05 March 2009

Golden Treasure Cookies


It's already March and St. Patrick's Day is fast approaching. I guess that explains why I have had leprechauns on my mind lately. Such strange folkloric creatures, leprechauns, and a bit disconcerting. I never did care for those little feisty old men who make mischief around St. Patrick’s Day. Like clowns and old dolls, they sort of give me the creeps. I don't understand the reason for them and there is no portrayal I am aware of that suggests they can be cute or caring, no one to rehabilitate their image, like Orlando Bloom as Legolas did for elves or Tinkerbell did for fairies. Instead of any suggestion of a heart of gold leprechauns are almost always portrayed as creepy old tricksters, jealously guarding their own pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Still, every year I find myself looking forward to St. Patrick's Day. Despite leprechauns, there are many Irish customs and traditions that I admire and, eager for an occasion to celebrate as I wait for winter to turn to spring, I welcome the opportunity to observe St. Patrick's Day.

I think spring in Portland must have a lot in common with spring in Ireland. There is the persistant rain, the relatively gentle climate and the emergent green of a lush landscape. There are also an abundance of rainbows as the sky quickly changes from blue to lightly overcast, to rain clouds of gunmetal gray punctuated by bursts of brilliant sunshine. It is a rich environment for intense rainbows. If leprechauns do hide their pots of gold at the end of the rainbow the Pacific Northwest is prime territory for chasing treasure. Should such pursuits appeal to you I've found clear directions for how to wrest a pot of gold away from a leprechaun.


If, however, you prefer a more practical approach to filling a pot with gold I have a recipe for Golden Treasure Cookies. (And, with the economy what it is, who couldn‘t use a pot of gold these days?)

These cookies are easy to make, require only three ingredients, and are delicious. The taste reminds me of Tagalongs, that yummy chocolate covered peanut butter version of Girl Scout Cookies, only Golden Treasure Cookies are made with butterscotch instead of chocolate. They possess an appealing balance of tastes. They are both sweet and salty and are filled with peanut butter goodness.

I found this recipe in one of my Aunt Hen's many cookbooks. This particular book featured seasonal gifts from the kitchen. I no longer have the book but I do remember making these unexpectedly wonderful cookies for several St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.


Golden Treasure Cookies

1 box Ritz crackers (I used two sleeves)
1 cup smooth peanut butter (approximately)
1 (11 oz) bag butterscotch morsels
1 -3 teaspoons shortening

Spread peanut butter evenly on half of the Ritz cracker, and top with another cracker to make approximately 36 peanut butter filled cracker sandwiches.


Melt butterscotch morsels in the top of a double boiler stirring frequently. Add shortening, a little at a time, to achieve a good dipping consistency.

When the mixture is smooth dip the peanut butter cracker sandwiches into the melted butterscotch with a fork. Let the excess butterscotch drip back into the pan or smooth the excess back into the pan using a knife.

Place coated crackers on wax paper to cool and set.

Enjoy!

Makes approximately 36 cookies.

Note: I think I added closer to 3 teaspoons of shortening to my butterscotch morsels and that may have been a little too much. The butterscotch nearly slid off the crackers, though the finished product turned out well. I ended up almost icing the cookies with the butterscotch using a knife to smooth the edges and scrape the excess back into the bowl before placing the cookie on waxed paper.

15 comments:

Mary said...

Lisa, what a lovely post. Even the name of the cookies is enchanting.

Ricki said...

What a lovely tradition! These are exactly the kind of cookie my mum would have made for us when I was a child. In fact, I used to eat cracker and PB sandwiches for breakfast on Saturday mornings! Thanks for the nostalgia :)

LeLo said...

I have to give you triple props for the background leprechaun scene in the bottom photo. Thumbs up!

These sound great, even though I don't have shortening in my kitchen! Do you think they could be made without it or ?

I love strange little holiday cultural recipes like this. :)

Lisa said...

LeLo - I think these could be made without the shortening. The butterscotch coating would just be thicker. Also, I haven't tried it but I think you could use oil instead of shortening. I read that suggestion somewhere. I would start with 1 teaspoon or less and see how that works.

Good luck!

Theresa said...

Those are tasty little morsels. Yes, I must confess, I ate both of them.

noble pig said...

I have always done this with chocolate but I love the idea of changing that for St. Patty's. And yes the rainbows are just amazing in the Oregon Spring.

Grace said...

fabulous use for those vastly-underrated butterscotch chips. these are a treasure indeed, and don't let those leprechauns get to you--you're bigger than they are. :)

Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary said...

Just checking out your blog after you so kindly commented on mine. What a find! Lovely photos and delicious recipes. I am adding you to my blog roll girl! Looking forward to all your recipes!

Clumbsy Cookie said...

How cool are this cookies! And so few ingredients, that's allways a plus!

Ivy said...

Wow! These look dangerously rich.

Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella said...

They sound divine and I love the name and what great timing to make these! :)

Jeff said...

You have got to be kidding!! That is all that is in these things? I thought you had slaved over them for days! I kept wondering how you had made the "wafer" inside. All I can say is having had the pleasure of trying them personally they are amazingly tasty. Thank you for sharing the recipe.

Paula said...

This is such a clever idea! My little leprechauns would love these! Good old Ritz crackers ... I haven't had one in ages! I think I'd probably snack on them as I made the cookies!

Cathy said...

Wow, isn't this interesting. I have to give it a try. Love the Ritz and PB, but butterscotch added. Sounds like a winner.

Bunny said...

I've never seen anything like this befroe, I LOVE sweet and salty , this is a perfect!