Irish folklore has it that at the end of a rainbow sits a huge cauldron overflowing with gold coins. If you can find the end of the rainbow, the treasure is all yours! We’ve taken this wonderful tale and turned it into a St. Patrick's Day party that you can host in your backyard or in the classroom, and put a nutritious twist on it that the kids will eat up—and that’s no blarney!
The party begins with a treasure hunt where the kids find the colors of the rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet (to keep things simple, we’ve omitted indigo). Take sheets of construction paper in the rainbow colors and cut a 3x12 inch strip of each. These strips will be hidden throughout the schoolyard or garden. Each sheet will have a word written on it; once the kids have found all the colors of the rainbow the words will form a sentence that will reveal the location of the pot of gold.
For instance: Red: The / Orange: gold / Yellow: is/ Green: in / Blue: the/ Violet: kitchen
Once the kids put the strips of paper in the order of the rainbow they will see that “The gold is in the kitchen,” or wherever you choose to hide the “gold.”
An Edible Rainbow
Getting children to eat nutritiously at parties can a huge challenge. Often that’s because a bowl of ubiquitous carrot sticks pales in comparison to a tower of colorful cupcakes. But this edible rainbow is irresistible! Here’s how to make it:
You Will Need:
- One sheet of white parchment paper, 12x 24 inches
- 2 pints strawberries (you will use about 1 ½ pints)
- 2 bananas
- 2-3 cups green grapes
- 1 ½ cups blueberries
- 1 1/14 cups blackberries
- 4 cups of edamame (soybeans in the shell)
- 1 small black bowl or a plastic mini-cauldron (available at some party supply stores in the seasonal holiday section.)
- Slice the tops of the strawberries off so that they can lay flat on the parchment paper. (You will be arranging the strawberries so the tip of the fruit faces up.) Cut the orange into half slices or quarter slices and the bananas into one-inch rounds.
- Set out the sheet of parchment where you plan on serving snack. This will be the “canvas” for your edible landscape. Place the bowl or cauldron in the bottom left corner of the paper—this will the pot of gold.
- Starting with the strawberries, arrange a row of the berries from the top right corner of the parchment sheet down to the pot of gold. Build your rainbow underneath the strawberries by placing arched rows of orange slices, bananas, green grapes, blueberries and blackberries.
- Complete the landscape by placing the edamame vertically along the bottom of the parchment to resemble blades of grass.
The gold coins are actually lemon tea cookies dipped in a white chocolate coating that has been tinted with yellow food dye. Take note, liquid food coloring will cause the white chocolate to seize, which will ruin the coating. Be sure to use powdered food coloring that can be found in cake decorating stores and online. If you can’t find the dye or are short on time, you can always just use the uncoated cookies as the coins.
- 7 ½ ounces (15 tablespoons) butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup sugar
- zest of one lemon
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 1/2 cups flour, plus extra flour for dusting your work surface.
- 8 ounces white chocolate candy coating (available at cake decorating stores)
- ¼ teaspoon powdered yellow food coloring
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a mixer bowl fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar, lemon zest and juice just until creamy in texture. You don’t want to over mix the dough or the cookies will spread in the oven.
- Beat in the egg until well combined. Add the flour and mix on low speed, until the dough is well mixed.
- Shape the dough into a disk, cover with plastic wrap, and chill for at least one hour.
- Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and use a rolling pin to roll out dough. Use a two or three inch round cookie cutter to make the coin shape.
- Place on baking sheet and return to chill for 20 minutes.
- Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, depending on the size of the cookies. Check your cookies half way through the baking time, and rotate your pans (from top to bottom and from back to front). Let cool on a cooling rack.
- While the cookies are baking, set up a bain marie on the stovetop (take a medium saucepan, add about two inches of water, and snuggly place a large glass bowl over it. The water should not touch the bottom of the bowl, and should reach a gentle simmer. If you find it is too hot to touch the rim of the bowl, lower the heat.) Add the white chocolate candy coating and allow to melt, stirring occasionally. Once melted, remove from heat and stir in the powdered food coloring.
- Take a cooled cookie and dip into the chocolate so that it completely cover the cookie. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper until the white chocolate has cooled.
And if you’re thinking green for a drink, here is a recipe for a quick and easy St. Patty’s Punch.
- ½ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ½ to ¾ cup sugar
- 1 quart club soda (chilled)
- green food coloring (optional)
- sliced lime rounds to garnish
In a large bowl stir together the lime juice, lemon juice and sugar until the sugar has dissolved. Slowly add the club soda and stir until well mixed. The punch will be a pale green; you can stir in a couple drops of green food coloring if you want a more dramatic color. Pour into a punch bowl and add the lime rounds to the punch.