The blessings of St. Patrick be upon ye! Sprinkles make everyone smile. I brought these cookies in to my office for St. Patrick's Day and someone told me that they made her day. They definitely cheered me up when I made them last night. It's good to just do something childlike and generous. I think it makes a tiny slit in the dark cloud that seems to be hanging over everything these days.
These cookies are super simple to make; I figured they would be given that they come from the Real Simple website. I made a few modifications, but essentially, the recipe is theirs. It makes about 4 dozen thin sugar cookies, about 2 dozen thick ones.
Real Simple Sugar Shamrocks
2 sticks of unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus about a cup more for the work surface
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Heat oven to 350° F. Beat the butter and sugar in a bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until smooth. Add the egg and beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the vanilla. Reduce mixer speed to low. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and add it slowly to the butter mixture, mixing until just incorporated (the dough will be stiff). Refrigerate, wrapped, for 30 minutes.
Roll out the dough on a floured surface to 1/4 inch thick. Cut into shapes and place on parchment-lined baking sheets. Sprinkle with green sugar crystals or tiny shamrocks. I also experimented and combined some green food coloring with about 1/4 of the dough for green marbled cookies. The scraps can be combined and rolled out again. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, until the edges are a light golden brown. Cool slightly on the baking sheets before transferring to cooling racks. Bring them into your office to share!