St. Patty’s Day Sugar Cookies

If there’s anyone that deserves some of my St. Patty’s Day shamrock sugar cookies, it’s my best friend.  She lives and works as a first-year medical resident in Chicago.  She has been working insane hours the past few months.  Sometimes she’ll work a 15-hour day, sometimes she’ll be on call, sometimes she’ll work 27 hours straight, sometimes she’ll work 15 days straight before she gets a day off, etc…  It’s insane and I don’t know how she does it, but she does and she’s awesome at what she does!  Once her schedule calms down a bit (i.e. she gets a full weekend off), I will be flying out to visit her!  I’m very proud of her, and I miss her terribly, so I decided to send her a box of these cookies for St. Patty’s Day!

The sugar cookie recipe and the buttercream recipe I used for these cookies were adapted slightly from Karen’s Cookie Blog.  Karen creates beautiful cookies that are not only delicious, but exquisite as well.  I made the basic rolled sugar cookies with the meringue powder buttercream.  I set aside about 1/3 of the frosting to keep white and to pipe over the green frosting. I used gels to dye the rest of the buttercream green.  Once I dyed the frosting green, I added a few teaspoons of water until it was the perfect consistency.  I frosted the cookies with the green, waited until they dried completely, and then went back with the white frosting to create polka dots, stripes, and criss-cross patterns.  Hope you enjoy and have a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day!

Basic Rolled Sugar Cookie

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour.
  1. Cream butter, sugar and salt until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes with mixer set at medium speed.
  2. Add yolk, beat well. Add whole egg, vanilla and almond extract and beat until well-incorporated.
  3. Add flour; beat at low speed just until flour is mixed in.
  4. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least one hour and up to 2 days.
  5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Dust work surface and rolling pin with flour. Roll dough to 1/4″ thick, sprinkling with additional flour as needed to prevent sticking. Cut into desired shapes and place on parchment pans.
  6. Bake until cookies appear dry on the surface and are light golden brown on the edges, about 10 minutes (very large cookies may take up to 12 or 13 minutes).
  7. Remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks and cool completely before decorating.
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 3 tbsp meringue powder
  • ½ cup shortening
  • 4 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract (use clear vanilla if you want a pure white icing)
  • ¼ tsp. almond extract
  • color gels for dying frosting
  1. Place half of the powdered sugar and the meringue powder in the bowl of an electric mixer. Whisk together well.
  2. Turn on mixer (use whip attachment) and, while motor is running, slowly stream in the water. Mix until everything is incorporated. Turn mixer to high speed and whip until stiff peaks form.
  3. Add flavorings and mix well. Change to paddle attachment and add remaining powdered sugar and shortening and whip for 2-3 minutes more.
  4. Depending on how many different colors you want, divide frosting into small bowls.  Add gels and mix until desired color is reached.  Add a few drops of water until frosting reaches its desired piping consistency.
  5. Frost cookies and allow to dry completely before going back to pipe.  If not piping and adding sprinkles, add while frosting is still wet.
  6. Allow frosting to dry completely before storing.


Filed under Baked Goods, Desserts

12 responses to “St. Patty’s Day Sugar Cookies

  1. How sweet friend are you? That was so nice that you treat your hard working friend with box of these amazing looking cookies! They really look stunning, and I love the recipe too!

  2. Your cookies look yummy, but what is just as sweet is the nod to your friend! Have a blarney good St. Patrick’s day.

  3. Ooh, these look beautiful! I’ve never actually made iced cookies before. It might be time to start, though!

  4. Wow these look awesome Kara! I’m impressed!

  5. How sweet of you to send these beautifully decorated cookies for your friend!

  6. Perfect for St. Patty’s day!

  7. Caitlin

    Kara you are absolutely amazing and the cookies are delicious! I am so lucky to have you as a best friend!! I can’t wait for you to visit Chicago so I can take you to all the yummy restaurants I’ve found so far. Love you!!

  8. Man, I know what your friend is going through! Well I guess not personally, but my husband finished his residency this past July and is now in his final 4 months of fellowship! These cookies look incredible, I may have to bake up a batch for St Patty’s Day! 😉

  9. Oh aren’t these just adorable? What a great way to celebrate St. Pat’s day. I love frosting cookies year round! You are precious to send this to your sweet, hard working friend. Thanks for sharing your sweetness with me. This was a great way to end my Monday. I hope you have a safe and happy week!

  10. My husband has survived a residency as well but it definitely took A LOT of cookies…these look wonderful…and festive!

  11. Ah what a lucky friend! I want a box of these cookies, too! 😉
    You did such a great job – so decorated and so festive!
    Chicago rocks… you should get on a plane asap and visit this amazing city!

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