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Love Bug Biscuits

As delightful to eat as to gaze upon, these crisp little cookies are simply charming! Heart-shaped cookie cutters lend a hand to create the lady-bug sugar cookies which are topped with red fondant to resemble wings and black icing to resemble spots. (If you are lucky enough to find pre-dyed red fondant, scoop it up.) Who wouldn’t want to receive these as a lovely gift for Valentine’s Day?! Love at first bite!!

Love Bug Biscuits

6 oz all-purpose flour (1 1/3 cup)
4 oz. chilled butter, cubed (1/2 cup)
3 oz. confectioner’s sugar (1/2 cup plus 3 tbs.)
1 egg yolk
1 lb. ready-to-roll fondant icing (available at craft stores or where cake-baking supplies are sold)
red food coloring
4 oz. confectioner’s sugar (1 cup)
black food coloring
edible pearly balls

Put the flour, butter, sugar, vanilla, and egg yolk in the food processor. Dribble in 1 tbs. of water and blitz until the mixture comes together to form a dough. Tip onto a floured work surface and knead briefly to bring together, then wrap in cling wrap and chill for 20 minutes.

Heat the oven to 350°F. Roll out the dough to the thickness of a quarter and use a 3-inch heart-shaped cutter to stamp out the heart shapes – you’ll have to re-roll the trimmings to get 17-20 biscuits. Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheets and bake for 11-12 minutes, until pale golden and crisp. Leave to cool on a wire rack.

Dye your lump of fondant with red food coloring. Roll out on a floured work surface to the thickness a little less than a quarter and, using a 2 1/2-inch heart-shaped cutter, cut out as many as you have cookies.

Mix the confectioner’s sugar with enough water to make a thick icing and dye with the black food coloring. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a small plain nozzle or a plastic bag with the corner snipped off. Put a dab of icing on each cookie and top with the fondant. Use the black icing to give your lady bug a head at the pointy end and draw a line down the center to give it wings. Add dots and two pearl balls for eyes. Leave to set on a wire rack.

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