It’s birthday time again for my Daddy and my brain is in overdrive. I’m not sure why beehives and honey popped into my head but I had to go with it.
My Mama is German and I found a great cookie recipe for Old German Honey Cookies (recipe below) that I thought would be great. I’m going to make these cookies into little beehives so I needed a cookie that wasn’t too flat and I could control the sizes.
I like doing a schematic to get an idea how these will (hopefully) come out.
I started by making my little chocolate bees. I put some black melting chocolates in a ziplock bag and microwaved for 1 minute, kneaded the bag and microwaved another 30 seconds. I kneaded the bag some more till there were no solid pieces. I cut a small tip off one of the corners and piped the body of the bees onto wax paper and let set. While I had my black chocolate melted I piped some chocolate onto my wax paper to make the doors for the hives. Just to add a little “bling” while my chocolate was still wet I sprinkled some black sugar on the doors and let those set.
Then, taking some yellow chocolate I melted that in the microwave the same way, cut a small tip off one corner, then piped on the yellow stripes and let set. When I was making these the weather was very cool and I think my house was a little too chilly. My chocolate wouldn’t come out of the bag as fluid as I needed to keep control. These were more messy than I would have like.
Melting some white chocolate the same way I piped on the wings and little dots for the eyes and lightly sprinkled with regular sugar to get a little texture. When those were dry I brushed off the excess sugar and set aside.
Not my best work with my chocolate problems but you get the drift. Most of the time working with chocolate is very easy but I’ve had moments (like this time) when it’s just too cool and the chocolate doesn’t flow as easy.
Now to work on my cookies. I made my cookie dough and added some yellow food color to get a beehive color once they were finished. I needed to get different size cookies so I started with my larger size cookies first so they would bake evenly. Then I worked on the other sizes and let them cool.
To put the cookies together I took some of my yellow chocolate I used earlier for the stripes and remelted it (start with microwaving for 30 seconds, knead, then another 30 seconds till it’s melted. Be sure to pinch the hole you cut earlier while you are kneading the bag). I stacked my cookies on top of each other to get the look of a hive first. Then I just added a dot of melted yellow chocolate to the middle of each layer and “glued” them together.
Taking some of my black chocolate, I remelted that and put a small dot on my cookie hive and added a bee. And I did the same with adding the door. I’m sure you could use any cookie recipe to make these but I wanted to keep with the “honey” theme and finding a German cookies just made these so perfect for what I wanted to do. Now, these are done. Just have to wrap them up!!
I got some cookie bags, yellow and black ribbon and some really cute bee buttons to use to wrap up my cookies for a great presentation and to keep the cookies fresh.
Now all wrapped up and ready to go into my box. I made some honey almonds too (recipe below) and put those in some bags with some of the other bee buttons!!
To keep with the Bee Theme, I made some of my Nutter Butter Bumble Bee Cookies to go in the box.
I have a candy mold of bee hives with little bees…shocker, I know! I made some little candy hives with this mold using black and white chocolate (for the bees) and yellow for the hive.
I wanted to put these little chocolate candies on something so I made a batch of Honey Fudge. It’s a fairly easy recipe but has a nice honey flavor (recipe below) and went with my theme. I poured my fudge into a 9 x 9 pan lined with wax paper and let cool.
I wanted to jazz this up with some almonds but I needed the fudge to be smooth to put my bee hive chocolates on top. So, I made some Honey Crystal Almonds (recipe below) but instead of using whole almonds I used both whole and chopped almonds. I took half my almonds and chopped them and left the other half whole. I made the honey almonds and pressed the chopped ones into the top my fudge. This is actually going to be the bottom after I flip it over. The whole almonds went into little bags and added to the gift box.
When the fudge was completely cooled I cut out my squares. I melted some black chocolate and streaked some stripes over my fudge and sprinkled with black sugar.
When the chocolate was set I brushed off the excess black sugar sprinkles, added another dot of black chocolate in the center and added my chocolate bee hives.
These were put in candy bags and wrapped to keep fresh. To seal the bags I took a picture of my bumble bee Nutter Butter cookie, put it in a PowerPoint slide. Then removed the background, added a dark glow and copied and pasted these to get a format to fit on address labels. These will fit 3M #3200-D or Avery 8162/5162. These were printed and cut and used to seal the bags. You can add “Made by…” to these but I wanted to leave these plain so my template could be used by anyone. Just something I thought would look better than a piece of tape!
Now my card. I always make my own cards. I printed this on greeting card stock (with the little groove down the middle for easy folding) and added some bee stickers to the front. To give it a little dimension, I printed the front of the card on another piece of heavy card stock and just cut out the beehive without the door. I took foam mounting tape and stuck the cut-out hive over the hive on the front of the card to give it a 3-D look. I just think it’s a lot of fun to do that and with my bee stickers it’ll make it less flat and boring.
And I made a card to stick on the front of my envelope…
It makes it a fun card with a few added touches!
Now I have my bee hive cookies, my Nutter Butter bumble bees and my little chocolate bee hives/honey fudge. I just about live at Michael’s. They have these great decorated boxes with a magnetic closed lid. There are a lot of different styles and sizes and almost always at 40% off. They’re sturdy and look nice. The one I got was a nice size (15″L x 9.5″ W x 4.5″ H). I’ve used these boxes a lot for stuff like this. My Mama loves to use them to save the cards I make for them. I didn’t find one with bees on it but the one I found had rich colors like my Daddy has in his office at their house. He can use it to put loose papers or stuff in there. But, I did find some great ribbons in the same color hues. One had bees and the other had a honeycomb pattern…nice!! I’ll tie those around the box when I get everything in there!
Everything all nicely wrapped and in the box. I made some larger copies of my Bumble Bee cookies and printed on card stock and stuck them on a yellow bag. I used black tissue paper to wrap up a bottle of Blackberry wine, a variety of flavored honeys and some other happies and place in the bag. Just takes a little effort but makes a nice impression to show people how much you care about them to go the extra mile!
Old German Honey Cookies
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 cup shortening
- 1 cup honey
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
In a saucepan over low heat, melt together sugar, shortening and honey. Let cool.
Mix together eggs, vanilla, baking soda and ginger. Gradually add to cooled honey mixture.
Slowly add 4 cups of flour to mixture. Stir until well blended. Drop by teaspoons onto cookie sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake at 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) until golden (about 12-15 minutes)
Microwave Honey Fudge
- 2 oz butter
- 4 tablespoons of honey
- 1 lb bag powdered sugar
- 7 oz condensed milk
Put all ingredients into a large bowl and microwave for 2 minutes.
Stir well to dissolve the sugar
Microwave another 6 minutes
Allow to cool for 2 – 3 minutes then beat well until it thickens and turns cloudy.
I poured this out onto parchment paper and shaped with my hands but you can turn
It into a pan lined with foil or an oiled tin.
Honey Crystal Almonds
2 cups whole natural almonds (I used 1/2 of this as chopped almonds for my fudge bottoms-the other half I left whole for extra treats)
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup turbinado sugar (Sugar in the Raw)
Spread almonds in a shallow pan. Place in cold over; turn oven to 350 degrees F and roast 12 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until well roasted. Over medium heat in medium saucepan, heat honey and butter to boiling. Reduce heat to medium low, simmer 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add Almonds; simmer and stir 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon transfer almonds to baking sheet lined with parchment paper or sprayed with non-stick cooking spray; spread in single layer and cool slightly. Toss almonds with sugar to coat using a large ziplock bag.