Leprechauns and Four Leaf Clovers

It's that time of year to begin showcasing our green for St. Patrick's Day.  In cookie form, one can turn just about any shape into a spirited Irish-themed treat for the holiday.  As long as you color them green, in whatever shades you desire, your cookies will look bright and festive.  

For this particular set of cookies, I used Americolor and Wilton food coloring in: leaf green, kelly green, copper, orange, ivory and black.

The leprechaun faces that I created are not a new design, but rather one that a cookie decorator came up with years ago.  All you need is a cupcake cookie cutter.

That's right!  A cupcake cookie cutter is the perfect shape for a leprechaun.  Cut out as many "heads" as you want and then get to work.

When you're ready to decorate, have royal icings tinted in two shades of green, jet black, pale ivory, and a bright orange that has a hint of copper.  

Leprechaun Faces:  Turn all of the cupcake shapes upside down.  Using green royal icing, outline and flood the hat of the leprechaun using a #2 piping tip.  Let the icing dry completely.  Using black royal icing and a #2 piping tip, add a hat band across the hat, and then gently affix a gold shamrock candy in the middle.  Using ivory royal icing and a #2 piping tip, outline and flood a face as shown, and while the icing is wet, add dots for eyes, an offset smile and two little eyebrows.  Using a bright orange royal icing and a #2 piping tip, outline and flood the beard of the leprechaun as shown.  Let dry completely.

Pipe a bead of icing to outline the shape of the hat as shown (optional).  I think that these are perhaps some of the cutest leprechauns out there.

The four leaf clover cookies look complicated, but they are not.  They're so simple to make.

Four Leaf Clover Cookies: outline and flood the base of the four leaf clover cookie in either white, leaf green or kelly green royal icing.  While the icing is wet, pipe lines in alternating colors across the entire cookie.  Working quickly before the icing sets, use a scriber tool or a clean toothpick to drag the icing up and down the entire surface of the cookie.  Wipe the pick clean between each line to give it a neat look.  Let the cookie dry completely.

Tip:  to make them look perfect, pipe the first line between the top two and the bottom two leaves of the cookie.  Then work your way up and down.  

A variation on this theme is to pipe vertical lines on the wet icing instead of horizontal lines before you begin to draw the icing through.  I like this version.

Did I not say that these were easy cookies to make?  It's a great day to be a little Irish on St. Patrick's Day and celebrate one's green heritage.  Let's face it, everyone gets to be Irish on March 17th, so make a few leprechaun and four leaf clover cookies to bring good luck into your life this month.  

Happy Baking and Happy St. Patrick's Day!