With St. Patrick's Day tomorrow, I decided it was necessary to turn my shortbread green, shape it like shamrocks and then sandwich said shamrocks together with  Baileys buttercream.

Making shortbread itself is a piece of cake biscuit, but fashioning shortbread mixture (which is a lot less sturdy than your average biscuit dough) into shamrock shapes was a lesson in tedium. I don't own a shamrock cookie cutter (strange) so I made my own cardboard template and cut around the shapes with a knife (crazy).

The three shamrocks you see here are Special Edition, the only ones of their kind. The rest become fast and happy circles. The trouble with offering someone a green circle filled with brown goop, though, is that you feel you have to explain the whole St Pat's concept (i.e. why your shortbread is grasshopper coloured) and quite frankly I think it'd be easier to just eat the whole batch myself. So we shall see how that turns out. Well I can hazard a guess how that would turn out. Fat.

Anyway, then there was the icing. First I tried to make icing out of Nutella and Baileys. Well, turns out Nutella doesn't like being fiddled with because the mixture seized and became hard as cement, I lost control of the mixing bowl and the electric beaters started spazzing out. So I switched to Bailey's buttercream instead.

For the sake of offering an appraisal, I sampled one for breakfast. These turned out pretty nicely, even if I do say so myself. Here's the plain the shortbread recipe, sans green colouring.

Shortbread Recipe

250g butter, softened
1/3 cup caster sugar
1 tablespoon water
2 cups plain flour
1/2 cup rice flour
2 tablespoons white sugar

Preheat oven to 160 Celcius. fan-forced. Grease and line oven trays.

Beat butter and caster sugar in medium bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Stir in the water and sifted flours, in two batches. Knead mixture on floured surface until smooth.

Divide mixture in half, roll out with rolling pin until about 1cm thick. You can either cut shapes out of the mixture on you can roll out two 20cm rounds and pinch the edges of the rounds with fingers to create a pattern. Sprinkle sugar on top. If you make the rounds, bake for 40 minutes. If you make shapes, bake for about 25 mins.

Leave to stand on trays for 5 minutes before transferring to wire racks.

Baileys Buttercream

For this icing I used about half cup of butter and 50mL Baileys, and beated that together with an electric mixture for a minute or two until good and smooth. Then mixed in around about a cup of icing sugar and a few teaspoons of cocoa, plus about half a teaspoon of vanilla essence. Basically just keep adding and tasting til it tastes right.

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