St Patrick's Day Recipes that will make you Leap like a Leprechaun!

Irish Beef and Stout Stew ~ This comforting stew is made festive by a pop of green and a generous “glug” of stout. Make a double batch and freeze for a rainy spring day.
4 pounds beef chuck, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cans (6 ounces each) tomato paste
2 1/2 pounds new potatoes, scrubbed
2 medium onions, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) reduced-sodium beef broth
1 can (14.9 ounces) Irish stout beer
10 garlic cloves, sliced
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 boxes (10 ounces each) frozen baby peas, thawed
Directions: Preheat oven to 350. In a 5-quart Dutch oven or heavy pot, toss beef with flour; stir in tomato paste. Add potatoes, onions, broth, beer, and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cover, and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
Transfer pot to oven, and cook, covered, until meat is fork-tender, 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Stir in peas, and season with salt and pepper.

Chocolate Stout Shake ~ Mix Ice Cream, Stout, Dash of Luck this Saint Patrick’s Day because the only soda we want is the baking variety in the bread! =P This rich, robust stout is the fizzy base for this grown-up take on the fountain favorite.
1/4 cup chocolate stout beer or stout beer
1/2 cup prepared chocolate fudge ice cream topping
1/2 gallon vanilla bean ice cream
1 cup milk
6 purchased chocolate-and-nut-covered pretzel rods (optional)
Directions: In a small saucepan heat beer and chocolate topping until warm and combined. Cool slightly. Meanwhile, in a blender combine ice cream and milk, half at a time. Cover and blend until combined. Divide ice cream mixture among 8 glasses. Drizzle with chocolate sauce and, if desired, serve with chocolate-covered pretzel rods. Makes 8 servings.

Rainbow Cake Mason Jar Leprechaun Trap ~ Put yourself into the tiny shoes of a leprechaun: You’re minding your own business, looking for gold in a family’s home when you see a huge, vibrant cake behind glass on the kitchen table. You’ve seen and followed rainbows to get to your pot of gold, but never have you been tempted by a mouthwatering edible rainbow like this. You would do anything to get a taste. Luckily, there’s a chocolate-covered pretzel ladder to help you reach the top.
You smell the sweet, lemony buttercream and vanilla cake and hop right in. No one (not even a cunning leprechaun like yourself) can take just one bite, so you eat your way through a few layers before realizing that you’ve sunk a few inches too deep into the glass tube to escape. The fluffy cake makes for a great bed until your captors wake on St. Patrick’s Day morning, and you can negotiate your release in exchange for a few gold coins.

How To Make the Rainbow Cake Leprechaun Trap:
Ball 24 oz. wide-mouth jar

Rainbow Cake
Swiss Meringue Buttercream
2 pretzel rods
8 to 10 pretzel sticks
12 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled

For the Cake: Make the Rainbow Cake batter according to the instructions.
 Pour batter into buttered and parchment-paper-lined 3-inch-diameter round cake pans. (I use a pan that looks like a muffin pan, but with larger, straight-sided cavities.) 
Bake until the center is set; you don’t want the cakes to brown, so check on them often.
 After the cakes have cooled, remove from pan and trim the tops to make flat layers of equal height. Each of my layers was approximately 1 inch high. Be sure to use the same size cake pan for each color so that each layer is approximately the same height.

For the Ladder: The rods will make up the sides of the ladder, while the smaller sticks will be the rungs. For the sides, cover each pretzel rod individually in chocolate, wipe of excess and place parallel to each other, about 1 1/2 inches apart, on a parchment-paper-lined tray to dry.
For the rungs: Trim each pretzel stick with a serrated knife to the right width so that they don’t hang over the sides of the ladder. Cover each pretzel stick in chocolate, wipe off excess, and gently lay across the long chocolate-covered pretzel rods to make the rungs. Repeat with the rest of the rungs, spacing evenly about every 1 inch. Let ladder dry completely before removing from parchment paper.

