 3/4 cup (3 3/4 oz) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup (5 1/4 oz) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz) sour cream


(makes 2 cups)

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, cold
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cups powdered sugar, sifted (measure, then sift into bowl)
  • 2.5 tsp Bailey’s Irish Cream, to taste

dark chocolate cupcake recipe bailey's irish cream cheese frosting like sprinkles st. partick's day ideas


  1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position; heat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard-sized muffin pan (1/2 cup capacity) with baking-cup liners.
  2. Combine butter, chocolate and cocoa in medium heatproof bowl. Set bowl over saucepan containing barely simmering water; heat mixture until butter and chocolate are melted and whisk until smooth and fully combined. Set aside to cool until just warm to touch.
  3. Whisk flour, baking soda and baking powder in small bowl to combine
  4. Whisk eggs in second medium bowl to combine; add sugar, vanilla and salt and whisk until fully incorporated. Add cooled chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Sift about one-third of flour mixture over chocolate mixture and whisk until combined; whisk in sour cream until combined; then sift in remaining flour mixture and whisk batter until it is homogenous and thick.
  5. Divide batter evenly among muffin pan cups. Bake until toothpick inserted into center of cupcakes comes out clean, 18-20 minutes.
  6. Cool cupcakes in muffin pan on wire rack until cool enough to handle, about 15 minutes. Carefully lift each cupcake from muffin pan and set on wire rack. Cool to room temperature before icing, about 30 minutes.
  7. Have the cream cheese cold and the butter at room temperature. In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until blended. Add sugar one-third at a time and beat just until smooth and the desired consistency. If frosting is too stiff, beat for few seconds longer. Do not overbeat. If desired, stir in additional flavoring to taste.
  8. To finish, use a piping bag to frost cupcakes. Garnish each with a candy shamrock.

Tips: While the simple green fondant shamrocks of Sprinkles are super cute (below), I couldn’t find any and certainly didn’t want to make my own on a weeknight.  So, I picked up Wilton Candy Shamrocks at Michael’s (on a 40% off sale, of course!) for just over $1.

sprinkles irish chocolate cupcake

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Felt Infatuation

how to make a ruffle green felt rosette wreath craft st. patricks day holiday ideas

While perusing the web for crafting inspiration, I saw this gorgeous wreath on Domestifluff and HAD to try it.  And with St. Patrick’s Day around the corner, I thought a kelly green felt wreath would be the perfect decoration, not only for this March holiday, but reusable for Christmas later this year.  It is definitely a project that takes a bit of time, but what a lovely finished product!

Here’s what you need:

how to make a felt ruffle rosette wreath st. patrick's day craft ideas

  • 12-inch green wreath form
  • box of straight pins
  • 2 yards of green felt
  • stamp pad (i bought a green one so it would blend in)
  • a roughly 3-inch diameter lid (really, whatever size fits your stamp pad)
  • scissors
  • ribbon for hanging

Here’s what you do:

how to make a felt ruffle rosette wreath st. patrick's day craft ideashow to make a felt ruffle rosette wreath st. patrick's day craft ideashow to make a felt ruffle rosette wreath st. patrick's day craft ideashow to make a felt ruffle rosette wreath st. patrick's day craft ideas

  1. Use lid to stamp circles onto felt.
  2. Cut out circles.
  3. Fold each circle in half, then in half again and insert straight pin at the corner.
  4. Pin each folded circle onto wreath form, clustering tightly to create ruffle effect.
  5. Fluff felt after adding a few and continue adding until all visible surfaces of wreath are covered (everything but the backside).
  6. Flip wreath over and use straight pins to affix your ribbon hanger.

how to make a felt ruffle rosette wreath st. patrick's day craft ideas

Discussion: I am a dentist by day and cutting out ~130 felt circles the first day was a bit daunting for my hands.  It is important to spread this project out a bit so you don’t develop a repetitive strain injury, since you end up cutting out 300+ circles! What I did was stamp 16-30 circles at a time, cut them out, then pin and repeat the process.  Take a break to check out your favorite blog, have lunch, or walk your dog and your hands will thank you!

Cost: $12!

Wreath form was purchased at Michael’s with a 40% off coupon for $4, Eco-fi felt (made from 100% post consumer recycled plastic bottles) was purchased at Joann’s with a 40% off coupon for $6. Straight pins were purchased at WalMart for $1 and I found the green stamp pad at the Dollar Tree for $1.

how to make a felt ruffle rosette wreath st. patrick's day craft ideas

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The Leprechaun Made Me Do It

st. patrick's day table setting decoration ideas leprechaun hat napkin ring green linen napkins

I was inspired to create a new table setting for St. Patrick’s Day this year by the looks of a leprechaun hat.  Notions normally used to create belts were fashioned into napkin rings and linen napkins in the perfect kelly green were sewn up in a jiffy.

