Irish Monogram Cookies

I grew up in Dublin. Okay, that's not even close to true. I grew up in New London, Wisconsin. A quiet little town that annually undergoes a magical transformation in the middle of March when leprechauns change the city's name to "New Dublin" {no fibbing this time} The streets are chalked with giant shamrocks to mark the parade route, the locals don apparel in hideous shades of emerald and green beer flows freely from the taps at the corner bar(s). Ah, ye gotta love a good ol' celebration! The Ireland I imagine looks more like the one I've seen in the movies. Misty gray skies, damp streets and a pint waiting for you at the pub. Dark storefronts rich with history. Shop signs painted with a steady hand and resolute pride. A warm glimmer calling you in out of the mid-March chill. That's how I imagine the real Dublin. A daydream that became my inspiration for these gold monogram sugar cookies.

Irish monogram cookies for St. Patrick's Day! Gold luster dust stenciling technique and royal icing clovers make these sugar cookies special.
Irish monogram cookies for St. Patrick's Day! Gold luster dust stenciling technique and royal icing clovers make these sugar cookies special.
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How to stencil cookies [without an airbrush]

Stenciling on cookies sounds simple and fun. And it can be, with a little patience and practice. I highly recommend a plastic stencil if you can find one the right size. I used a paper stencil from Martha Stewart. The "K" I needed was the perfect size and style. But, after about a dozen cookies the stencil started to get wet. A short delay to let it dry and I was back in business to finish the set.

I used little foam daubers {available at your local craft supply store} to apply CK Imperial Gold Dust with my stencil. I moistened the gold dust with Bacardi 151. It may seem a little extreme to use a $22 bottle of Rum to stencil cookies, but Bacardi is by far the best for metallics {in a pinch you can use vodka or vanilla extract but the result will be less shiny} In hindsight, I should have used Irish Whiskey for these cookies {what was I thinking?}

Use Edible Disco Dust to add some magic

While I was away from the kitchen, leprechauns added little shamrocks with green royal icing and dusted them with magic sparkles [Disco Dust]. After letting the gold and green embellishments dry completely, I used a small dry brush to dust off any excess gold flecks or glitter that those mischievous leprechauns left behind.

Let your imagination run wild today. Whether you find yourself daydreaming of a cottage on the coast of Ireland or at the local watering hole wearing a plastic green hat, remember anything is possible on St. Patrick's Day!


Jes Best Cutout Cookies

Makes 2-3 dozen cutout cookies (depending on size)

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/4 cups chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2" cubes
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large free-range egg
  • 1 large free-range egg yolk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla or lemon extract

Instructions

  1. Sift 3 cups flour, baking powder and salt into a medium sized bowl. Set aside.
  2. Using an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on high speed until well combined (butter does not need to be fluffy), about 3 minutes.
  3. Add egg, egg yolk, and vanilla; beat just to combine. Reduce speed to low and gradually add dry ingredients. Mix until dough comes together.
  4. Separate dough in half and form two smooth discs for rolling.
  5. Roll each disc to desired thickness (1/8"-1/4") between two pieces of lightly floured parchment paper on a Silpat mat or flexible cutting mat. Continue to flour top of dough so parchment doesn't stick or crease.
  6. Transfer mat and rolled dough to refrigerator to chill for about 2 hours.
  7. When ready to cut shapes, flip chilled dough so floured side is down. This will help cookies "release" easily.
  8. Cut dough to desired shapes and place on baking sheet pans lined with parchment paper.
  9. Re-roll scraps only once to avoid tough cookies. If dough becomes soft and sticky, return to fridge to chill until shapes cut easily. Chill again until ready to bake. Ideally, 20-30 minutes.
  10. Preheat oven to 325º
  11. Bake until edges are slightly golden, about 12–16 minutes, depending on size. Rotate sheet pans half way through to avoid dark edges.
  12. Let cookies cool slightly on pans then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Notes

Do Ahead: Cookies can be baked (left undecorated) 2 weeks ahead; separate cookies with wax paper, place in air tight containers and freeze.

Jes Best Royal Icing

Makes enough to decorate 2-3 dozen cookies, depending on size

Ingredients

  • 970 g [2 lb bag] confectioners' sugar, no need to sift
  • 80g [or 8-10 tablespoons] meringue powder (CK or Henry & Henry)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar (to keep icing bright white)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • Food coloring (optional)

Instructions

  1. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix sugar, meringue powder and cream of tartar on low for just a bit to incorporate evenly.
  2. Slowly add 1/2 cup water while mixing at a low speed. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time until sugar is just wet.
  3. Scrape sides of the mixing bowl. Increase speed one notch (#2 on Kitchenaid stand mixer). Mix for five minutes. When finished icing should have a matte (not glossy) finish and hold it's shape on the paddle when pulled up/out of the bowl.
  4. Separate into clean, oil-free containers and tint with gel food coloring.
  5. This recipe yields "stiff" consistency for piping details. Add water as needed to achieve flooding consistency.
  6. Keep covered tightly and store for up to a week in a cool dry place or 10 days in the refrigerator. Mix well when ready to use.

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