Valentine's Day Chocolate Lovebugs Recipe
Chocolate Lovebugs
  • Mini paper liners
  • ⅔ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tbsp unsweetened dark cocoa (not Dutch-processed)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
Royal Icing
  • 3 large egg whites
  • ½ tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 lb confectioners’ sugar
  • Red gel paste food coloring
  • Red, pink and white medium nonpareils
  • Red, pink and white sugar hearts
  • Sanding sugar, for decorating
Chocolate Lovebugs
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a food processor, finely grind the almonds with ¼ cup flour, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and whisk in the sugar, cornstarch, salt and remaining 2 cups flour.
  2. In a second bowl, beat together the egg whites, oil and vanilla. Mix the egg white mixture into the almond-flour mixture (the dough will not hold together yet). Turn the dough onto a clean work surface and knead 3 to 4 times to bring it together; shape into two 1-in.-thick disks.
  3. Roll each disk between 2 sheets of wax paper to ⅛ in. thick. Using different-sized heart cutters, cut out cookies. With a metal spatula, transfer the cookies to the prepared baking sheets, spacing them 1 in. apart. Reroll and cut the scraps.
  4. Bake, rotating the position of the pans halfway through, until the cookies are set, 12 to 14 minutes. Let cool on the pans for 10 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely. Decorate as desired.
Royal Icing
  1. Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar on medium-high speed until foamy, about 1 minute.
  2. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the sugar, beating until just incorporated. Increase the speed to high and beat until medium-stiff glossy peaks form, 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. Separate into bowls and tint different colors. Transfer ⅓ of each color to separate pastry bags fitted with fine tips. Use a few drops of water to thin the icing remaining in the bowls for flooding; place in separate resealable bags; snip of the corners.
  4. Using the thicker icing, outline lovebug wings on the cupcakes and outline the heart cookies, then flood using the thinner icing. Decorate while the icing is still wet. For multiple colors, let each icing dry before applying another.
Recipe by Shibley Smiles at