As March began and I saw that my daughter’s preschool would be talking about leprechauns and pots of gold (FYI, if my daughter found a pot of gold, she would apparently “buy more monkeys”) my thoughts turned to something to make for St Patrick’s Day.
One of my books has a recipe for ‘Homemade Irish Cream Liqueur’ but perhaps we’ll leave that for another day…
And then I thought of baking something with a hint of green! There are two recipes for Chocolate Peppermint Squares in my books, both remarkably similar, the main difference being the option of coconut or cornflakes in the base. I opted to go with the coconut.
I had to make an educated guess on how long to bake the base for, as the recipe omitted this (rather vital) information, but 15 minutes seemed to work in my oven. It felt like I was on GBBO* doing a technical challenge with only the bare minimum of instructions. But without Paul Hollywood staring at me or the pressure to impress Mary Berry.
Oh, and don’t be like me and forget to take the butter out of the fridge before you start baking. Softened butter really does make it all a lot easier!
*GBBO = Great British Bake Off or Great British Baking Show on PBS
4.5oz/130g plain flour (all purpose flour)
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cocoa powder
3.5oz/100g icing sugar (powdered sugar)
2 drops peppermint extract
green food colouring
6-8 oz/170-220g chocolate
1. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
2. Add the rest of the base ingredients and mix well.
3. Spread into your tin (yes, the 9″/23cm square tin again!) and bake at 190C/375F for approximately 15 minutes.
4. Once the base has cooled, cream the butter, icing sugar, peppermint and food colouring and spread over the base. This is a relatively thin layer. Unfortunately, I didn’t keep track of how many drops of food colouring I used. Use your own judgement here – start with 2-3 drops and keep adding until it’s as green as you want it!
5. Then top with melted chocolate and once set, cut into squares. The base of this is quite crumbly, so be careful when you’re cutting it up, you might not get nice straight edges and clean lines. But it will taste the same and any casualties always go to the baker, right?