Assembling the Trap: Make the Swiss Meringue Buttercream according to the instructions.
 Clean and dry the jar.
 Fill a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip with the buttercream. 
Beginning with the violet layer, slide the cake round into the bottom of the mason jar. Pipe a layer of frosting on top of the violet cake round. Gently slide the blue cake round on top of the frosting and push slightly until the frosting touches all around the jar, filling the space between cake layers.
 Keep layering frosting and cake layers in this order: violet, blue, green, yellow, orange, and red. The cake should reach about 1 inch shy of the top of the jar. Pipe a final layer of frosting on top of the red layer. For an added touch, top with gold sanding sugar. 

Ginger-and-Mint Lime Floats ~ Whip up these festive floats for some green-drink sipping on St. Patrick’s Day.
1 cup water
1 2 1/2 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup lime juice
4 sprigs fresh mint, torn into small pieces
1 cup lime sorbet or sherbet
2 cups club soda, chilled
Finely shredded lime peel (optional)
Directions: For ginger syrup, in a blender combine the water and ginger. Cover and blend until ginger is pureed. Transfer mixture to a small saucepan. Stir in sugar. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, about 10 minutes or until mixture is reduced to 1 cup; cool completely. Chill for at least 30 minutes (up to 1 week). For each float, pour 1/4 cup of the ginger syrup into a tall glass; add 1 tablespoon of the lime juice and 1 torn mint sprig. To muddle, gently crush mint with the back of a spoon. Add 1/4 cup of the sorbet; slowly fill with club soda. If desired, garnish with lime peel.

Irish Beef Hand Pies ~ Beef, be it corned, stewed, or roasted, is an Irish menu mainstay; so this St. Patrick’s Day, tuck the makings of traditional beef-and-potato stew into flaky pastries you can bake straight from the freezer. These hand pies give it a playful, portable twist.
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 head green cabbage, shredded
1/2 pound red potatoes, scrubbed and diced
1 pound ground beef sirloin
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Coarse salt and ground pepper
All-purpose flour, for rolling
2 piecrusts (9 inches each), homemade or store-bought
Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium; add cabbage and potatoes. Cook until beginning to brown, 7 to 9 minutes. Add beef; cook, breaking up meat with a spoon, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, Worcestershire, thyme, and 1 cup water. Cover, and cook until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Lightly mash mixture with a fork. Season with salt and pepper. Let cool completely. On a lightly floured work surface, roll each crust into a 14-inch square; cut each into 4 equal squares. Place 1/2 cup filling on one half of each square, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the filling. Brush borders with water; fold dough over filling to enclose. Crimp edges with a fork to seal. With a paring knife or scissors, cut 3 small vents in each. Transfer pies to 2 foil-lined rimmed baking sheets; bake until golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. To Bake from Frozen: Proceed with step 3, increasing baking time to 28 to 30 minutes.

Shamrock Milk Shake Cupcakes ~ Swirls of white chocolate frosting top these moist, minty cupcakes. Wrap them with a green cupcake liner for the ultimate holiday finish.
4 egg whites
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk or sour milk*
1/4 cup green creme de menthe**
1/2 cup shortening
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 recipe White Chocolate Frosting
Green food coloring
Directions: Allow egg whites to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, line twenty to twenty-two 2-1/2-inch muffin cups with paper bake cups. In a medium bowl stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a 2-cup glass measuring cup combine the buttermilk and the creme de menthe. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl beat shortening with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Gradually add sugar, about 1/4 cup at a time, beating on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Add egg whites, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk mixture to shortening mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until mixture is combined. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each about two-thirds full. Use the back of a spoon to smooth out batter in cups. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched. Cool cupcakes in muffin cups on wire racks for 5 minutes. Remove cupcakes from muffin cups. Cool completely on wire racks. Divide White Chocolate Frosting between two bowls. Tint one portion with green food coloring. Spoon each frosting into a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe white and green frostings onto tops of cupcakes to resemble four-leaf clovers. Makes 20 to 22 (2-1/2 inch) cupcakes.


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