Saturday, January 20th, 2018

Woman’s Day: Butterfly Cookies & Lemon Cupcakes


Woman's Day May Cover

Mother’s day is around the corner, and what better way to show Mom your love than with an eye catching arrangement of cheery butterfly cookies and lemon cupcakes. In the May issue of Woman’s Day, on newsstands April 14, you can find the complete recipe for the stained glass butterfly cookies and grassy lemon cupcakes with bees and flowers. In addition to making a great gift, this springtime recipe makes for the perfect Mother’s Day family activity. Now that the temperature is rising, and the flowers are back in bloom this adorable dessert will bring the outdoors right into your kitchen!


Credit: Con Poulos


Stained glass butterfly cookies

Active: 1 hr 30 min – Total: 2 hr 30 min

Makes: About 6 dozen – Cost per cookie: 8₵

·         2 ¾ cups of all-purpose flour

·         ½ tsp baking powder

·         ¼ tsp kosher salt

·         1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

·         ¾ cup of granulated sugar

·         1 large egg

·         1 ½ tsp pure vanilla extract

·         16 hard candies, assorted colors (such as jolly ranchers, sour balls or Life Savers), each color finely crushed

·         Butterfly-shaped cookie cutters (assorted sizes)

·         Small aspic or other tiny shaped cutters (

·         Colored royal icing, for decorating


1.      Heat oven to 350 F. Line baking sheets with parchment. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.

2.      Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the egg, then the vanilla.

3.      Reduce mixer speed to low; gradually add the flour mixture, mixing until just incorporated. Shape the dough into 4 disks; roll each between 2 sheets of wax paper to ⅛ in. thick. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes (or freeze for 15).

4.      Using floured butterfly cookie cutters, cut out cookies and place them on the prepared sheets. Refrigerate until firm. Using smaller cutters, cut out the center for the body and parts of the wings. Reroll, chill and cut the scraps. If desired, insert part of a toothpick in the top corner of each cookie (this will allow you to hang them). You may need to make this hole larger to accommodate a ribbon or leave one piece of the stained glass unfilled with candy.

5.      Bake, rotating the positions of the pans halfway through, until the cookies are just set and beginning to turn light golden brown around the edges, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool on the sheets.

6.      Spoon crushed candy into the cutouts within each cookie until level with top of dough; brush off stray pieces. Bake until the candies have melted, 2 to 3 minutes. Let cool on the sheets.

7.      If desired, decorate the cookies with royal icing.


Grassy lemon cupcakes with bees and flowers

Active: 45 min – Total: 1 hr 15 min

Makes: 24 – Cost per cupcake: 34₵

·         2 ½ cups of all-purpose flour

·         2 tsp baking powder

·         ½ tsp kosher salt

·         1 ½ cups granulated sugar

·         1 Tbsp fresh lemon zest plus 2 Tbsp juice

·         1 tsp pure vanilla extract

·         1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

·         3 large eggs

·         1 cup whole milk

·         Green buttercream frosting (recipe below)

·         Icing flowers, for decorating

·         Fondant bees, for decorating

1.      Heat oven to 350 F. Line two 12-hole muffin pans with paper liners.

2.      In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Using an electric mixer, beat the sugar, lemon zest and juice, vanilla and ¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) of the butter in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs once at a time.

3.      Reduce the mixer to low and alternately add the flour mixture and the milk, mixing just until incorporated. Divide the batter among the muffin cups (about ¼ cup each) and bake until a wooden pick inserted in the center of each cupcake comes out clean, 22 to 28 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

4.      To decorate cupcakes, transfer the buttercream frosting (recipe, below) to a piping bag fitted with a grass piping tip and frost the tops. Arrange flowers and bees on top.


Buttercream frosting

Using an electric mixer, beat 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter (at room temperature) on medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add 1 lb confectioners’ sugar, alternating with 2 Tbsp heavy cream. Add 2 tsp pure vanilla extract. Increase the speed to high and beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Tint green with leaf green gel paste food coloring.


Fondant bees

Shape yellow fondant into small bee bodies. Roll out black fondant and cut thin strips. Brush 2 strips with corn syrup and carefully place on the bee body, pressing gently to help adhere. Gently press 2 pieces sliced almonds into the body for wings. Use flower stamens ( for antennae and royal icing for the face.

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