I'm P.C., and I have studied food and cooking around the world, mostly by eating, but also through serious study. Coursework at Le Cordon Bleu London and intensive courses in Morocco, Thailand and France have broadened my culinary skill and palate. But my kitchen of choice is at home, cooking like most people, experimenting with unique but practical ideas.

I live, mostly in my kitchen, in my hometown of Memphis, Tennessee.

Kiss Me, I’m Irish Cookies

St. Patrick’s Day is a silly holiday – in the best possible way.  Grown folks dressing in green fuzzy wigs and big hats.  Pinching co-workers and friends who forget to wear green.  Drinking green beer.  Singing Irish songs as if you just came over from the old country.  In fact, celebrating a holiday largely based on snake-driving has an element of silliness to it from the get go. St. Patrick, it seems, never did have anything to do with snakes.  Now you know.

Except for college, when I am sure that it was a big beer drinking occasion (I assume that because frankly, I don’t remember), I have never really gone in for too much St. Paddy’s Day fun.  My only St. Patrick’s memory is a family spring break trip to Chicago right during the St. Patrick’s Day festivities.  Of course, my brother and I were too young to appreciate the principal activities of the day. But the Chicago River was dyed green, and we could watch the parade down Michigan Avenue from our hotel.  George Bush, Senior was staying in our hotel.  He’d just started his first presidential run (boy am I dating myself now), so the Secret Service were everywhere.  I can only imagine that Chicago on St. Patrick’s Day is a Secret Service nightmare.

So in celebration of the silly, I created these Kiss Me, I’m Irish Cookies.  I am not, by the way, Irish, but that’s sort of the fun of St. Patrick’s.  Everyone is Irish for a least a day.  The cookie base is flavored with Irish cream liqeuer, topped with a chocolate kiss.

Kiss Me, I’m Irish Cookies

½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened

½ cup sugar

½ cup light brown sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

¼ cup Irish cream liqueur (like Bailey’s)

2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

24 Hershey’s Kisses, unwrapped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Cream the butter and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer until light and fluffy.  Add the egg and vanilla, beating until combined.  Add the Irish cream, beating well.

Combine the flour, baking soda and salt and add to the dough, mixing until fully incorporated.

Roll generous teaspoons of dough into balls and place on the prepared baking sheets.  Press a kiss into each cookie ball, letting the dough form up around the kiss.  Bake the cookies for 8-9 minutes until lightly golden. Cool on the cookie sheets for a few minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes 24 cookies

Don’t forget the Corned Beef and Cabbage Cooked in Beer!

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