Shamrock Cookies

24 Servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Chill dough 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 20 minutes

Shamrock Cookies are simple, buttery, crisp cutout cookies with a touch of peppermint flavoring and a green sugar topping. Check it out!

Classic Sugar Cookies are an easy recipe to dress up for any occasion. This fun and festive variation of the traditional Cookie Recipe is perfect for Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations. 

Whether you’re whipping them up for a holiday party or need a fun treat for the office or school, these Shamrock Cookies are sure to be a hit. These delightful cookies, also known as St. Paddy’s cookies, taste as good as they look. The soft, buttery cookies have a hint of minty goodness and are topped with a burst of crunchy green sugar crystals.

Sabrina’s Shamrock Cookies Recipe

My festive Shamrock Cookies turn out crisp, sweet, light, and buttery and are super easy to make! You can combine the simple cookie dough ingredients in a matter of minutes. After giving the dough time to chill, you just roll it out, cut into shapes, and add green sprinkles for decorations. They look and taste bakery-worthy and are sure to be a hit with the whole family, especially kids who will love the fun color. 

This sugar cookie recipe is perfect for serving at a party or giving as a gift this St. Patrick’s Day. They have a festive clover shape and green color that makes them perfect for the occasion. Plus, the slight peppermint flavor makes Shamrock Sugar Cookies reminiscent of a McDonald’s Shamrock Shake. They’re the obvious choice for a fun and easy holiday treat!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Unsalted Butter: Make sure to give the unsalted butter 20-30 minutes to soften at room temperature before starting the recipe. That way, the butter and sugar mixture can cream together into a light, fluffy cookie base. 
  • 1 cup Powdered Sugar: This cookie recipe doesn’t have a lot of wet ingredients in it. However, the powdered sugar absorbs the moisture that is there and makes it so the Shamrock Cookies are still buttery and not too dry. Because powdered sugar is lighter, it also creates crisper, airier cookies than brown sugar or granulated sugar would. 
  • 1 large Egg (for the dough): The egg acts as a binding agent, helping to hold the dough together and providing structure.
  • 1 teaspoon Peppermint Extract: Peppermint extract infuses the cookies with a refreshing mint flavor, perfect for the St. Patrick’s Day theme. Be cautious with the amount, as a little goes a long way.
  • 2 ½ cups Flour: You’ll want to use plain or all-purpose flour for the Shamrock Sugar Cookies. Pastry flour results in a softer crumb, which is great when you want a chewy cookie but not ideal in the flour mixture for cutout cookies. Because you want these cookies to hold their shape and be slightly more firm, all-purpose white flour is better. 
  • ½ teaspoon Salt: Salt enhances the flavor of the cookies. If using salted butter, you can reduce or omit the salt in the recipe to adjust the overall saltiness.
  • 6 drops Green Food Coloring: Green food coloring adds a vibrant hue to the cookies, giving them their signature shamrock color. Adjust the amount based on your preference for intensity. Gel food coloring can also be used instead of liquid. Bonus points for using naturally colored dye.
  • 1 large Egg (for the topping): This egg is used to create an egg wash, which adds shine and helps the sugar crystals stick to the top of the cookies.
  • 1 tablespoon Water: The water is combined with the egg to create the egg wash for brushing onto the cookies. It helps thin out the egg mixture for easy application.
  • ¼ cup Coarse Green Sugar Crystals: These sugar crystals not only add a pop of color but also provide a delightful crunch and sweetness to the cookies. If you don’t have green sugar crystals, you can use regular granulated sugar or sprinkles for a similar effect.

Kitchen Tools & Equipment

  • Stand Mixer: An electric mixer with a paddle attachment is ideal for creaming the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, as well as mixing in the other ingredients. If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can use a hand mixer or even mix by hand.
  • Cookie Cutters: A shamrock-shaped cookie cutter is needed to create the festive shape of these cookies.
  • Rolling Pin: You’ll need a rolling pin to roll out the cookie dough to the desired thickness before cutting out the shapes. A non-stick or silicone rolling pin works best, and dusting it with flour will prevent the dough from sticking.
  • Baking Sheets: Baking sheets are used to bake the cookies in the oven. Line them with parchment paper to prevent the cookies from sticking and make cleanup easier.
  • Pastry Brush: A pastry brush is used to brush the egg wash onto the cookies before sprinkling them with sugar crystals.

How to Make Shamrock Cookies

Time needed: 3 hours and 20 minutes.

  1. Preheat Oven and Prepare Baking Sheets

    Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.

  2. Cream Butter and Sugar

    In a stand mixer, cream together the softened butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy.

  3. Add Egg and Peppermint Extract

    Mix in the egg and peppermint extract until well combined.

  4. Combine Dry Ingredients

    Sift together the flour and salt, then gradually add to the mixer until just combined.

  5. Add Food Coloring

    Incorporate the green food coloring into the dough until the desired color is reached.cookie dough in stand mixer

  6. Chill Dough

    Wrap the cookie dough in plastic wrap, shape it into a disk, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

  7. Roll and Cut

    On a floured surface, roll out the chilled dough to ¼ inch thickness. Use a shamrock-shaped cookie cutter to cut out the shapes.3-leaf clover cookie cutter over flat dough

  8. Prepare Topping

    Beat together the egg and water to create an egg wash. Brush this mixture onto the cookies, then sprinkle with green sugar crystals.adding sugar to clover shaped cookies on a baking sheet

  9. Bake

    Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheets and bake for 10-12 minutes, until edges just begin to brown.

  10. Cool and Serve

    Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy your delicious Shamrock Cookies!4 stacked cookies in bowl of clover shaped cookies

Can These Be Made Ahead?

