St. Patrick’s Day Treats & Green Buttercream.

I’m still eeking this one out on St. Patrick’s Day, but only because PST and Hawaii have the grace to be so many hours behind me. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, my friends!

Tatted Clover.
This shamrock was my first piece in my return to tatting back in 2007. I was surprised I could even remember how to hold a shuttle, as I hadn’t made lace in over 10 years!)

My mom is a beautiful redhead with pale, creamy, lightly-freckled skin, but alas, I don’t have the Irish look about me. In fact, the one (and only!) time I ever dyed my hair, my BFF and husband teamed up together to choose the most garish shade of red. There are no pictures of this day because – TRUST ME – it was not a moment to be remembered. I simply have to be content having a gorgeous, Julie-Andrews-look-a-like for a mom, and allow her to sport the brilliant red tresses for our family. โ™ฅ

I’ll just make the green sweets instead. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Like these cookies, for example:

St. Patrick's Day Cookies.

These were made for a handful of my most special “Sugar Sisters,” as my offering in our St. Paddy’s Day Cookie Swap. I used Georganne’s famous fancy square cutter as my starting point, and I kept things very simple. I made my first “real” royal icing transfers (I’d done small dots once before, but nothing of any true size), and in the process, I developed an even greater awe of Paula’s skill, as she works with RI transfers to a means I cannot ever comprehend!

St. Patrick's Day Cookies.

I needed 9 of these cookies (8 for the swap, and an extra for shipping “just in case”), and because I had heard that RI transfers can be very delicate & tricky, I made 15 shamrocks in the beginning. It’s a good thing, as six of them broke when I tried to peel the paper from the back, and I ended up with exactly the nine I needed!

In making these transfers, I also used disco dust for the very first time! Bridget hasn’t been kidding when she says it gets EVERYWHERE, and I tried to emulate Marian’s style, as her transfers are always picture perfect! I will say that, although six of the transfers broke, the disco dust finish made it almost imperceptible to tell once I carefully applied the pieces to a cookie. Here’s a picture of the extra cookies I mailed my friend, and you might not even be able to tell a difference at all. ๐Ÿ™‚

I just love how these cookies turned out, and I’m glad to have learned little lessons throughout the process, too!

St. Patrick's Day Cookies.

But I didn’t just make cookies for St. Patrick. I also surprised Jack & his classmates with some easy-peasy cupcakes I whipped up, too. ๐Ÿ™‚

St. Patrick's Day Cupcakes.

A simple yellow cupcake is topped with this easy, rich & creamy buttercream frosting. Over the years, I consistently make this buttercream, sometimes tweaking it to suit different tastes & styles. It’s pretty perfect on its own, and it’s hard not to dig in with a spoon!

Easy Buttercream
(recipe by Nicole Cleghorn)

  • 1 cup butter, softened (no substitutions)
  • 1 lb. powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1-1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract (regular or clear)
  • 4 Tbsp. milk


1. Cream butter until light & fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Gradually add sifted powdered sugar, and mix until well-combined. (Frosting will be coarse & crumbly.)
2. Add vanilla extract and milk. Beat until smooth & creamy, and use as desired for decorating.

If you want to change the buttercream, try using different extracts for different flavors, or substituting the milk for other liquids, as I did for my Cherry Buttercream in these cupcakes. You can add less liquid (milk, etc.) for a stiffer buttercream, or more if you would like a creamier frosting. This recipe is very adaptable!

For these cupcakes, I opted to add 10 drops of green food coloring to the buttercream as well. I piped using a smaller star tip, and I dusted the cupcakes with green sanding sugar. See? Easy-peasy! ๐Ÿ™‚

St. Patrick's Day Cupcakes.

St. Patrick's Day Cupcakes.

Lastly, one more fun trick I played on my boys tonight. We were hosting a sleepover, so I picked up a 2-liter bottle of Sprite for the festivities. I chose Sprite because the plastic bottle was already green, and I knew my boys wouldn’t notice anything suspicious. I opened the brand-new bottle, added about 10 drops of green food coloring, and then closed it up tight & tucked it into the fridge. I absolutely LOVED seeing each of their faces as they began to pour their own glasses of Sprite for dinner, only to be completely surprised that it came out green instead of clear! ๐Ÿ˜€

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12 comments on “St. Patrick’s Day Treats & Green Buttercream.

  1. Paula on said:

    I’ve never done any tatting and I just love your shamrock you made. I also loved that you dyed the Sprite and I can imagine how fun it was for the boy’s when they opened their drinks. You were sweet to link back to my site and to say such nice things about my work. Thanks you! I think your shamrock cookies are just beautiful, the cookie shape is so pretty and the disco dust just makes the shamrocks pop!

    • Nicole on said:

      Paula, a few years ago, I was tatting pretty obsessively. I kinda stopped when we moved here, and it was in that break that I began cookie-ing. Here’s a link, though, if you want to see more: (If you start scrolling through & down, you’ll find lots of pictures, plus links where you can click through to see even more from each entry/piece.)

      And girl, I still just can’t believe all the things you can do with royal icing! You are a master of patience because I lost 2/5 of the pieces I made in breakage!

  2. Karen @ Trilogy Edibles on said:

    I love the cookies, they are so gorgeous. and the sprite trick is awesome!

    • Nicole on said:

      Thanks, Karen! And the “leprechauns” always tint our milk green overnight too, but you can usually spot that one through the gallon container. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. Tammy Carter on said:

    I love the Shamrock cookies. Was it only the shamrock itself that was the transfer or the whole top of the cookie? I love the disco dust, that stuff is fantasicly beautiful!!

    • Nicole on said:

      Tammy, it was just the shamrock itself. Surprisingly, most of the transfers that broke did NOT break at the little thin stem (where I was certain they would!). I was really surprised!

  4. Sweetsugarbelle on said:

    You’re on time!!! Love your St. Paddys cookies!

  5. The BearFoot Baker on said:

    You are as cute as your cookies:) Wish I could have seen the look on their faces as they noticed the green sprite! LOL

    • Nicole on said:

      Lisa, the best part about it was that the boy sleeping over as Jack’s guest doesn’t yet know our family terribly well. He looked shocked/horrified/surprised/amused all at the same time! ๐Ÿ˜€

  6. Hi! I just found this blog and love you lovely cookies. You perfectionism is something to be proud of. Do you use royal icing on you valentine cookies? AND…do you mind sharing you “stamping” technique?

    • Nicole on said:

      Joni, thank you! Yes, I use royal icing on all my cookies. As for the “stamping,” I simply painted on a brand-new rubber stamp with a bit of undiluted Americolor gel color (I’ve heard airbrush colors work better, though), and then carefully stamped onto a flooded & completely dried cookie.

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Iโ€™m Nicole, and Iโ€™m glad youโ€™ve stopped by my little corner of the web! Iโ€™m a former Air Force wife whose passions are baking, cookie-making, and photo-takingโ€ฆ all to the benefit of my loves โ€“ my family! Cโ€™mon in toโ€ฆread more.


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