Sue Lau | Palatable Pastime
For this month’s #FilltheCookieJar I wanted to do something very Springlike, along with getting a chance to use one of my flower cookie cutters, so after seeing someone somewhere craft a bee out of a jelly bean, thought it would be perfect with Easter coming up.
Shopping for ingredients I thought maybe jelly beans would be a bit small. I did come across a bag of jumbo black jelly beans. I thought at that point I might do that and flavor the cookies the way I would anisette cookies, at least until I saw the container of dark chocolate covered almonds. With that I wanted to do almond extract with a hint of honey. It seemed especially appropriate since the wings were going to be almonds as well.
At that point I needed something for eyes. I was going to try to find something like silver dragees, but when I saw the little multi-colored round candies, thought they would be very whimsical, especially the red ones.
Putting the eyes and wings on is slightly slow. I figured out quickly that applying a dot of icing and pressing the bee body onto the candies was more effective than trying to pick up the eyes. The wings were fairly easy, although my packet had quite a few broken ones. Must be my week for it- I’d bought a box of taco shell boats for another recipe I was working on this week, with dinner all but ready to find all but one had crumbled.
The icing on these does require the drying time so things stay put. The Wilton icings are not as good for the wings and eyes since it is thin abd the wings and eyes try the slide before drying. But I had a tube of the black icing and that worked great as a cement of sorts. The color is not a problem at all since it blends in with the bee body.
Of course should you not have the time to mess with the bees, the shortbread itself is a cinch. You can do cutouts, roll it out and cut into squares or press into a prepared shortbread pan. Those would be baked at the same temp until they are just lightly browning at the edges, in case yours are a different thickness in the pan.
If you can’t find suitable almonds, I’d thought something like shaped tootsie roll bits, fudge or fondant would do nicely as well. Especially if you have to improvise on ingredients.
But the idea is to have fun with these as a family project with kids (mine sort of look like a kid did them—rofl!) I just wouldn’ plan on very small children helping with it unless they wanted to do the cookie cutters, or maybe if you use tootsie rolls they can handle that. But bigger kids should quite enjoy this project.
I hope everyone has as much fun as I did! No kids around to help with it, except the adult ones behind this blog. Until next time-
Prep time includes drying time
- 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 cup butter, cut into small cubes
- 4 dozen chocolate covered almonds
- 1 (2.2 ounce) package Betty Crocker Candy Shop Decors Rainbow Chips (eyes)
- 1 small package sliced almonds
- 1 bottle Wilton pink cookie icing
- 1 bottle Wilton yellow cookie icing
- 1 (4.25 ounce) tube Betty Crocker black decorating icing
- Prepare the bees first. Warm yellow cookie icing and drizzle across the backs of the almonds to make stripes (I put them close together and do all at once). Allow to dry undisturbed for 45 minutes.
- Using a toothpick to apply the black frosting as a glue of sorts, attach almond slices and eyes to the striped almonds (when icing is dry). I did the eyes first, then the wings, and let them sit overnight.
- Prepare the cookies: preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Pulse the flour, sugar and salt a couple times in a food processor, then add the butter cubes, almond extract and honey and pulse again until it forms a smooth dough.
- Roll dough out dough 3/8″ thick between sheets of parchment paper on a cookie sheet, then chill dough for thirty minutes while the oven heats.
- Cut out dough into small flower shapes with a flower cutter, removing the excess dough.
- Bake cookies for 12-14 minutes or until edges just begin to brown.
- Remove from oven, slide parchment onto a wire rack and allow cookies to cool completely.
- While the first cookies are in the oven, roll out remaining dough between parchment and chill again, repeating cutting and baking until all the cookies are baked.
- When cookies are completely cool, decorate the flower shapes with the pink icing and allow to set for 45 minutes.
- When pink icing is set, draw circles of icing with the yellow and allow to set another 45 minutes.
- Apply a small amount of black icing to the underside of the bees and press gently onto cookies and allow to set, until completely dry.
- Store cookies in a single layer in containers so you don’t break off the wings.
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