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 yard of Dritz black woven belt material
  • six Dritz gold fashion buckles
  • black thread and needle
  • 1 2/3 yards kelly green linen fabric (Joann’s)
  • kelly green thread
  • sewing machine and pins
  • ruler and scissors

st. patrick's day table setting decoration ideas leprechaun hat napkin ring green linen napkins

For the napkin rings:

  1. Cut belt material into 5.25 inch pieces.
  2. Thread a gold buckle onto each piece of belt material.
  3. Overlap ends of belt material by 1/4 inch and use needle and black thread to sew together.
  4. Cost: $11 for 6 napkin rings

st. patrick's day table setting decoration ideas leprechaun hat napkin ring green linen napkins

For the napkins:

  1. Iron material, then cut fabric into 19×19 inch squares.
  2. Fold over 1/2 inch of material at edge, tucking free edge underneath for a clean seam.  Pin and sew two opposite edges, then repeat for the remaining two.
  3. Cost: $7 for 6 napkins

Tips: This week at Joann’s was Coupon Commotion, where you can use multiple coupons in a single transaction.  I was able to get my gold belt buckles and belt material for 40% off, and my single cut of by-the-yard fabric for 50% off.  Gold chargers and plain black placemats were in my entertaining stash already and were originally purchased at BigLots for cheap, cheap!

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A Feast Fit for an Irishman

St. Patrick’s Day is one of the easiest and least expensive holidays to entertain for.  You could pull a Martha and brine your own corned beef, or you can take advantage of the grocery store sales and make your life a lot easier, but equally delicious! Here is a past menu we’ve served for our guests:

corned beef with cabbage, potatoes and carrots

st. patrick's day menu entertaining ideas

  • package of corned beef from you local grocer
  • 1.5 heads of cabbage, each head cut into 6 wedges
  • large package of baby carrots (for ease!)
  • 1 lb red potatoes, scrubbed and halved

Cook corned beef according to package instructions, adding vegetables toward the end of braising, cooking until tender.

homemade irish soda bread

st. patrick's day menu entertaining ideas irish soda bread

A bit of effort, but this bread really makes the meal! (for a detailed tutorial, please click here):

  • 1 1/3 cups whole milk
  • 1/3 cup apple-cider vinegar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface and dusting
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup unprocessed wheat bran
  • 1/4 cup caraway seeds
  • 1 cup (5 ounces) raisins
  • Salted butter, preferably Irish, for serving
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Mix milk and vinegar in a small bowl, and let stand until thickened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a large bowl. Cut in unsalted butter with a pastry cutter or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add bran, caraway seeds, and raisins; stir to distribute.
  3. Pour milk mixture into flour mixture; stir until dough just holds together but is still sticky. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Pat and press the dough gently into a round, dome-shaped loaf, about 7 inches in diameter. Transfer to prepared sheet.
  4. Lightly dust top of loaf with flour. With a sharp knife, cut an X into the top, 3/4 inch deep. Bake, rotating halfway through, until loaf is golden brown and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour, 10 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack. Soda bread is best eaten the day it is made; serve with salted butter.

tossed butter lettuce and watercress salad with mustard viniagrette

st. patrick's day menu entertaining ideas salad

(adapted from Martha Stewart):

  • 8 oz fresh green beans, trimmed and blanched
  • pint of cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 bunch (6 ounces) watercress
  • 2 packages of butter lettuce
  • 3 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons whole-grain mustard
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground pepper

Whisk together vinegar, mustard, shallot, salt, and sugar in a bowl. Add oil, whisking until emulsified. Season with pepper.  Toss with salad and serve.

green beer and black and tans

st. patrick's day party menu entertaining ideas green beerst. patrick's day menu entertaining ideas

Easiest party drinks ever!  Use your favorite American brew (I think we used Bud Light) and add food coloring for the green beer.  For the Black and Tans,  fill a glass halfway with Bass Ale, then add Guinness by pouring it slowly over an upside-down tablespoon placed over the glass, being careful not to mix the layers.

Lime-Pistachio Tart

st. patrick's day menu entertaining ideas lime cheesecake dessert

While this is a gorgeous dessert, I am not posting the recipe because it was a true pain in the arse to make.  For starters, you have to start making the components 2-3 days prior to serving it and heaven help you if you’ve never made homemade lime curd!  Do yourself a favor, if you want to try this recipe, don’t make the curd yourself.  Stop by your nearest Harry and David store and purchase a couple of their premade jars.  You a.) won’t smell like egg yolk after 3 days in the kitchen and b.) will feel a lot better about eating your creation not knowing what goes into making curd!  That said, this is a quite delicious and decadent dessert and a fabulous ending to a simple meal.

