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Faith & begorrah, it’s almost St. Patty’s Day!

March 1, 2012

Yes, it’s almost the day for the wearin’ o’ the green. Traditionally, everything is green this time of year. The grass is starting to green (somewhat) and it’s a sign that spring is indeed coming. Green is a color of youth, promise & growth. The cold, harsh days & nights of winter are starting to wane & it’s time to bring out the spring clothes.

At least a little bit. Okay, in New York that’s rarely true. Last year we definitely had snow in March. But it’s still a nice thought, especially since this winter has been so mild. I’m hoping it stays that way & we have an quick spring. In the meantime… there’s St. Patrick’s Day!

Saint Patrick’s Day (Irish: Lá Fhéile Pádraig; Ulster-Scots: Saunt Petherick’s Day)[2] is a cultural and religious holiday celebrated internationally on 17 March. It commemorates Saint Patrick (c. AD 387–461), the most commonly recognised of the patron saints of Ireland, and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland.[1] It is observed by the Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion (especially the Church of Ireland),[3] the Eastern Orthodox Church and Lutheran Church. Saint Patrick’s Day was made an official feast day in the early 17th century, and has gradually become a secular celebration of Irish culture in general.[4]

The day is generally characterised by the attendance of church services,[4][5] wearing of green attire (especially shamrocks),[6] and the lifting of Lenten restrictions on eating and drinking alcohol,[6][7][8] which is often proscribed during the rest of the season.[4][6][7][8]

Saint Patrick’s Day is a public holiday in the Republic of Ireland,[9] Northern Ireland,[10] Newfoundland and Labrador and in Montserrat. It is also widely celebrated by the Irish diaspora, especially in places such as Great Britain, Canada, the United States, Argentina, Australia, and New Zealand, among others. Today, St. Patrick’s Day is probably the most widely celebrated saints day in the world.[11]

So we celebrate by eating a lot of green-colored confections. And Irish soda bread. And cake. And muffins. And beer. Shit, even if I wasn’t Irish… I can get down with a celebration like that.

So every holiday I do these compilation, or “Best Of” posts, where I link to all my previous cupcake/cookie/muffin/etc ideas. That way, they’re all in one place & it makes it easy for you to quickly find ideas early on. Then I just continue with my holiday-themed posts, and I add those on to the compilation the next year, and so on. Does that make any sense? I don’t know. Either way, here we go. The 2012 Best Of St. Patrick’s Day post! Click each image to view the original post & recipe.

And I’ll be back soon with some new(ish) ideas!

This is a staple around here, from right after Valentine’s Day until almost April. An authentic recipe from Ireland, it’s a sweeter version of the regular Irish soda bread. Jay can eat an entire loaf himself, so if you make it I suggest making two at a time. I guarantee you you’ll love it.

This is a new favorite; I made these last year & they immediately became a much-requested item. The maple & Jameson frosting is so spectacular you can’t use it on anything but a vanilla cupcake, or else you’ll lose the amazingness.

Another favorite: Bailey’s Irish cream cupcakes. Bailey’s in the cake, Bailey’s in the frosting. Too good.

Irish soda bread muffins with caraway seeds. For those of you who like your Irish soda bread a little more portable, or portion-friendly.

Green velvet cupcakes with mini-shamrock “chocolates”! How absolutely perfect are these? Crazy perfect.

Other than the color, they have nothing to do with St. Patrick’s Day. But they’re cute.

Like the ones above, they have nothing to do with St. Patty’s Day, except for the color (& the green coconut, which I did because it reminded me of the green grass Ireland is known for), but boy are they damn good. DAMN GOOD I SAY.

Okay now these were good, too. Made with Guinness stout… how could you go wrong? They taste like an incredibly rich chocolate cupcake, with just a hint of Guinness. Not overpowering at all.

And here are just a few more ideas, none of which are particularly St. Patty’s related but all are 100% easily adapted for use on March 17th.

Black & Tan Irish macaroni & cheese

Guinness Stout Shepherd’s pie

Quick ‘n’ easy Shepherd’s pie

Linzer cookies (use shamrock-shaped cutters & mint jelly or kiwi jelly/jam filling to make them more appropriate)

Chocolate whoopie pies with mint filling & chocolate ganache (make the filling green instead of pink!)

Shortbread cookies dipped in chocolate (use shamrock cookie cutters, & dip them in white chocolate & shamrock sprinkles)

Mint jelly

Just as one little added tidbit (droppin’ some knowledge on ya, as always)…

Soda bread first appeared in Ireland during the 1800’s, when the use of baking soda as a leavening agent was introduced. Baking was done in the Irish home. They had little time to bake and ingredients were often at a premium. Soda breads contained little more than flour, buttermilk, baking soda and salt. Buttermilk was used because it was often leftover from the butter making process. Soda bread was served warm from the oven with a Lashing of Irish butter. Soda bread caught on quickly and soon became a staple of the Irish diet still popular in Ireland and in many parts of the world today.

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  1. Hi!

    I am so pleased that you posted these recipes!

    Guess why I am so happy you posted these, I mean, especially happy? Because my birthday is March 17! Yay, celebrating meeeee! Oh, BOY!

    I don’t know what to bake first.


  2. Perhaps there’s something lost in translation with Irish-Americans, as a fourth generation Irish-American I think I can speak for us when I say that, although maybe not. “Paddy” here doesn’t have a great connotation- paddy wagon, etc. Insinuating Irish people are criminals. 🙂 Most of the time here it’s spelled “patty”, not “paddy” because of that, I assume. Also referring to someone here as a “paddy” is kind of insulting, hearking back to a time when the Irish were not welcome or wanted or hired & quite discriminated against in places such as NYC or Boston. Maybe its just a geographical difference. I never met an Irishman who got offended at “patty” but I’ve definitely seen ones get offended at “paddy.” I welcome the education though! Should I ever make it back to the old country I’ll remember that.

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