My life has a superb cast but I can't figure out the plot.
~ Ashleigh Brilliant

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Pecan Leprechaun Shillelaghs :-)

A couple months ago, our neighbor brought over some delicious little homemade breadstick thingies called "Whole Wheat Oat Sticks." Now, we vegans are often wrongly accused of eating things like sticks and twigs. So not wishing to encourage such malicious falsehoods, I set about coming up with something new to call them. Especially since these "sticks" are too yummy for such a stodgy name. A bit reminiscent of a scone and not too sweet (they're sweetened only by dates, unless you use sweetened coconut), they're a wonderful breakfast treat or accompaniment to a cup of tea or coffee. We made a batch of them recently and I decided to share the recipe for St. Patrick's Day... not because there's anything about them that's particularly Irish, but because I wanted a baked goodie to pose with my grandmother's shamrock teacup and saucer from Galway Ireland, and these were perfect...

And the tea within? Why, green tea of course! 
(A gift from my friend Rose, whose husband is from Ireland, no less!) :-)

So anyway, I figured I'd give them a name appropriate for St. Patrick's Day. BW had taken to calling them "Pecan Logs," so I thought about "Leprechaun Logs," but that just made them sound like leprechaun poo. :-) And then I remembered shillelaghs ~ the stout, knotty sticks associated with Ireland, Irish folklore, and leprechauns... 
And I thought, "Begorrah!" :-) So here is the recipe for Pecan Leprechaun Shillelaghs...

Pecan Leprechaun Shillelaghs 
(aka "Whole Wheat Oat Sticks." Boooorrring!)
Closely based on a recipe from Cooking with Natural Foods II by Muriel Beltz


2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups oat flour or ground oats
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups dates, chopped
1 cup ground almonds
 cup coconut (I use unsweetened)
1 cup water
Finely chopped pecans (optional)


Preheat oven to 400ºF.

Combine first four ingredients in a bowl. 
In a blender or food processor, mix the ground almonds, coconut and water.
Add the wet mix to the dry ingredients, stirring into a stiff dough. Add more water if necessary. 
Knead only enough to form a dough ball. 
Pinch off small handfuls of dough and shape into "breadsticks" approximately 4" long, 1" wide and ½" thick. 
Roll in finely chopped pecans and place on a non-stick cookie sheet.
Bake at 400º until brown on top and bottom, about 25-30 minutes, making sure the edges don't burn. 
Cool and store in a covered container.
Makes approximately 3 dozen "shillelaghs."

Sláinte chugat ~ "good health to you" ~ and enjoy a festive St. Patrick's Day! May you have a much better time (and hair day) than Medusa...


  1. They look a bit like owl pellets too...just about to copy the recipe....
    Jane x

    1. Mmm, yummy! LOL I can't vouch for their resemblance to owl doots, but now that you mention it, wild turkeys might have made these, too! ;-)

      The recipe in the cookbook was confusing and poorly written, especially regarding the baking time. Actually, it GAVE no time. Just "until brown." Given that they start out brown, that was a bit tricky! We checked them every 5-10 minutes, and 30 seemed to do the trick in our oven, but your mileage may vary. It also said you might have to turn them over, but we knew that little pecan pieces (which were my neighbor's addition to the recipe) would go everywhere, so we didn't turn them - and didn't need to. We just gently turned one over slightly to see if the bottom looked done when the tops did. Anyway, hope you enjoy them!

  2. That teacup and saucer is so sweet! I love all of the little three leaf clovers. Have a great St. Patrick's Day, and try not to get pinched! :)

    1. I'm glad you warned me - BW was going to pinch me till I pointed out some little green evergreen trees on my t-shirt! Pinching narrowly averted. :-)

  3. I love the name you gave these! ha! Too cute. :)

    I would definitely put pecans in these, especially since they'd be paired with dates. What a great combo that is! I'm going to have to try to make these sometime in the near future. Pinning this for future reference!

    Happy St. Patty's Day to you, BW and the critters!

    1. Thanks, Molly!

      I can't imagine not rolling them in the little pecan pieces, it adds a wonderful flavor and texture. Pecans are one of my favorite nuts (along with almonds, pistachios, and BW. Ha!) :-)

      I should have counted how many we got out of a full batch, but I didn't. It was a lot though - maybe 30? I'm betting they'll freeze well, or you can make a 1/2 batch if you don't want that many. Let me know how you like them!

      Happy St. Patty's Day to you and your gang, too! :-)

    2. I still need to make another batch and count them, but the more I think about it, the more I think the full recipe makes about 4 dozen sticks.

