My husband thinks Pinterest is dumb. I honestly don't think he even really knows what it is, considering Facebook and ESPN are the only apps on his phone. However, I believe his dislike comes from wondering where I am at midnight, only to find me in my office, aggressively "pinning" dream kitchens and projects involving reclaimed shipping pallets, by the glow of the computer. He just knows I come up with crazy ideas that he usually has to execute. Hello, DIY backyard pavers, goodbye weekend!
I can only allow myself to get on Pinterest when I have three hours to spare, because I always end up falling down the proverbial rabbit hole, pinning motivation quotes and outfit options like a madwoman. Just one more pin. Just one more click. I feel like I have to collect all the great ideas I love or they will be gone, and at least this way, I can always come back to them. My friends are also addicted, but more to the recipes, always quoting Pinterest as the source of their new favorite dish, or their latest cooking mishap.
This made me curious, and led to some late-night clicking. There are some great recipes and some really horrible recipes pinned on the site, which opened the path to my St. Patrick's Day experiment: make recipes as printed, off Pinterest.
I don't really like re-creating recipes as I see them printed. I know what works and doesn't work, or how I feel I can change something to make it better. Plus, I feel weirdly guilty making things off Pinterst. I'm a professional pastry chef, shouldn't I just be re-creating things I see on my own and not rely on store-bought goods (like Andes mints and ice cream) for some crazy Pinterst dishes?
Searching for St. Patrick's Day dessert recipes is like scrolling through a sea of neon green frosting. Typing "st. patrick's day boozy desserts" into the Pinterest search bar, pulled up a lot of results. Top of the list, was a boozy version of the Shamrock Shake, one of my favorites. Sold.
I had crème de menthe (one of the best things to pour over some vanilla ice cream) and picked up the crème de cacao, which turns out is not one of my favorites, along with Bailey's Irish Cream. So I fudged a bit on the whipped cream and used some Irish whiskey to flavor it. So much for making them as printed. I also topped mine with Andes mints.
These are a million times better than a fast food chain could whip up and they give you a nice warm fuzzy feeling. Also, paper straws are an adorable Pinterest touch, but beware as they soften very quickly, making sipping while you work challenging. Definitely add boozy shamrock shakes to your St. Paddy's day Pinterest board.
The second Pinterest recipe I went for was for were Creme de Menthe Brownies. There were some seriously unappetizing looking versions, so I went with the best-looking versions. Aside from having to bake these a bit longer than advised, which can happen when using different ovens, this recipe was pretty tasty. I did add broken up pieces of Andes mints to the top since I had quite a few leftover.
These brownies are super-rich, so a little slice will do. The brownie almost becomes a bland vehicle (something I never thought I would say!) for the crème de menthe frosting, the chocolate layer and the Andes mints. Plus, it could use a tad bit more booze, otherwise, this is a chocolate-mint lovers dream come true.
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Well, I have to go pin these recipes on my Pinterest page, then print out some plans for a shipping pallet planter for my husband to build for our backyard. Oh, Pinterest, how I love you!
Rachel Miller is a pastry chef and food writer in Phoenix, where she bakes, eats, and single-handedly keeps her local cheese shop in business. You can get more information about her pastry at www.pistolwhippedpastry.com, or on her blog at www.croissantinthecity.com.