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People all over the world are gearing up to celebrate the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day. Who does not remember scrambling around to find something green, simply to avoid receiving one of those irritable little pinches? Maybe you look forward to that wonderful feast of corned beef and cabbage, and beautifully dyed green beverages and goodies.

In anticipation of St. Patrick’s Day, the Shop Local team would like to share some easy ways to get in the holiday spirit. These adorable ideas are simple and fun for the whole family.

Shamrock Pretzels

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Ingredients


1 bag Mini Pretzels
1 bag Plain M&Ms (Don’t forget to stick to the green ones)
1 bag Rolo candy
Cake/Cookie Pop Sticks
Green Ribbon
Parchment Paper

1: Assemble all your supplies. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

2: Arrange 3 mini pretzels into the shape of a shamrock, with the bottoms grouped together. Repeat this step until your cookie sheet is full of pretzel shamrocks.

3: Place an unwrapped Rolo candy into the center of each pretzel shamrock so that the Rolo is touching all three pretzels.

4: Carefully place cookie sheet in oven and bake for 3-5 minutes or until the caramel gets soft. Remove from oven.

5: Immediately after you remove from oven, do 2 things at once: 1) Place an M&M on the top of the Rolo and 2) insert pop stick into the bottom of the Rolo. Press gently down on the Rolo candy, adjusting the pretzels so that they are still grouped close.

6: Let pops cool completely. You can stick them in the freezer for a few minutes to speed this process up.

7: Tie a pretty ribbon bow around the pop stick. For work or classroom parties: You can wrap the top with a clear plastic bag first before tying the ribbon around the stick for freshness.

 

LEPRECHAUN   HAT   S’MORES

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Ingredients:

Keebler Fudge Stripes Cookies
Large Marshmallows
Dark Chocolate Candy Melts
Green Candy Melts
Green Sprinkles or Cake Sparkles

1:  Melt dark chocolate candy in the microwave, in 30 second intervals.  Stir after each heating.  Repeat until completely melted.  Dip Fudge Stripe Cookies into chocolate, coating completely.  Shake off any excess.  Set on parchment paper, top side down, until candy coating is completely set.

2:  Using a toothpick, dip marshmallow into chocolate and coat almost entirely.  Shake off any excess.  Set on parchment paper, until candy coating is completely set.  Remove toothpick.

3: Melt green candy just as you did the chocolate.  Flip marshmallow upside down and insert new toothpick in top.  Dip into green candy, just barely, to create a small band of green around the bottom.

4: Coat green candy band with sprinkles or sparkles. Shake off excess.

5: Place marshmallow in center of chocolate covered cookie.  Carefully remove toothpick.  Touch up the toothpick hole with a small dab of melted chocolate, if desired.

6: Spoon some of the remaining melted green candy into a piping bag, zip-lock bag or squeeze bottle.  On parchment paper, make three small dots of candy in the shape of a triangle.  Each dot should be about the size of a chocolate chip.  Using a toothpick, swirl the three dots together to form a shamrock shape.  Swirl the bottom two dots together first, then the top dot.  Pull toothpick straight down to form the stem.  Before candy hardens, cover with sprinkles or crushed cake sparkles.  Once shamrocks have set up, dust off excess sparkle.

7: To finish the hat, attach a glittering shamrock with a small dab of melted green.

 

 

Personalized Paper Plate Leprechaun

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 Ingredients:

Small paper plate
Orange paint
Paint brush
Scissors
Glue stick
Personal Picture
Black, Green, and Gold construction paper
1: Paint the small paper plate orange.

2. While paint is drying, Cut colored construction paper into pieces for hat.

3. Glue and assemble the hat on the top of your paper plate. Attach black band on hat, and yellow square for the buckle.

4. Make small snips all around the edge of paper plate to make beard.

5. Glue personalized photo in center of plate

 

St. Patrick’s Day Pudding Cups

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Ingredients:

Vanilla or Pistachio Pudding
Graham Cracker Crumbs
Nilla Wafers
Lucky Charms Cereal
Whipped Cream
Green Food Coloring

  1. Follow the directions on the box to make the pudding. If using Vanilla pudding, add a few drops of green food coloring.
  2. Add a layer of Graham Cracker Crumbs to a small trifle dish.
  3. Spoon in some pudding.
  4. Top with whipped cream, a Nilla Wafer and some Lucky Charm Marshmallows.

 

 

 

Rainbow Hand-print Craft

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Supplies:

Black and white construction paper
Scissors
Washable paint; multiple colors
Paint brush, water, paper towels
All purpose glue
Foil wrappers from gold coin chocolate candy
White paint pen

1. Paint rainbow stripes on the hand in order of the rainbow. Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple.

2. Press down onto the top center of white paper to make a rainbow hand print. Let dry.

3. Glue foil wrappers onto the white paper at the base of the hand-print. Overlap them in layers.

4. Cut out a half circle pot shaped out of the black paper. Glue the pot onto white paper just below the gold coins. Overlap coins to make it look like they are sitting in the pot. Let dry.

5. Use white pen to write: “Happy St. Patrick’s Day!” on the pot of gold.

 

 

Irish Cream Hot Fudge Cupcakes     – A little more work, but soooo worth it!!!’

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Cakes

1 half cup Irish Cream Liqueur, or two mini bottles
3 tablespoons well- beaten egg
1 half teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ cup all purpose- flour
2/3 cup, + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
¼ cup, + 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
½ teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup strongly brewed coffee

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a muffin tin with 6 large muffin papers.

2. Place Irish Cream liqueur, egg, and vanilla in cup; beat together vigorously with a fork, set aside.

3. Whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Add      butter and liquid mixture; beat with an electric mixer on low speed until dry ingredients are moistened.           4.Add coffee and beat again until well incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl using a      rubber spatula and beat well again.

5. Divide batter between muffin cups.  Bake for 25-27 minutes or until cupcakes spring back when pressed in the center. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Chocolate ganache filling

1/3 cup plus 2 tbsp. heavy cream
1 cup milk chocolate chips
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons Irish Cream liqueur (about half a mini bottle)

 

  1. Combine heavy cream and chocolate chips in a medium saucepan or a microwaveable bowl.  Heat on medium low until chips are melted and can be stirred smooth.  If using the microwave, heat at 30 second intervals until completely melted and mixture can be stirred smooth.  Add butter in pieces and stir until melted.  Add Irish cream.  Stir well.  Refrigerate until ganache is thickened but still fairly soft (see video).
  2. Cut a large divot out of each cupcake and fill with ganache.  Discard cake piece or save them for breakfast tomorrow (smile).

Irish cream frosting

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup plus two tablespoons Irish cream (about 1 1/2 mini bottles)
1 tsp. vanilla extract

 

  1. Combine butter and confectioners’ sugar in a large bowl and mix on low speed with a hand mixer until just combined.  Gradually add in Irish cream.  Scrape down sides of bowl and mix in vanilla.  Beat on high speed until light and fluffy.  Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a large closed star tip.  Pipe frosting over the surface of the cupcakes.

Irish cream hot fudge sauce

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/4 cup milk chocolate chips
1/3 cup plus 1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup coffee
1/2 cup Irish cream (2 mini bottles)

 

  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan and place over medium heat.  Whisk to incorporate.  Bring to a boil and let bubble one minute.  Remove from heat and let cool slightly before pouring into the empty Irish cream bottles.
  2. Pour a scant 1/4 cup of hot fudge sauce in each empty Irish cream bottle.  Turn them upright and press the bottle neck into the frosting and down to the chocolate ganache filling.  Sprinkle with cocoa powder and serve.