Contributed by OKWB member Lisa Marotta
I have always had a hunger to know about “my people.”
As soon as I learned that Mom was adopted, I immediately wanted to know more. It was not additional family that I craved, but rather an ethnic identity. My tween/teen mirror time was often spent searching past the known German (Dad’s side) features for what lay alongside of my angular nose. I wanted to celebrate properly with food, drink, and yes maybe even a parade.
In College I declared myself Irish—there were many of us. My motives were fueled by a boredom with unknowing and an offhanded comment by a professor (about the gift of gab and Irish eyes) which began a tradition of claiming March 17th for my own. Adulthood has enriched my Irish pride in the kitchen through serving my family multiple variations of Irish Soda Bread, corned beef and cabbage, and “carrot coins.” My original dish “Erin Go Bratwurst” is a nod to the known German roots and an allegiance to my imaginary Irish folks. My daughters have rolled their eyes at my attempts to bring the luck of the Irish to the table. But not this year.
This year promises to be the best St. Patrick’s Day ever. My pot of gold was delivered courtesy of Ancestry.com which confirmed, Sure and begorrah, I AM IRISH INDEED! A whopping 11% thank you very much. Cookies have always been my love language, so an Irish cookie will be the crowning glory St. Patrick’s Day 2016.
My Pinterest search brought plenty of green-tinted options, but my favorite was a plain, natural, and simple shortbread cookie. Understated and made with delightful Irish Butter. Thank you Cynthia from Feeding Big for your inspiration. (http://feedingbig.com/irish-butter-shortbread-cookies-fill-the-cookie-jar.html)
Lucky Irish Shortbread Cookies
(Makes about 2 dozen cookies)
Preheat Oven to 300 degrees
1 brick of Kerrygold Unsalted Butter
½ Cup Sugar (Keep the sack out for sprinkling on top before baking)
2 ½ Cups all-purpose flour
Set out the Kerrygold butter to reach room temperature, it is a high fat butter so it won’t take long. Cream the butter and sugar together with electric mixture. Set to low speed and slowly add flour. The mixture will be crumbly when it is ready—do not over mix.
Lightly flour your work surface (I used a big cutting board to reduce clean up time). Create a ball with your dough and roll out to desired cookie thickness. The recommendation was ¼ inch but I just used my “Irish eyes” to gauge.
With a scalloped cookie cutter (I got mine at Walmart) cut out cookies. Roll scraps together and cut out cookies again. Repeat as needed.
Place cookies onto parchment lined baking sheets and sprinkle lightly with sugar for added yumminess. Bake in the oven for 15- 20 minutes. They should be slightly golden. I cooled mine on wax paper before stacking on a pretty plate.
Now, don’t you feel a wee bit luckier? Here is an added Irish Blessing:
May the sun shine, all day long,
everything go right, and nothing wrong,
May those you love bring love back to you,
and my all the wishes you wish come true!
Dr. Lisa Marotta is a psychologist and writer. With 20 years of clinical experience she expresses her commitment to build healthy families through her private practice in Edmond, Oklahoma and blog. Dr. Marotta is active in her critique group The Inklings, and is a member of SCBWI and OWFI.