I usually make sugar cookies from scratch, but you can use the pre-made dough if you prefer. Here's the recipe I used to make the dough:
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp orange oil (or lemon oil)
3 cups flour
Cream the butter, add sugar. Mix in eggs, vanilla, and citrus oils, then add food color. In a separate bowl combine all dry ingredients, then add to mixture. Mix until it makes a cohesive dough, then cover and chill dough for several hours or overnight.
If you're using the pre-made dough, you'll need to let it soften a bit and then add the food color. Knead it in until you have the desired color, then chill again until you're ready to roll out the cookies.
Once dough has chilled, lightly flour your surface and then roll out your dough to about 1/8" thickness. You don't need any special cookie cutters to make the ladybugs; here are the tools I used:knife
Cut out a bunch of circles with the juice glass. For half of the circles, you'll want to use the knife to cut them in half (see photo). And for each of the full circles you cut, you'll need to cut out a tiny half circle with the measuring spoon (I used the teaspoon...see photo lower left).
Place the cookie pieces on your baking sheet, making sure to leave space between them. The two half circles will be the wings, and the tiny half circle you cut out with the measuring spoon will be the ladybug's head. Place the tiny half circle so it overlaps the full circle a tiny bit, then gently pat the two pieces together so they look like the picture below right. Repeat for all the ladybugs.
Bake at 375° for 5 to 8 minutes, until they are just brown at the edges (see above). Let them cool on racks. Now you need to make the frosting! I used chocolate rather than using a black food coloring in regular frosting because hey, I love chocolate, but I also love the pink-and-brown theme. You can buy frosting, but if you want to make your own, cream 2 tablespoons of butter and add a cup of confectioners' sugar and 2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa. Beat until smooth, then add 2 tablespooons milk and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. Now you're ready to frost!
Each ladybug cookie needs to be frosted over the whole "body" and "head" (see below left). Then take two of the half circle "wings" and set them down on the frosting at an angle, with the tops touching just below the head (see below right).
Pipe or dab frosting dots on each wing, then add sprinkles or tiny candies for eyes. That's it!
The next time I do these, I'm going to add more red food color. These turned out a pretty peachy color, but to really get a deep pink, you need to start with a lot of food color in the dough.
I had fun making these (and my kids had fun eating them)! I think this would be a cute snack for a kids birthday party, or for a ladybug bridal shower or baby shower. Please let me know if you make these cookies! Share any comments below.
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Chocolate Pumpkin Cookies
Spring Flowers Cupcakes