For the past two weeks I have seen more articles on how to prepare corned beef and cabbage than I could ever want to see. Well it is a tradition. Don’t worry I am not going to tell you how to cook corned beef, no – I am going to skip right to dessert. How about making some Shamrock cookies? Don’t forget to have some tasty rye bread on hand for leftover corned beef sandwiches. I have a great recipe for you.
Sugar Cookie Dough
Makes about 2 dozen
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled, plus more for rolling out the cookie dough
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 inch shamrock cookie cutter
Glaze for the cookies, recipe below
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until smooth.
Add the egg and beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the vanilla.
With the mixer on low, gradually add the flour mixture, mixing until just incorporated (the dough will be stiff).
Shape into a disk and refrigerate, wrapped in plastic wrap, for at least 1 hour and up to 3 days.
Heat the oven to 350° F.
Divide the chilled dough into four pieces. Work with one piece of dough at a time and keep the rest covered in the plastic wrap.
On a floured surface, roll out one piece of dough to a ¼ inch thick. Using a 4 inch shamrock cookie cutter, cut out the shapes and place on parchment-lined cookie sheets.
Roll up the scrapes and place in the plastic wrap.
Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough and re-rolling the scraps until all the dough is used.
Bake until just beginning to brown, about 12 minutes, rotating the cookie sheets on the oven racks after 6 minutes.
Let the cookies rest on the cookie sheets for 5 minutes before removing them from the pan.
I usually just slide the parchment paper with the cookies on it onto the kitchen counter and let them cool.
When thoroughly cool, frost the cookies.
I use the corn syrup in this recipe, so that the glaze will set and not stay sticky.
1 cup powdered/confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1-2 tablespoons water
6 drops green food coloring
1 teaspoon vanilla
Whisk together the sugar, corn syrup, vanilla and 1 tablespoon water.
Stir in the food coloring a few drops at a time until you reach the color desired. Add additional water, if you want the glaze a little thinner.
Yield: 1/2 cup of glaze.
Homemade Sourdough Sandwich Rye Bread
Makes 1 large, 2-pound loaf
1 cup sourdough starter
2 1/4 cups bread flour
1 3/4 cups rye flour
1/4 cup potato flour
1/4 cup nonfat dry milk powder
1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
2 teaspoons regular salt
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons instant yeast
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/3 cups lukewarm water
Combine all of the ingredients in the large bowl of an electric mixer using the paddle attachment until the dough comes together in a ball around the paddle.
Switch to the dough hook and knead the dough until smooth, soft and somewhat sticky. Remove the dough from the bowl and grease the bowl with oil.
Return the dough to the bowl and cover the bowl. Let it rise until puffy, 60 to 90 minutes.
Lightly grease a large bread pan (or other 2-pound capacity loaf pan). A 10″ x 5″ loaf pan; or a long covered baker or 13″ pain de mie pan, without the covers, all work well here.
Gently deflate the dough and shape it into a log the length of your chosen pan. Place it in the prepared pan, and let the dough rise until it’s just about doubled in size, 60 to 90 minutes.
The dough should crown about 1/2″ over the top of the pan. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.
Bake the bread for 40 to 45 minutes, loosely cover with aluminum foil after about 20 minutes to prevent it from getting too dark.
The bread should be golden brown when finished, and its internal temperature should register at least 200°F on a digital instant-read thermometer.
Remove the bread from the oven, turn it out of the pan, and allow it to cool completely before slicing.