Cocoa Bee Cookies
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3/4 cup packed dark-brown sugar
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup dark unsulfured molasses
- Sanding sugar, for sprinkling
- Yellow Royal Icing
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and brown sugar until pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Beat in egg and molasses. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture; beat until just combined. Shape into a disk, and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate until cold but not hard, about 30 minutes.
Divide dough into quarters. Roll out each portion between 2 sheets of lightly floured parchment to 1/4 inch thick. Chill in freezer until firm, about 30 minutes. Using a 3-inch bee cutter, cut out shapes. Gather together scraps; reroll, and cut out. Space 1 inch apart on baking sheets lined with parchment.
Bake cookies until firm, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool.
Brush water on wings of bees, and immediately sprinkle with sanding sugar, shaking off excess. Decorate bodies with royal icing, and immediately sprinkle icing with sanding sugar, shaking off excess. Let cookies set, at least 2 hours.