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Green Go Bragh

The March 2009 issue of Martha Stewart got me all excited to host a St. Patrick’s Day gathering at our house this year. Not only does the issue have a recipe for what looks to be quite delicious Irish soda bread, it also has a recipe for brining your own corned beef! Too bad it takes 2 weeks to make – maybe next year?

decorative entertaining

While I love being in the kitchen, I get very excited to entertain and set the scene.  Especially when the color scheme is varying shades of green!  Hitting up my favorite bargain shopping havens for new green linens?  It really doesn’t get any better than this!

I started at the Crate and Barrel outlet and scored some fabulous green textural placemats  for $2.95 each. It is so hard to restrain oneself in that place! Everything is so much cheaper than in the retail stores. But I digress…

Green linen napkins were found at Ross for $2.99 for 4!  Go next door to Bed, Bath & Beyond and they cost $3.99 each! They are very similar in style to the Pottery Barn Linen Hemstitch napkins, but much less expensive!

To incorporate gold, I used basic gold chargers that I picked up at Big Lots.  Only $6 for a set of four.  They aren’t the best quality, but since most of the charger is covered with a plate and I really just wanted a *pop* of gold color, they worked out great.

To finish my place setting, I wanted some napkin rings but wasn’t really finding anything I liked. Then I thought, what better piece de resistance than a simple single shamrock placed at each setting? I had already purchased little shamrock pots at Trader Joe’s for decoration throughout the house, so simply snipped one for each setting.

bargain place setting

Here’s the final spirited, yet classy tablescape, for $5.25 per setting:

bargain table setting

Tip: Snip your shamrocks just before guests arrive.  Unfortunately, the shamrocks will wilt, so make sure everyone sees your creativity before they sit down to dinner.

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Sweet Greens

Baking makes me very happy, if only because I get to use my fabulous Kitchen Aid mixer. Around the different holidays of the year, I like to bake cookies and cupcakes for my family, friends and staff at work. What a great way to show your appreciation without spending a bunch of money!

shamrock pot

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day this year, I made Martha Stewart ‘s Perfect Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing and tried out the recipe for Vanilla, Vanilla cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream frosting from Billy’s Bakery in New York. Needless to say, they were a hit!

The cupcake recipe was found at a great little blog, 52 cupcakes. I have to agree with the cupcake queen, these are fabulous! I made the cupcakes in gold foil baking cups and decorated them with little shamrock picks I found at Michael’s and green sprinkles. Delicious AND adorable!

billy's bakery vanilla cupcakes

Billy’s Vanilla, Vanilla Cupcakes

Makes about 30 cupcakes
1 3/4 cups cake flour, not self-rising
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
4 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 325°. Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt; mix on low speed until combined. Add butter, mixing until just coated with flour.

2. In a large glass measuring cup, whisk together eggs, milk, and vanilla. With mixer on medium speed, add wet ingredients in 3 parts, scraping down sides of bowl before each addition; beat until ingredients are incorporated but do not overbeat.

3. Divide batter evenly among liners, filling about two-thirds full. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 17 to 20 minutes.

4. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat process with remaining batter. Once cupcakes have cooled, use a small offset spatula to frost tops of each cupcake. Decorate with sprinkles, if desired. Serve at room temperature.

Billy’s Vanilla Buttercream

vanilla cupcake recipe

Makes enough for 30 cupcakes

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 6 to 8 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter until smooth and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. With mixer on low speed, add 6 cups sugar, milk, and vanilla; mix until light and fluffy. If necessary, gradually add remaining 2 cups sugar to reach desired consistency.

Martha Stewart’s Perfect Sugar Cookies

sugar cookie recipe

Makes 2 dozen

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons brandy, or milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. Whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar; add dry ingredients, and mix until incorporated. With mixer running, add egg, brandy (or milk), and vanilla; mix until incorporated.
  2. Transfer dough to a work surface. Shape into 2 discs, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with nonstick baking mats or parchment paper; set aside.
  4. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes, and transfer to prepared baking sheets, leaving an inch in between. Leftover dough can be rolled and cut once more. Bake until lightly golden, about 10 minutes; do not allow to brown. Transfer to wire racks to cool.
  5. Decorate with Royal Icing, optional.

Martha Stewart’s Royal Icing

Makes 2 1/3 cups

  • 1 box confectioners’ sugar (1 pound)
  • 5 tablespoons meringue powder
sugar cookie favor
  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine sugar and meringue powder. Mixing on low speed, add a scant 1/2 cup water. For a thinner consistency, usually used for flooding, add more water. A thicker consistency is generally used for outlining and adding details. Mix until icing holds a ribbonlike trail on the surface of the mixture for 5 seconds when you raise the paddle.

Remarks: As for Martha’s cookies, I still need to master my flooding technique. Otherwise, people seem to like the flavor of the cookie (even though royal icing pretty much tastes like powdered sugar).  I’ve made them with brandy and with milk.  It seemed to me that the ones with brandy were easier to roll out and less sticky.

To finish, place two cookies in decorative clear bags. I wrote “You’re my Lucky Charm” on the bags – a neat treat for staff to show your appreciation.

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