Pull out your favorite green T-shirts! It’s almost time for shamrocks and rainbows, leprechauns and pots of gold. Yup, St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner.
I’m not one of the people who hit the pubs on March 17th, to drink themselves sick on green beer. That’s not to say, however, that I don’t celebrate in my own quiet way… in the kitchen ;-)
For a while, I’ve been wanting to try layering batter, and this seemed like the perfect occasion… A layered bar/square may look complicated but my recipe uses only one batter for all three layers. After mixing the batter, simply divide into thirds, adding chocolate to one, food colouring to another, and leaving the final third as is… It was surprisingly easy, and I loved the final look of these cakey squares.
If you don’t have Irish Cream extract, just use vanilla extract in it’s place and call them Minty St. Patrick’s Day Squares :-)
How are you celebrating St. Patrick’s Day? A quiet night in, or a crazy night out?
Minty Irish Cream Squares
1 3/4 cup All-Purpose Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
3/4 cup Margarine
1 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Applesauce (unsweetened)
1/3 cup Non-Dairy Milk (I used almond)
2 tsp Irish Cream Extract
1 tsp Peppermint Extract
1 ounce Semi-Sweet Chocolate, melted
Green Food Colouring
Green Sprinkles (optional)
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil and grease. Leave a couple of inches of overhang to lift the squares out of the pan. Set aside.
Stir the flour and baking soda together. Set aside.
Beat the margarine until smooth. Add sugar and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy (1 – 2 minutes). Add the applesauce and extracts, and beat for another minute.
Add the milk in two or three additions, alternating with the flour mixture.
Divide the batter into thirds.
Add the melted chocolate to one third and mix until thoroughly combined. Pour into baking pan and spread evenly to edges.
Blend food colouring into another third, adding colour a few drops at a time until desired shade has been reached. Mix thoroughly. Carefully spoon batter on top of the chocolate layer (I start at the edges and work my way towards the center, to prevent the lower layer from squishing out the sides). Gently spread the batter into an even layer, completely covering the layer below.
With the final third, again, spoon batter over the green layer, and spread out evenly to completely cover the layer below.
Decorate the top with sprinkles, in using.
Bake for 25 – 30 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pan, before transferring to wire rack. Cool completely before slicing.
Makes 16 squares.