An easy, wholesomely sweet snack that’s fun to make with kids.
About 8 years ago, I made an extra-special cake for a friend who shares an all-time-favorite comedian with me: The inimitable Eddie Izzard. Anyone who’s already a fan will recognize the statement “I’m COVERED IN BEES,” but for the uninitiated, I share this here. You’re welcome.
Anyway, the cake was a jelly-roll, styled as Yule Log despite the summer heat, decorated with flowers and (surely you guessed it) COVERED IN BEES. At the time, I used pre-packaged marzipan to roll the little bee-body shapes, and fashioned them just like you see in this recipe’s version, with the sliced almonds as wings.
I was reminded of that cake a few weeks ago, when I finally got to see Eddie live after being an avid fangirl all these years. In homage, I thought I’d recreate the bees all on their own in a homemade whole food version, thinking they’d be a sweet little bite for kids, and a perfect treat for us paleo/whole food types, with no refined sugar, grains, or dairy.
Bonus: they were indeed fun to make with a young helper, too – though be warned, after consuming a mere handful, my assistant was literally doing laps around the house, and at one point even hopped on the elliptical in the living room to burn off her energy. True story. I have witnesses. I can’t promise everyone will get that much of a buzz (see what I did there?) from them, but I will totally vouch for their tastiness.
- 1⅛ cup honey
- 4 cups almond flour
- 2 egg whites
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- ¼ cup dark chocolate
- ¼ cup sliced almonds
- Fill a large mixing bowl with ice water.
- Attach a candy thermometer to a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add honey. Heat over medium- heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally (I prefer using a silicone spoon) until temperature reaches 240.
- Remove from heat (but leave the element on the stove on, and turn up to medium-low if you had it on low) and place pot in the prepared cold water bath. Stir honey until very creamy and thick (about 5 minutes).
- Place back on the burner, turn up heat to medium and add the egg whites, almond flour, almond extract, and turmeric. Stir constantly for another 3-4 minutes.
- Pour mixture into the bowl of a Kitchen Aid or other standing mixer. Turn mixer to lowest setting with paddle attachment and allow to mix until cooled to room temperature (about half an hour).
- Once cooled, place in tupperware or other container and chill in refrigerator for about an hour.
- When you're ready to roll your bees, melt the chocolate in a small saucepan (I use medium heat for just a few minutes, then once the chocolate starts to melt, remove from heat and beat with a silicone whisk until smooth). Set aside and let cool a bit, as it's going to be piped from a ziploc in a few.
- Lay out some wax or parchment paper. Working quickly (so the mixture doesn't get too warm and thus sticky) roll about a heaping tablespoon of the marzipan into adorably oblong bumblebee shapes.
- Once they're all laid out, pour the chocolate into a ziploc baggie and cut a TINY hole in one corner, for piping. Drizzle stripes onto the bees - 2 or 3 stripes, your choice.
- Finish by placing two sliced almond wings into each.
— posted by Anne