Capture the spirit of Hawaiian hospitality with this sweet make-ahead lei that even kids can help assemble. Start with packaged butter cookies, frost them to create brilliant blooms, then thread them on shoestring licorice to resemble a traditional floral necklace.
- 1-2/3 cups confectioners' sugar
- 4-1/2 to 6 teaspoons water
- 3/4 teaspoon light corn syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Purple and deep pink gel or paste food coloring
- 21 butter cookies with cutout centers
- Yellow colored sugar
- 1 piece shoestring licorice (30 inches)
- In a bowl, beat the confectioners' sugar, water, corn syrup and vanilla until smooth. Evenly divide frosting among three bowls. Tint one purple and one pink; leave the remaining frosting white. Frost cookie tops. Immediately dip the white frosted cookies in colored sugar. Let stand, uncovered, until dry, about 6 hours.
- String cookies onto licorice piece, forming a lei. Store in an airtight container. Yield: 21 cookies (1 lei.).
Originally published as Cookie Lei in Quick Cooking March/April 2002, p49
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