  4. Your treats look so good. Your lilac header is gorgeous -- I can smell their sweet aroma all the way to KY -- barbara

    1. They are indeed tasty! Wish I could moosh some through the Interwebs to you. :-)

      Thanks for noticing my new look for Spring! I'm enjoying seeing my lilacs photo every time I open my blog (especially since it's cold, snowing and blowing here again today, and lilacs are but a dream), and I'm glad to hear that their lovely fragrance is reaching all the way to you! :-)

  5. These do look particularly tasty. It's too late now, hope I remember this recipe for next St. Patricks Day.

    1. No need to wait for St. Patrick's Day, Shen - make and enjoy these any time. As I said, I just wanted them as a prop for my shamrock cup and saucer! :-)

    2. You mean you wanted them as a prop for your 'pot of gold';-) Okay, I'm not as good at re-naming things.

  6. The ingredients sound healthy and delicious. How many of the "sticks" can you make with one recipe? It sounds like a lot!

    1. These are delicious and the ingredients are indeed healthy, but with the almonds, coconut and pecans, they are high in fat - something it can be too easy to forget when nibbling away on these tempting little goodies throughout the day! :-)))

      One of my complaints about the original recipe (my neighbor loaned me the cookbook) is that it lists no baking time, no nutritional info, and incomplete # of servings info. It says you get 24 servings from a full batch and 12 from a half batch, but doesn't say how many sticks constitute a serving! As I said in my reply to Molly, I should have counted them, but thinking back and also figuring there are most likely 2 sticks per serving, I'd figure on getting about 4 dozen sticks (and I've now added that to the end of the recipe). I actually started out making a half batch, which is what my neighbor does, but got distracted at one point and added the full tsp of salt and had mixed it in before I realized what I'd done, so I ended up making the full batch (good thing I had enough ingredients!) Next time I plan to freeze half, unless I'm making them for a potluck or an occupying army or something! :-)

  7. Yummo. I will have to try those - and you are so right about the mind-numbingly boring name they started with.
    Poor Medusa. A girl's hair is important. And St Patrick was probably celibate anyway. Or should have been.

    1. I think you'll enjoy them! And yeah, I don't come up with many original recipes, but when I do I think the funnest part (besides eating the successes) is coming up with a fun name for them! Maybe if I were putting together an entire cookbook, I'd think differently and just name them after the first two ingredients and general shape too, dunno. :-) I don't know if we'll keep calling them shillelaghs now or revert back to BW's "pecan logs," or maybe try out Jane's "owl pellets" for a while. LOL

      Good point, what was St. Patrick doing on a date in the first place? Oh well, after what he did to Medusa's hair, he was going to be celibate anyway, on that night at least! :-)

  8. What a fun post! Do you have copyright permission to post the cartoon, though? You can be sued. Be careful.
    Cheers from Cottage Country!

    1. Thank you, I'm glad you enjoyed it!
      And thanks for your concern about the cartoon. I've asked Dan Piraro (the Bizarro cartoonist) for permission to post his cartoons before, and all he asks is that they link back to his blog. He's very gracious, and very funny! I love his stuff.

  9. That's a lovely tea cup!

    1. Thanks! My grandmother was abandoned as a sickly infant at a daycare home in Minneapolis in 1909, and was adopted by local family. She never knew her ethnic background nor cared about her birth parents, saying her only family was the one who loved and raised her. But she always thought she was Irish since she was left with an Irish name (which may or may not have been real), loved potatoes, and believed in leprechauns. :-) So she loved all things Irish, especially shamrocks.

  10. The Pecan Leprechaun Shillelaghs sound really good. I can't keep track of all the things I'd love to make when I'm visiting so I better make these myself. They sound really good. The name change is a vast improvement.

    The teacup is very pretty - a perfect way to serve green tea - you think of everything!

    1. I'm happy to have you make these if you get a chance before you come visit! But this is also a great candidate for making ahead and freezing, and then enjoying when you get here. Can't be spending the whole time in the kitchen, after all!

      I only kept three of my grandmother's teacups and saucers (being more of a mug girl), but I'm glad I did and have started using them from time to time. I think this one is very pretty, but my favorite is a white one with handpainted green polkadots all over it. The whole thing appears to be "homemade" as it's not nearly as finely made as most, and has no maker markings anywhere on it. I'd love to know its origins! But its background is a mystery, just like my grandmother's. :-)


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  • THE HUMANE GARDENER ~ Nancy Lawson
  • THE WORLD WITHOUT US ~ Alan Weisman

There is still strong in our society the belief
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There are many of us, on the other hand,
who believe that animals and the natural world
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That Nature is a community to which we belong
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