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June Bug Cookies

June Bug CookiesThese fun, spring-themed yummy cookies are as cute as a June bug...well, much cuter actually!

Recipe Ingredients:

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla

To Decorate:
Red food coloring
small tube black frosting
licorice strings
mini chocolate chips,

Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese or light cream cheese (do not use fat-free)
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar

Cooking Directions:

  1. For Cookies: Heat oven to 350ºF (175ºC). In a medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. In large bowl, beat butter with both sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until well blended.
  2. For each cookie, scoop up heaping tablespoon of dough; roll into 1-1/2 inch ball. Place on ungreased cookie sheets 3 inches apart. DO NOT flatten dough.
  3. Bake 13 to 15 minutes or until set. Cool 2 minutes on cookie sheets; carefully transfer to wire cooling racks; cool completely.
  4. For Cream Cheese Frosting: Cut cream cheese and butter into chunks and place in bowl of food processor fitted with the steel blade. Add vanilla and powdered sugar. Use on/off pulses to process ingredients until well blended. (Can also be made with a mixer.)
  5. To Decorate: Prepare the cream cheese frosting. Transfer 1/4 of the frosting to a small bowl to use for the June Bug "face". Add enough red food coloring to the remaining frosting to create a bright color. Decoratively frost cookies to resemble a ladybug, using the white (round face), red (wings/body) and black (dividing lines) frostings. Use mini chocolate chips to create the ladybug "dots" on the wings and mini M&Ms for "eyes". Cut, bend and place licorice strings in face frosting to form antennas.
  6. Store cookies loosely covered at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Makes about 3 1/3 to 4 dozen.

Recipe and photograph provided courtesy of Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, Inc.