Absolutely! After combining the ingredients, the sugar cookie dough can keep well in the fridge for up to 5 days. Carefully cover the dough in plastic wrap to keep it fresh, then place it in the fridge until you’re ready to use it. This is a great option if you want freshly baked cookies on the day of the party but won’t have time to make the dough. You can simply prep the dough in advance then roll out the dough and shape it when you are ready to bake.

Nutritional Facts

Nutrition Facts
Shamrock Cookies
Amount Per Serving
Calories 149 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Fat 8g12%
Saturated Fat 5g31%
Trans Fat 0.3g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.4g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 36mg12%
Sodium 56mg2%
Potassium 22mg1%
Carbohydrates 17g6%
Fiber 0.4g2%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 259IU5%
Calcium 7mg1%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

How to Store Shamrock Cookies

Storing

Don’t leave cookies sitting uncovered at room temperature for more than a few hours, or they’ll start to dry out. To keep the cookies fresh, you can cover them in plastic wrap or put them in an airtight container. They’ll maintain their texture best kept in a cool, dry place at room temperature for 3-4 days. 

Freezing

To keep Shamrock Cookies longer, you can freeze them for up to 3 months. To make the freezing process easy, place the cookies in a single layer on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and place it flat in the freezer for an hour or so. Once the cookies are hardened, you can transfer them to a freezer bag or another freezer container to keep for long-term storage. Freezing them flat first will stop the cookies from freezing together. 

Frequent Questions

Do I need to refrigerate the cookie dough?

Yes. If you’re in a hurry, this may seem like an easy step to skip, but the cookie texture will turn out much better if you let the dough sit in the fridge for at least 3 hours. The time in the fridge allows the flour to hydrate, which makes less sticky, more pliable dough. It also firms up the dough structure so that the cookies don’t spread too much and lose their shape during the cooking time. 

What if I don’t have a shamrock cookie cutter?

It’s difficult to make the clover shape without a shamrock cookie cutter. However, you can still make delightful green sugar cookies perfect for St. Patrick’s Day. Instead of cutting them into clovers, you can do simple circles using drinking glasses or a biscuit cutter. Or use whatever cookie cutters you do have, such as heart shapes. 

My dough is too sticky. What should I do?

If the dough is too sticky to roll out, try chilling it in the refrigerator for an additional 15-30 minutes. Dusting your work surface and rolling pin with flour can also help prevent sticking while rolling out the dough.

Can I use spearmint or other mint flavors instead of peppermint extract?

You can use regular mint, but spearmint extract can have a toothpaste taste so I do not recommend using spearmint for these cookies.

Recipe Card

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Shamrock Cookies

Shamrock Cookies are simple, buttery, crisp cutout cookies with a touch of peppermint flavoring and a green sugar topping. Check it out!
Yield 24 Servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 20 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder

Ingredients
 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter , softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 large egg , (for the dough)
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 drops green food coloring , 6-12 drops until you reach desired green
  • 1 large egg , (for the topping)
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/4 cup coarse green sugar crystals

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • To your stand mixer on medium speed add the butter and powdered sugar and cream for 2 minutes.
  • Raise speed to high and cream for 2 more minutes.
  • Add in egg and peppermint extract until well mixed in.
  • Sift together the flour and the salt, then on the lowest speed setting add it to the stand mixer until just combined.
  • Add in the green food coloring until you reach the desired color of green.
  • Add the cookie dough to a large piece of plastic wrap, form into a disk and cover tightly.
  • Refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight.
  • To a floured surface, roll the cookie dough 1/4" thick.
  • Using a shamrock cookie cutter, cut out the cookie shapes.
  • Beat together the egg and water, then brush onto the cookies in a thin layer.
  • Sprinkle with the green coarse sugar crystals.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the edges just barely start to brown.
  • Cool for 5 minutes before removing from the baking sheets.

Notes

  • Click on the yield amount to slide and change the number of servings and the recipe will automatically update!
  • Click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.
  • To convert measurements to grams, click on the Metric option next to Ingredients in the recipe card.

Nutrition

Calories: 149kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 36mg | Sodium: 56mg | Potassium: 22mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 259IU | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 1mg
Keyword: Shamrock Cookies

Variations on Shamrock Cookies

  • Chocolate-Coated Shamrock Cookies: Instead of using a sprinkle topping, you can make this cookie recipe with a delicious chocolate coating. First, prepare the cookie dough and bake the recipe as usual. Let the cookies cool completely. Add 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (you could use milk or dark chocolate if you prefer) and 1 tablespoon shortening to a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30-second increments, stirring between each session until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Dip the cooled cookies in chocolate, so it coats half the sugar cookie. Lay the cookies on a wire rack with parchment or wax paper beneath them to dry. You can add green sugar crystals or sprinkles to the wet chocolate if desired. 
  • Frosted Shamrock Cookies: If you like frosted sugar cookies, then you can add your favorite icing or frosting to the top of cooled sugar cookies. Royal Icing, Classic Sugar Cookie Frosting, or Mint Frosting are all great options. Add a few drops of green food coloring to the frosting of your choice to make it festive. Spread or pipe green frosting over cookies, and add any sprinkles or other decorations you’d like to the top of the cookies before the frosting dries. 
  • Flavor Extracts: In the original recipe, these Shamrock Cookies have a hint of peppermint flavor, but you could swap in other flavors too. A teaspoon of vanilla extract, almond extract, coconut extract, lemon extract, or maple extract instead of peppermint would all taste amazing in these Shamrock Sugar Cookies. 

More Delicious Mint Desserts

Shamrock Cookies pin

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.

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