Boozy St. Patrick’s Day Desserts to Make Irish (Real and Wannabe) Eyes Smile

You’ve polished off the corned beef and cabbage, eaten your way through a mountain of colcannon, and devoured every last crumb of Irish soda bread dripping with Kerrygold butter. You’ve drained the last drop of Irish stout and there’s a fragrant Irish coffee steaming in front of you. Now what? Dessert!

Boozy St. Patrick’s Day Desserts to Make Irish (Real and Wannabe) Eyes Smile

Cap off your St. Paddy’s Day feast with these irresistible sweets featuring some of Ireland’s finest firewater. Enjoy!

Boozy St. Patrick’s Day Desserts to Make Irish (Real and Wannabe) Eyes Smile

Bailey’s Irish Ice Cream

You know that bottle of Bailey’s you opened in December? Well it might have a shelf-life of 30 months, but why wait to find out? Go get that sucker and let’s make some ice cream.

Yield: About 1 quart

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup Bailey’s Irish Cream

Preparation:

In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine milk, cream, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, and nutmeg. Bring to scalding point (just until milk begins to steam and bubbles form around the edge), stirring to dissolve sugar.

Meanwhile, place egg yolks in a medium nonreactive mixing bowl. Whisk egg yolks along with remaining 1/4 cup sugar and pinch salt. Set aside until milk is scalded.

When milk is ready, slowly pour it into the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Pour egg mixture back into saucepan and place over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, reaching the bottom of the pan. The custard is ready when it begins to thicken and coats the back of a spoon. Remove it from the heat and pour it through a fine strainer into a clean bowl. Stir Bailey’s Irish Cream into the custard mix, cover, and set the bowl over an ice bath or in the refrigerator to cool.

When the mixture is thoroughly cooled, process in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Refrigerate 3 hours or overnight to firm.

Boozy St. Patrick’s Day Desserts to Make Irish (Real and Wannabe) Eyes Smile

Tipsy Pixies

According to Irish folklore, if you catch a leprechaun, he can barter for his release by granting you three wishes. I’m guessing Tipsy Pixies might be darn good leprechaun bait. We put cookies out on Christmas Eve for the “jolly old elf” and he leaves presents… so why not cookies for a wish-granting fairy? Think about it.

Yield: About 3 dozen cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Bailey’s Irish Cream liqueur
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

Preparation:

In a medium bowl, mix together cocoa, sugar, Bailey’s Irish Cream, and vegetable oil. Beat in eggs one at a time, then add in the vanilla. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt; stir into the cocoa mixture. Cover cookie dough and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Roll dough into 1-inch balls. Roll each ball of dough in confectioners’ sugar before placing onto prepared cookie sheets, 2 inches apart.

Bake in preheated 350 degree F oven for 10 to 12 minutes. Let stand on the cookie sheet for 2 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature.

Boozy St. Patrick’s Day Desserts to Make Irish (Real and Wannabe) Eyes Smile

Jameson’s Crème Brulee

Crème brulee is a silky, sexy dessert. Add a splash of Irish whiskey and… enough said.

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, scraped
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup Jameson’s Irish whiskey

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Combine cream, sugar, and vanilla bean pod and scrapings in a medium saucepan and bring just to the scalding point. (That is, cream is steaming and small bubbles are forming around the perimeter.) Remove from heat and add the vanilla extract.

Place egg yolks in a medium mixing bowl and whisk together. Very slowly add the scalded cream to the beaten yolks in a thin stream, whisking continuously. Whisk in the Jameson’s. Pour custard base through a fine-mesh strainer into a 1-quart measuring pitcher.

Place crème brulee ramekins into a roasting pan and the custard base into the ramekins almost to the top. Carefully pour hot water into the pan until the water level reaches halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Cover the roasting pan with foil and pierce the foil several times with the tip of a paring knife.

Place into a 325 degree F oven. Bake, covered, approximately 25 minutes. To test for doneness, gently jiggle the ramekins; crème brulees are done when the center of the custard is set and doesn’t slosh. When done, remove from oven, being careful not to let the water come over the sides of the ramekins. Using a spatula or tongs, carefully remove the ramekins from the water bath and place on a rack to cool. Let cool to room temperature, about an hour, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

When ready to serve crème brulees, gently blot any condensation from the top of the custard with a paper towel. Sprinkle with granulated sugar to cover surface. Torch with a blowtorch or specialty crème brulee torch and serve immediately.

All photos are courtesy of the author.

Boozy St. Patrick’s Day Desserts to Make Irish (Real and Wannabe) Eyes Smile

Sandy Smith

Sandy Smith is a freelance writer and editor based in New York's Mid-Hudson Valley.

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