These easy-to-make St. Patrick's Day cookies taste like an Irish coffee — and they're festive, too

You can bake these cookies ahead of time, so you're ready to roll as soon as it's time to get the party started

By Joseph Neese

Deputy Editor in Chief

Published March 16, 2021 11:30AM (EDT)

Shamrock cookies (
Shamrock cookies (

On St. Patrick's Day, the spotlight is often on what's inside your cup. Our Oracle Pour and Quick & Dirty columnists have blessed us with two creative new ways to enjoy Jameson: a five-ingredient Irish Mule and a boozy take on a Shamrock Shake. But this is my annual reminder to think outside of the glass, because there's no better way to enjoy your favorite Irish spirits than in baked goods. 

Each March, you'll inevitably find Baileys Shamrock Cookies in my home kitchen. This twist on a classic sandwich cookie from pastry chef Meghan McGarry draws on the flavors of an Irish coffee, but it packs an even bigger bite. Irish whiskey goes into the cookie batter and the espresso filling for a true one-two flavor punch.

"I paired Irish whiskey and coffee together, because they're the ultimate power couple," McGarry told Salon Food last year. "The Baileys floating through the cookie is very delicate, and in the filling is the espresso for an extra shot of flavor that beautifully cuts through the sweetness."

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You can bake these cookies ahead of time, so you're ready to roll as soon as it's time to get the party started. To make the spiked buttercream filling, combine unsalted Irish butter, powdered sugar, Irish cream liquor and espresso powder in a stand mixer. Finally, assemble your "sandwiches" by piping along the outer edges of the shamrock cookies and pulling a piping bag toward the center of each shape.

RELATED: With one secret ingredient, you can bake the flakiest pastry crust of all time

Once assembled, it's time to decorate! McGarry loves to dip the ends of her cookie sandwiches into a dark chocolate ganache and festive sprinkles. If you can't find a St. Patrick's Day mix in your grocery store, choose rainbow sprinkles for an added pop of color. If you want to keep things simple, you can always enjoy these cookies plain. Trust me, they're practically perfect in every way.

Recipe: Baileys Shamrock Cookies

Hold the glass: Toast St. Patrick's Day by adding a hint of Baileys to your cookie batter

How to make Baileys Shamrock Cookies, a video guide

A St. Patrick's Day dessert with an Irish cream taste from Buttercream Blondie

More classic dessert makeovers from the pastry chef:

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By Joseph Neese

Joseph Neese is Salon's Deputy Editor in Chief. You can follow him on Twitter: @josephneese.

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Baileys Buttercream Blondie Coffee Cookies Desserts Food Irish Cream Meghan Mcgarry Recipe St. Patrick\'s Day