Diana's Desserts - www.dianasdesserts.com

Irish Black Bun Shamrock Cookies

Servings: Makes about 32 cookies
These cookies may have your friends talkin' with an Irish accent before the end of the day, to be sure now. Inspried by a real homemade Irish recipe, these goodies are filled with chopped raisins, brown sugar, butter, cocoa, orange peel, cinnamon, toasted chopped almonds and of course Irish Whiskey, then topped with a sweet (green colored for St. Patty's Day) Irish Whiskey icing. Enjoy these scrumptious Shamrock cookies from the Emerald Isle......Diana, Diana's Desserts

Cookie Dough:
2/3 cup butter or margarine
1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground mace or nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground pepper
3 tablespoons whiskey (Irish Whiskey, if possible)
2-1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour or all-purpose flour

1 cup currants or chopped raisins
1/4 cup coffee or apple juice
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon finely shredded orange peel
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup finely chopped toasted almonds
1 tablespoon whiskey (Irish Whiskey, if possible)

2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons whiskey or milk (Irish Whiskey, if possible)
Green food coloring

1. Beat the 2/3 cup butter or margarine and cream cheese in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add the granulated sugar, the 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon, the mace or nutmeg, allspice, salt, and pepper; beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in the 3 tablespoons whiskey until combined. Beat in as much flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour with a wooden spoon. Divide dough in half. Cover and chill for 2 to 3 hours or until easy to handle.

2. Roll dough on a lightly floured surface until 1/8 inch thick. Cut with a 2-1/2-inch shamrock-shape cookie cutter (rerolling scraps). Place cutouts 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.

3. Bake in a 350 degree F (180 C) oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned. Transfer to a wire rack and cool.

4. Combine currants or raisins and coffee or apple juice in a saucepan; bring to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes. Do not drain. Stir in brown sugar, the 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, unsweetened cocoa powder, orange peel, and the 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon. Cook and stir over low heat until mixture is combined. Remove from heat. Stir in almonds and the 1 tablespoon whiskey. Cool filling to room temperature. Place in a food processor bowl or blender container. Cover and process or blend until finely chopped. Refrigerate if not used immediately.

5. Place 1 teaspoon filling onto the flat side of half of the cookies; top with remaining cookies.

6. Combine confectioners' sugar and enough of the 2 to 3 tablespoons whiskey or milk to make of spreading consistency. Tint with green food coloring to desired color. Spread over tops of cookies.

Makes about 32 cookies.

Source: Better Homes and Gardens
Date: February 7, 2005