Hosting a St. Patrick's Day party can involve a lot of stress due to preconceptions of green drinks and the like. Take courage; you don't have to throw that kind of party. Classy, yet seasonally appropriate food for your shindig can be accomplished in three easy steps. To begin, make sure you acquire enough Irish Whiskey. You'll need it for the following recipes.
1. The Snacks
Detailed directions from Dine and Dish
If this party is at your place, you can anticipate mingling, chatting, and drinking in all available rooms. Be prepared with yummy snacks in those rooms! I recommend these delicious whiskey-candied walnuts, inspired by this recipe. I differed from the recipe only in that I used maple syrup instead of honey because I had quite a bit laying around (you'll see where else it's used further down.) They are hearty little appetite-abaters, which will help keep people happy if you aren't planning on serving a meal. Remember to be mindful of what dishes touch the walnuts for your friends with allergies.
- 1/2 cup honey (or maple syrup)
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup Irish whiskey
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups walnuts
- Preheat oven to 350°F
- In a medium saucepan, stir together honey, granulated sugar, Irish whiskey and salt. Cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes, or until sugar is dissolved and mixture comes to a slow boil.
- Add walnut halves. Stir to coat. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring, until syrup begins to bubble up and turn a light brown in color.
- Remove from heat and drain liquid through a strainer.
- Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Place coated walnuts onto parchment paper in a single layer, separating as much as possible.
- Place in the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes (watch closely so they don't burn).
- Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- Once cooled, separate walnuts from each other and use to top salad, stir into yogurt or as a tasty snack.
2. The Desserts
Detailed directions from Wonky Wonderful
As the party continues, make sure to please the crowd with simple, yet spectacular desserts. Whiskey turns up in a lot of desserts such as cakes, brownies, and brulees (any of which would be appropriate at this party). I recommend these fantastic whiskey, maple cupcakes. The glorious smell of Irish whiskey blooms in your nose when you bite into one. I mixed things up by substituting the candied bacon with more of the candied walnuts from above! I also re-used the syrup from the candied walnuts as the glaze for these cupcakes. The maple buttercream frosting is well worth the extra effort. These were taste-tested by my husband and several co-workers who sang it's praises, and I'm no baker, so this recipe is pretty fool-proof.
- 1½ Cups AP Flour
- 2 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 Stick Salted Butter (room temp)
- 1 Cup Brown Sugar
- 2 Eggs
- 6 Tb Whole Milk
- 6 Tb Bourbon Whiskey
- Preheat oven to 350°
- Sift together the flour and baking powder. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar. (2-3 minutes)
- Add the eggs and milk. Mix until incorporated.
- Add the bourbon and mix.
- Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix until smooth.
- Place liners into 2 cupcake pans. Fill liners 2/3-3/4 full.
- Bake for 22-24 minutes. Or until light golden brown and cupcakes spring back to the touch.
- Let cool in pans for 1-2 minutes. Then transfer to cooling racks.
3. The Drinks
When the star of the party is the Irish whiskey, you don't want to over-complicate the drinks. Keep it simple with a classic Irish Coffee. Everyone should know that an Irish Coffee is a spoonful of brown sugar and a shot of Irish whiskey in a mug of black coffee topped with whipped cream. A dash of cinnamon on top is also appropriate. Of course, you could also just serve the whiskey neat or on the rocks.
We'd love to hear your best party tricks and ideas! Be sure to have a fun and safe St. Patrick's Day with your friends and loved ones.
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