Our Cocoa Bee Cookies are made of both cocoa and spice cookie doughs, striped with yellow icing, and given a bit of sparkle with sanding sugar.
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.