A Wee Bit O’ Green

Food expert LeAnn Rice shares her traditional recipe to celebrate St. Patty’s DayIrish Kitchen PrayerBless us with good food, the gift of gab and hearty laughter.

May the love and joy we share be with us ever after.

Saint Patrick’s Day is more than a celebration of Irish culture—it’s a celebration of Saint Patrick and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland. Legend says that Saint Patrick used shamrocks to illustrate the Holy Trinity. Centuries of both factual and fictional twists and turns later, we celebrate with all things green because of the tiny three-leaved shamrock. We wear green clothing, green wigs, color our rivers green, drink green beer, and eat traditional Irish foods or simply color food green.

This year, I am going with the latter.

I love taking tried and true recipes and putting a little spin on them. One of my favorite pie recipes is great for experimenting. You can basically replace the cookies with anything. You can use chopped candy bars, brownies, or a different type of cookie. For a “go green” twist, I added a little peppermint extract and green food coloring and made miniature trifles instead of a pie. Here’s a wee bit ‘o green to help you celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day. May the luck o’ the Irish be with you!

Miniature Mint Cookie Trifles

Ingredients: 1 Oreo piecrust (or make your own) 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature 1 package Thin Mints or grasshopper cookies, crushed 2 cups heavy cream 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/4 cup powdered sugar 1 teaspoon peppermint extract Green food coloring Chocolate curls for garnish (optional)

Directions: Crush the piecrust until you have fine crumbs, and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth and creamy. Add the crushed cookies, and continue to whip until the cookies are well incorporated.

Pour the heavy cream into a separate bowl. Add the vanilla extract and the powdered sugar. Beat until you have stiff whipped cream.

Add half of the whipped cream to the cream cheese and cookie mixture. Add the peppermint extract and several drops of green food coloring. Beat until everything is combined. Add more green food coloring if you desire a deeper green.

To make the trifles, layer the crumbs and cookie filling until you reach the top of the dish. I like to start and end with the crumbs. Top each with the remaining whipped cream, then garnish with chocolate curls.

Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.