These green confections are quite (ahem) firm – a cross between fudge and cookies. To make them you will need to bake a batch of green shortbread cookies, but trust me…the cookie recipe is very easy, and the balls are a slam dunk! What more could you ask for this St. Patrick’s Day?
My shortbread recipe makes a little more than you’ll need, so you should end up with 6-8 extra cookies to munch on. I tried rolling the dough out on a cookie sheet and baking it in one piece, which worked pretty well, but it’s harder to get the center of the dough cooked completely that way. So…I recommend you make cookies, even if they’re just squares of dough. You’ll be crushing most of them, so the shape doesn’t matter.
|Drunken Leprechaun Balls|| |
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
- ¾ cup powdered sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- green food coloring
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon milk (if needed)
- 3 cups crushed green shortbread (recipe above)
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- pinch salt
- 2 tablespoons corn syrup
- ¼ cup Baileys (or other Irish Cream Liqueur)
- 2 tablespoons Jameson (or other whiskey)
- powdered sugar and green sugar for rolling cookies in
- Heat oven to 350 F.
- In a large bowl (use a stand mixer if possible; this is very stiff dough) beat the butter until soft and creamy.
- Add powdered sugar and mix well.
- Add egg yolk and enough food coloring to create a deep green color, beating until mixture is light and fluffy. Scrape the sides of the bowl often.
- Add dry ingredients. (If using a stand mixer, you may want to switch to your dough hook.) The mixture will be very dry and stiff but should come together into a dough. If it isn't cooperating, add milk a little at a time until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl and you can form it into a ball.
- Roll dough out to about ¼-inch thick and cut into cookie shapes. (You can also form into small balls and press with a cookie stamp if you prefer. ) Place close together on baking sheets and bake for approximately 10-12 minutes. If you see a tiny bit of brown along the bottom edges, they are done. Don't overbake them, because green cookies turn an unpleasant color if they brown.
- Cool cookies on a rack and crush in a bowl until you have 3 cups. Eat the rest!
- Combine the crushed cookies, nuts, and powdered sugar in a medium bowl.
- Add the remaining ingredients and stir well.
- Roll scant tablespoons of dough into balls and roll them in a dish of powdered sugar and colored sugar.
- Refrigerate until firm. These can be served chilled, which will give them the texture of fudge, or at room temperature, which will make them a little softer.
- I'm sure you know this, but just for the record: DO NOT SERVE TO MINORS.
By all means, improvise. Use walnuts instead of pecans, switch the booze around and use 1/4 cup of whiskey and 2 tablespoons of Irish cream (you may have to add a little more crushed cookie in this case), or roll them in coconut or sprinkles. Pop Rocks? Hmmmm.
Enjoy! And…hello? Keep ’em out of the reach of kiddies, of course.
For each petal on the shamrock this brings a wish your way. Good health, good luck, and happiness for today and every day. (Irish Blessing)