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Blarney stones bring sweet anticipation for March

Staff writer

Many months have treats associated with them, and in March, Marion County residents look forward to blarney stones.

Melanie Druse made her 1,000th of the year last week, but is already almost done with yearly baking, which ends on St. Patrick’s Day.

“They’re not easy,” the Carlson’s Grocery employee said. “The last ones we make are on March 17 and that’s it. Seventeen days of it is plenty.”

Having a seasonal treat is enjoyable because of the anticipation, she said.

Customers start asking for blarney stones the last week in February and stock up while they can, said Druse, who has been making blarney stones for a decade.

“They’ll buy six or eight six-packs and freeze them so they have them throughout the year,” she said. “I’ll buy three packages of six and send them to my daughter in Oklahoma.

“She has people in Ardmore, Oklahoma, hooked on them now.”

“There are other places that I’m sure have done blarney stones, but there are people who come here and have never heard of it,” she said. “I don’t know who originated it.”

The treat hails from Ireland but is heavily popular throughout central Kansas.

It features a piece of cake individually coated in frosting or icing and rolled in crushed peanuts.

Druse said she made 2,400 last year, a typical number for the short season. Making so many in a short span means she needs enough peanuts, which is usually 25 boxes.

That’s a lot of peanuts for a little store to order,” she said. “It’s something I have to do because the whole town knows they’re there.” When we have new people come into town, they’ll be like, ‘What is all this blarney stone thing about?’ Just try one.”

Whether using pound cake or a white cake, frosting or glaze, the constant is that it’s rolled in peanuts.

There’s some creative freedom for personal preference, though, when making blarney stones at home, Druse said.

“There are some people who just don’t like it,” she said. “My coworker doesn’t like peanuts, but we covered one with coconut for her the other day. She loved it.”

Last modified March 11, 2020

 

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