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Cookie Lei

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.
  • Total Time
    Prep: 35 min. + drying
  • Makes
    21 cookies (1 lei.)


  • 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.

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