Saturday, March 17, 2012

Irish for the day

Green beer? Yuck. Heck, I don't even like beer. Plus, I can only imagine how awful it must taste, overloaded with food colouring. No, pour me a glass of Bailey's Irish Cream, please, on ice. And if I must have something green, then make it Mint-Chocolate Chip Sugar Cookies. That kind of green I can take!
So for my "Irished" cookies, which are based on a really great recipe for a basic sugar cookie, I made three very important additions. I substituted mint extract for the vanilla in the recipe, added mini chocolate chips to the dough, and finally, I rolled the cookies in green sugar before baking them. It's a really easy cookie recipe and it's super-customizable for any taste and any occasion.
In a large bowl, mix together 2 eggs and 1 cup sugar until they turn lemon-coloured.
Stir in 3/4 c. vegetable oil and 1 tsp. peppermint extract.
Stir 2-1/2 c. flour and 1-1/4 c. baking powder into the liquid mixture. The dough will pull away from the sides of the bowl, but form a soft dough. It is easy to handle and form into balls.
For added texture and taste, I add 1/2 c. mini chocolate chips. You can use regular-sized chips instead, but the mini ones spread out more and make the cookies seem more chip-filled. Yum.
Using a 1-inch ice cream scoop, divide the dough into 1-inch balls. If you don't have a mini ice cream scoop, just roll the balls by hand, but I cannot sing enough praises for my 1-inch ice cream scoop. I use it for cookies, meatballs, melon balls, mashed potatoes, you name it, I have probably scooped it. It really is a very wise investment and will benefit any kitchen arsenal.
Roll the scooped dough into balls and toss them in green decorating sugar. For the amount of dough in this recipe, I managed to use up an entire jar of the stuff, plus a little yellow (!) for the last few cookies. Once the cookies are sugared, place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Bake the cookies in a 350-degree oven for 8 to 10 minutes. You might want to turn the sheets around halfway through baking, and take the cookies out when they begin to brown on the bottom only.
Place the on a rack to cool, and enjoy with a big glass of milk, or maybe even a little Bailey's. I'll leave that decision up to you.

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