St. Patrick’s Day Treats

St. Patrick's Day is here!

Today is St. Patrick’s Day, which means, at least here in Boston, that everybody’s Irish, and everybody is encouraged to celebrate in some way.

The typical Irish dinner on or around St. Patrick’s Day is corned beef and cabbage, but there isn’t really a traditional “dessert.” Baking bloggers and food critics alike have come up with their own favorite ways to celebrate the holiday.

Epicurious has had a St. Patrick’s Day themed background for a few weeks now, and has some in-depth coverage on Irish Soda Bread.

They interviewed an Irish cook who talks about the bread’s origins, the changes that have been made over time, and the variations that can be found now in the US. As a sidebar, they’ve included seven different recipes for the bread.

Traditional Irish soda bread.

There’s also a video hosted by the chef on from the Culinary Institute of America on how to make “traditional” Irish soda bread.

Even more numerous than recipes for soda bread are the St. Patrick’s Day desserts that mix chocolate and beer somehow.

Elaine Barbee won the 2011 “Chocolate Adventure Contest” with her recipe for chocolate stout cupcakes. Though these cupcakes may be made with any stout beer, it’s probably best to use Guinness for a St. Patty’s Day party. If cupcakes aren’t enough, Dying for Chocolate has a recipe for Guinness chocolate silk pie that can also be served with Guinness ice cream.

Sticking with the chocolate and liquor theme, Bailey’s Irish Cream liqueur can be used to make Ireland-inspired cake, fudge, or truffles. Bakers Royale has a recipe for “Irish Cake Bombs,” a bite-size but potent dessert that includes Guinness, Jameson Whiskey (also native to Ireland), and Bailey’s. I like this recipe because she includes a “purist” version for those with more technical skills, and a “cheat” version, for people with more limited resources technical and ability (like me).

Irish Brownie Bombs from Bakers Royale.

Speaking of technically adept, Naomi of Bakers Royale also posted a recipe for “Irish Brownie Bombs” at Endless Simmer. The recipe calls for all three liquors, has a brownie bottom, cheesecake top and is finished with a perfect clover piped on top.

Besides liquor, another idea bakes have for St. Patrick’s Day is to use mint with chocolate, probably because we associate mint with green and green with the color everyone wears on the day. David Lebovitz has posted a seriously decadent-looking recipe for chocolate mint brownies over on his blog. For something a little lighter and perhaps less labor-intensive, try making the mint Oreo cookie balls as seen on Oh My! Sugar High.

Almost every recipe I found for a St. Patrick’s Day themed dessert included using chocolate in some form. CakeSpy, however, posted a recipe for the Peanut Butter & Co. company for St. Patrick’s Day peanut butter truffles. These little treats basically consist of butter, crispy rice, peanut butter and candy melts.

There are so many St. Patty’s Day dessert recipes out there; I know I’ve barely scratched the surface with these. If you’re planning on making or baking some kind of dessert to commemorate the day, it’s definitely worth taking a look at what else the internet has to offer.

First photo (cc) angelinacupcake under a Creative Commons license. Some rights reserved. Second photo (cc) daftgirly under a Creative Commons license. Some rights reserved. Third photo (cc) Naomi of Bakers Royale. Reposted with permission.

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