These Shamrock Sugar Cookies are made with my all-time favorite soft sugar cookie recipe. The frosting is tinted bright green with an easy to make all-natural food dye. There's no creepy artificial color in these cookies! Happy St. Patty's Day!
Happy (almost) St. Patrick's Day! ☘️☘️☘️
You guys, these cookies. Do you see how green they are? And did you read the title of the post? I'm not even joking, that color is all natural.
Artificial food color has freaked me out for a while, but not enough to swear off it completely. Like hello, I'm still human and want fun colored cookies! Shamrock cookies wouldn't be the same if they weren't green.
After last Halloween, I got extra freaked out. I made a (totally delicious) batch of cupcakes with black icing and when I pumped the following day my breastmilk came out gray. Not even joking. And omgee I'm talking about my boobs. On my food blog. Holy TMI. ?
I've never had any interest in being a mom who's super strict with food. It's supposed to be fun, after all. I know that my little girl is going to sometimes eat sugar (hello, these are Shamrock SUGAR Cookies), and candy with artificial dye, and when she's a teenager she'll go to McDonald's with a friend thinking she's super cool while I cringe and try and hold my tongue. Life happens, and while we eat an overall healthy diet, I'm certainly not health food perfect. Today we're going 1970s retro and keeping the white flour, butter, and sugar in our cookies. But we're also bringing my fav sugar cookie recipe up to date by keeping the artificial dye out.
Want to know how to make all-natural green food coloring? Ps. it's super easy.
Make all-natural green frosting for your shamrock sugar cookies:
Here's what you need. Are you ready for it? You need … spinach.
Yep, that's right. That's all. A few handfuls of spinach and your celebrating the Irish day will get a whole lot greener. Naturally.
You're going to put the spinach in your high-powered blender or food processor and blend it until it is smooth. If you're using your blender, you'll need to use the plunger to get it going at first. If you are using your food processor, you'll need to stop and scrape down the sides a few times.
Spinach has a ton of natural liquid so you don't need to add any water when you're blending it. Once it's turned into a dark green slippery liquid, pour it through a fine-mesh sieve to remove the pulp.
My friend, you've just made your very own natural green food color.
If you make these Shamrock Sugar Cookies with All-Natural Green Frosting make sure you snap a pic and tag #theendlessmeal on Instagram so I can like and comment on your photos. I love seeing TEM recipes you create!
- ¾ cups butter, softened
- 1 cup white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups spinach
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons natural green food dye/ water/ lemon juice (see notes)
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla using an electric mixer. In a medium-sized bowl whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to the wet ingredients and mix till combined.
- Make a ball out of the dough, wrap in plastic, and store in your fridge for at least 1 hour or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll out half the dough to just under ½ inch between 2 pieces of parchment paper. Cut out shamrock shapes using a 3½ inch cookie cutter and transfer the cookies to baking sheets. Note: the cookies will fill 4 half-size sheet pans. If you don't have enough cookie sheets, bake one batch and then wait until the cookie sheet is completely cool before placing the next batch of cookies on it. Keep the cookie dough as cold as possible before you bake them, placing them back in the fridge for a few minutes on the baking sheets if they become soft.
- Bake on cookie sheets for 6-8 minutes, or until lightly browned on the bottom. Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting.
- Place the spinach in your high-powered blender or food processor and blend until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. Place a fine mesh sieve over a bowl and strain the pulp from the liquid. You will be left with about ¼ cup of green food dye.
- Place the powdered sugar in a small bowl and add water or lemon juice and some of the green dye and mix to combine. You may have to play with the amounts a little as you will need a lot more natural dye than if you were using artificial food coloring. To achieve the color in the pictures, you will need approximately 2 teaspoons. To frost the whole cookie, you want a thinner frosting. To decorate the cookies with designs, you'll want the frosting thicker. Add more powdered sugar/ liquid to achieve the exact look you want.
*Lemon juice is a tasty alternative to using water and gives the cookies a slightly tangy taste.
*To fully cover the cookies in frosting, start by making the frosting pourable. Set a large bowl, or a few small bowls, under a cooling rack. Place a few cookies on top and generously pour the frosting over them. The frosting will coat the cookies and the excess will drip into the bowl, which you can use again for other cookies.
*The white frosting in the pictures is simply powdered sugar + water with no natural dye added.