Peach shortbread

Peach shortbread

Shamrock and peach shortbread

Shortbread is famous in Scotland, but they are also a staple and classic cookie in Northern Ireland where they are absolutely perfect with a cup of Irish breakfast tea! I love to dip them in creamy Cranachan just like we will be serving at the James Beard dinner this Thursday night for dessert! My Scots Irish finish for a perfect dinner party ending

For and added touch of my new Atlanta Georgia homeland, try cutting them with Shamrock cookie cutters and adding dried peaches! Pretty surprising living in Georgia (with it’s state symbol being the peach) that I had to order my dried peaches on-line. Still, I discovered the best fruit and company that shipped within 2 days of ordering the highest quality naturally dried peaches. Check out http://www.nuts.com if you are in need to nuts or dried fruit in the US this company is the way to go. I know I will be ordering again and their marketing rocks!

Also, if you are making these cookies at home for extra special flavor and texture do look out for unsalted Kerrygold butter made from the milk of the sweet summer milk of Irish grass fed cows!

Ingredients:
• 1 cup (8 oz.) unsalted Kerrygold butter
• 4 oz. (3/4 cup) powdered sugar
• 8 oz. (2 cups) all purpose flour
• 1 oz. (1/4 cup) cornstarch
• 1 oz. (1/4 cup) rice flour
• ¼ cup of chopped dried peaches
• 3 Tbsp. granulated sugar (to sprinkle over baked cookies)

How to make them:
1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
2. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy in an electric mixer.
3. Measure the flour, cornstarch, and rice flour together then slowly incorporate the dry ingredients into the creamed butter and sugar. Stir in the dried peaches and mix until fully incorporated.
4. Place the resulting shortbread dough onto a floured surface and use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll out the dough to ¼” thick.
5. Cut with shamrock cookie cutter and place on baking sheets.
6. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the edges of the cookies are a light golden brown.
7. Sprinkle with sugar while still warm and leave to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
8. Store in an airtight container.

Judith the Irish foodie

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Counting the days to the James Beard House dinner

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Counting the days to ‘3 Shades of Green’ Debuts at James Beard House May 29 2014.   “3 Shades of Green” brings together three takes on the Irish food experience spearheaded by my great friend and award-winning Ulster chef, Noel McMeel, executive head chef at Lough Erne Resort, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh; cookbook author Margaret M. Johnson and no one less than Judith the Irish foodie.( http://www.3shadesofgreen.com)

Noel McMeel is recognized as one of the top chefs working in Ireland today, has an impressive worldwide culinary track record, including being named “Best Chef In Ulster” a number of times and authoring “Irish Pantry” (Running Press, 2013). He has spent his entire career dedicated to a very simple goal: finding, preparing, and serving the freshest food in season. Having been chef to royalty and rock stars, his culinary skills were most recently tested in June, 2013, when he oversaw the catering for the G-8 Summit at Lough Erne (www.lougherneresort.com) and met the leaders of the world’s eight industrialized nations. This will be his third appearance at the James Beard Foundation.

I will be representing the Shamrock and Peach (www.shamrockandpeach.com) and celebrating my roots from County Armagh, where I learned the techniques of the Scots-Irish culinary tradition.  My Georgia roots will be represented by my signature blending of southern food traditions with Irish techniques and traditions,with a recipe from my cook book “The Shamrock and the Peach” (Ambassador International, 2012).

The author of 10 Irish cookbooks, Margaret has roots in Dublin, Kerry, and Cork, and is a skilled cook and writer who is passionate about Ireland (www.irishcook.com). As a master of distilling the best of Irish culture into the written word, her books and recipes have given Ireland and Irish food the recognition it richly deserves. Her most recent books, “Flavors of Ireland” (2012) and “Christmas Flavors of Ireland” (2013), are published by Ambassador International.

Together, we are teaming up for a special dinner at the Beard Foundation, the New York-based national professional organization that serves to promote the culinary arts. Housed in Beard’s New York brownstone at 167 West 12th Street in Greenwich Village, the foundation is preserved as a gathering place where members, the public, and press can appreciate the talents of established and emerging chefs.

A true honor!

Judith the Irish foodie