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Storied Kitchen: Irish Cream Cookies

Snickersnack* the leprechaun eased the burden of his bag of gold off his shoulders and regarded the far end of the rainbow. Why rainbows? Why was it there that he had to hide his gold? Why not at the edge of, say, the Aurora Borealis? Rainbows just seemed so . . . trite. And that cartoon leprechaun with the breakfast cereal hadn’t helped things at all. Magically delicious, indeed. The things real leprechauns ate–or imbibed, to be more accurate–had nothing to do with artificially-colored and mass-produced marshmallows. Not that they’d do anything, but he would have to lodge a complaint with Management. It was decades in coming.

Hey!”

Snickersnack tensed. Oh, for the love of– He grabbed his gold and lifted his free hand to snap himself away from the annoying human child.

“Hey, leprechaun! I have cookies!”

Thumb and pointer finger pressed together, Snickersnack paused. He looked over his shoulder at the young human child, puffing toward him on stout–to use a kind adjective–little legs and bearing a plastic carrying container. Snickersnack’s nose twitched. Careful, Snickersnack. If the little demon catches you–

“That’s close enough,” he said when the human boy had come within ten feet. But even through the plastic lid, Snickersnack could smell it. The whiskey. The cream. But mostly the whiskey. His salivary glands started up.

Meanwhile, the human child had leaned over, head clear to his knees and carrying case pressed much too close to his chest. Surely his hideous smell couldn’t leak through the container to taint its contents. The child seemed unused to the exertion required in locating a leprechaun. And speaking of, why hadn’t Snickersnack yet completed his fingersnap and disappeared?

The boy, though still bent over, popped open the lid of his carrying container. The smell of [trade name redacted] Irish Cream wafted out. Snickersnack’s nose twitched, and his salivary glands went into waterfall mode.

Ah, yes.

But to keep up appearances, Snickersnack tightened his grip on his bag of gold.

The stout child straightened. A sly look entered his eyes. “If I give you these cookies, O Leprechaun, will you show me the end of your rainbow?”

It became necessary to pound his chest while Snickersnack stifled a guffaw and simultaneously endeavored to avoid drooling. The whiskey got him every time. “I hope that is not a euphemism,” he finally gasped out.

Blond brows pressed themselves together in consternation. “Youfa-what?”

Waving a hand, Snickersnack said, “Never mind.” He reassessed the distance between the two of them. Good enough. “Why do you think giving me cookies would entice me to give you what you want?”

“Well, Santa likes cookies.”

Snickersnack grunted. “Do I look like a ‘jolly old elf’ to you?”

“I dunno. You are wearing green.”

What sort of answer was that? Clearly the contemporary education system was failing the world’s youth.

The rotund boy rattled the container. “Cookies for rainbow?”

Snickersnack sidled closer. He was surprised the boy hadn’t requested the standard three wishes. But then, he did exhibit symptoms of extreme simplemindedness. And perhaps he ought to be concerned about where the child had procured [brand name redacted] Irish Cream. Then again, he wasn’t the bairn’s parent, and truth be told, he planned to avoid propagating himself for the foreseeable future. Therefore he couldn’t be blamed for the lack of parental instinct.

He was on the verge of acquiescing when the lad’s mien took on a vicious cant and the container of [brand name redacted] Irish Cream cookies slammed down upon his head. Stunned with the force of the blow upon his five-inch frame, Snickersnack failed to snap himself elsewhere before the boy wrapped his pudgy fingers around Snickersnack’s middle and shrieked, “Caught you! Gimme my three wishes!”

And that was how, following a series of events he swore to reveal to no one, Snickersnack the leprechaun came to join his local 12-step program.

I realize the pointlessness of [Brand name redacted] when it’s right there in the picture. Go with it, people.

Irish Cream Cookies

Characters

Dough

adapted from Lighter Rolled Cookies in How to Cook Everything

1 c/227g butter, room temperature

1 c/288g sugar

2 eggs

1/4 c Irish Cream (or more; see Tip)

3c/360g all-purpose flour

pinch salt

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

Frosting

adapted from King Arthur Flour’s Quick Buttercream Frosting

1/2 c/113 g butter, room temperature

pinch salt

1 tsp vanilla

2 1/2 to 3 c/280 to 340 g powdered sugar

2 to 4 tbs Irish Cream

green food coloring (optional)

sparkling sugar or other garnish (optional)

Scenes

1 Cream the butter and sugar. Add eggs and Irish Cream; beat until well blended.

2 In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients, then add to the wet ingredients and mix just until dough holds together.

3 Shape into 2 logs approximately 1.5 inches in diameter. Wrap in plastic and chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours or freezer for at least 30 minutes.

4 Meanwhile, prepare the frosting. Cream the butter until fluffy, then beat in the salt and vanilla. Add the sugar and Irish Cream and beat. Adjust the consistency by adding more sugar or Irish Cream, as needed. (Living in Colorado, I used the full amount of Irish Cream, plus a couple of glugs.) Add food coloring until you reach the desired color. Set aside, covered with plastic wrap to avoid drying out.

5 Preheat oven to 400 F and line baking sheets with parchment or silicone liner; or grease lightly. Slice the dough into 1/4″ slices.

6 Bake until the cookies’ edges are lightly browned and the centers are set, 8-12 minutes. Cool on the sheets for a couple of minutes before removing to a cooling rack.

7 Once the cookies have cooled entirely, use an offset spatula or butter knife to frost. Garnish with sparkling sugar or other edible tidbits as desired. Cookies will keep in an airtight container for up to two days; or freeze.

Yield: Source recipe claimed 3 dozen; I got over 5 dozen.

Tip

The source recipe from How to Cook Everything yielded a somewhat dry dough for me, I suspect due to the climate and time of year. However, I slightly overcompensated and had a wetter dough than absolutely ideal. It was necessary to chill the dough in the freezer for about 10 minutes before attempting to form into logs. Therefore, I included the equivalent amount of Irish Cream as in the source recipe as I suspect that may work better for most.

* Meaningless bonus points for anyone who catches the allusion.

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