St. Patrick's Day was always one of my favorite "little" holidays when I was a kid. Each year I would construct a leprechaun trap in my attempts to capture a leprechaun and thus claim my pot of gold. I'd spend hours with construction paper, a shoe box, glitter, and glue making the perfect lure in which to trap the tiny trickster. The night before St. Patrick's Day we would set up my shoebox (propped up with a pencil) on the front porch so that I might trap one. Of course, each year I'd go to see if I had been successful, and would be thrilled to find my overturned shoebox filled with gold foil covered Reese cups (my favorite!) along with a note from the leprechaun saying that I hadn't caught him this year, but that he had left behind some treats for me. (Thanks Mom! You're awesome!).
This year I decided it was time for Lorelai to engage in this time honored tradition. Of course, she has no idea what St. Patrick's Day is yet, so I had to lay some ground work. We started by coloring a picture of a leprechaun (123 Coloring) and a picture of a shamrock (Crayola).
Then we spent the afternoon making Shamrock cookies. This recipe is one that I got from FamilyFun.com; although, I made it a little healthier by swapping all purpose flour for whole wheat pastry flour and subbing in applesauce for 1/2 the fat content. (I've gotta get every bit of nutrition I can in that little one!)
Here is my final recipe:
- 2 3/4 whole wheat pastry flour
- 3/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup butter (room temperature)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
- Several drops of green food coloring
- Stir together the flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium sized bowl.
- Cream the butter, sugar, and applesauce together in a large bowl. Then add the egg and vanilla extract. Mix well.
- Gradually add your dry ingredient mixture to your wet ingredients, mixing well. Your dough will be stiff.
- Add the food coloring and knead the dough until the color is evenly distributed.
- Chill dough at least 2 hours.
- Roll out the dough until 1/4 inch thick. Cut out shamrocks.
- Bake on an ungreased baking sheet at 350 degrees for about 8 minutes (or until the edges start to brown).
- Cool on wire rack.
- You may wish to add some extra decorations to them like green sugar crystals or icing.
Sadly for me, Lorelai had no interest in building a leprechaun trap. Seems she's a bit too young for this one... or she opposes imprisoning tiny fictitious characters. Either way, we skipped this tradition this year.
We ended the day with some St. Patrick's Day cartoons. Our favorite is the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse episode, "Minnie's Rainbow".
Hope you all had a wonderful St. Patrick's Day!