St. Patrick’s Day is March 17th and soon will be here. Make a date with your grandchildren to prepare special St. Patrick’s Day treats. Cooking with children gives you time to bond and share stories. It also can make learning fun including following directions, cause and effect, measuring, and estimating too. One of the St. Patrick’s Day treats below gives children an opportunity to create rainbow colors. Kids love mixing whatever they can get their hands on! Cooking with children gives them a safe and fun opportunity, plus time with a special grownup.
St. Patrick’s Day Treats
Celebrate this lucky Irish holiday cooking with children – make a batch of cheerful green shamrock cookies, St. Patrick’s cupcakes, or a lucky sweet pot ‘o gold. It doesn’t take the luck of the Irish to make these St. Patrick’s Day treats favorites for family and friends. Make extras to send to school or share at work. (Recipes provided by Disney FamilyFun)
St. Patrick’s Pot of Gold
- 3-ounce box of lemon-flavor gelatin
- 6 limes
- 1 teaspoon of whipped cream
- Line an 8-inch square baking dish with plastic wrap, leaving several inches of overhang on each side (this will make removing the gelatin easier). Combine a 3-ounce box of lemon-flavor gelatin and 1 cup of boiling water in a medium bowl, stirring until the gelatin is dissolved. Stir in 1 cup of cold water, then pour the mixture into the baking dish. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and chill the gelatin for 4 hours or until firm, then slice the gelatin into 1/2-inch cubes.
- Cut off the top quarter of each of 6 limes, then, without cutting into the fruit, slice a thin layer of peel from the bottom of each one to help them stand upright. With a small knife, cut around the inside of each lime’s rind to loosen the pulp, then spoon it out to make a shell.
- Place a pinch of sugar and 1 teaspoon of whipped cream in the bottom of each shell, then fill each lime pot with gelatin gold. Makes 6.
Cooking with children is fun, especially for holidays. For St. Patrick’s Day (March 17), or any day you feel like you need a little extra luck, bake up a batch of these St. Patrick’s Day treats – cheerful green shamrock cookies. Give some to your friends and classmates, so they will be lucky, too.
- 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 cup butter at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
- Green food coloring
- Measure the flour, baking soda and salt into a medium-sized bowl. Stir well and set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer for about 1 minute. Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix until well combined.
- Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter and sugar, mixing well after each addition. The dough should be stiff.
- Add several drops of green food coloring. Knead the dough until the color is evenly distributed. (Make sure children wash their hands immediately after kneading–food coloring can be messy.)
- Gather the dough into two balls, flatten into disks beginning at the edge of the dough and working toward the center. Cover with plastic and chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.
- After the dough has chilled, place one half on a large piece of plastic wrap, cover with another piece of plastic wrap and then roll until it is 1/4-inch thick. Lift off the top sheet of plastic wrap and cut out shamrocks, beginning at the edge of the dough and working toward the center.
- Place each shamrock on an ungreased baking sheet. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 8 minutes or until the edges begin to lightly brown. Remove to a rack to cool. For particularly festive shamrocks, decorate them with green candies or frosting.
Makes about 34.
Here’s what little leprechauns look forward to on St. Patrick’s Day: a magical snack that can add color to the grayest March afternoon. Pot of gold not included. While cooking with children, let them help mix the colors!
- White cake mix (we used an 18-1/4-ounce box)
- Food coloring (red, blue, green, and yellow)
- Baking cups
- Whipped cream (optional)
- Prepare your favorite white cake mix, then divide the batter evenly among six small bowls. Following the chart below, dye each bowl of batter a rainbow color.
RAINBOW COLOR DROPS OF FOOD COLORING Purple 9 red and 6 blue drops Blue 12 drops Green 12 drops Yellow 12 drops Orange 12 yellow and 4 red drops Red 18 drops
- Line 16 muffin pan wells with baking cups. Evenly distribute the purple batter among the cups, then the blue, and so on, following the order shown. As you go, gently spread each layer of batter with the back of a spoon to cover the color underneath.
- Bake the cupcakes according to your recipe directions. Before serving, remove the paper wrapping, and if you like, top each cupcake with a whipped-cream cloud.
Luck O’ Irish Cupcakes
It’s not far to the gold at the end of this rainbow-topped Emerald Isle cupcake, just the thing for your lads and lasses on St. Patrick’s Day. A favorite cooking with children activity is baking cupcakes. The best part, second to eating them, is the decorating! These lucky cupcakes are no exception!
- A cooled cupcake
- Grass-green frosting
- Several flavors of Airheads candies
- A pot’s worth of gold coins
- To make one, first top a cooled cupcake (baked from your favorite recipe) with grass-green frosting.
- For the rainbow, use a large, heavy knife (parents only) to cut a long, narrow strip from each of several flavors of Airheads candies (this is sticky stuff, so work on waxed paper). Lay the strips side by side, press them together, then cut the ribbon of strips in half to make two rainbows.
- Curve each one into an arch and trim the ends as shown. Set one rainbow upright on the cupcake (save the other for another cupcake) and deposit a pot’s worth of gold coins at one end. If necessary, place a gold coin behind the rainbow for support.
It doesn’t take the luck of the Irish to make these St. Patty’s Day treats look so sweet — just a clever baking technique. Send these unique shamrock cupcakes to school for your child’s St. Patrick’s Day party for added fun!
- Cupcake batter
- Cupcake tins and liners
- Aluminum foil
- White frosting
- Green food coloring
- Green licorice (we used Twizzlers Rainbow Twists sold in a pack with other colors)
- Place paper liners in 32 standard muffin cups, then fill each halfway with the batter.
- Clover Cupcakes – Step 2 For each cupcake, roll three balls of foil (ours were 2/3 inch in diameter) and insert them evenly around the perimeter between the liner and the tin, as shown.
- Bake the cupcakes for a few minutes less than the package suggests (because there’s less batter per cup than usual), or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Allow the cupcakes to cool, then remove them from the tin.
- Cover each with green frosting (our ratio was 1 teaspoon of green food coloring to one 16-ounce can of white frosting).
- Use a toothpick to draw leaf veins, and insert a 2-inch-long piece of green licorice for a stem.