They’re small, they’re sweet, and they come in hundreds of different flavors. It turns out jelly beans can also liven up everything from cookies to cocktails—especially if you’ve got a major sweet tooth. In honor of National Jelly Bean Day, here are a few nifty jelly bean recipes.
1. SUGAR COOKIES WITH JELLY BEANS
You can make the cookies and place jelly beans on top, or work them into the dough and bake them to an even chewier consistency (don’t worry, they’ll keep their shape). For a slightly more sophisticated take, try Dinner Impossible host Robert Irvine’s oatmeal and jellybean cookies.
2. JELLY BEAN POP-TARTS
Don’t let the name fool you: This recipe, courtesy of Serious Eats, requires some grownup skills in the kitchen, including rolling out your own pastry dough and whipping up homemade frosting made with heavy cream. But, even with the extra work, you may never go back to the packaged variety.
3. JELLY BEAN COCKTAIL
For those partial to sweet drinks, this one’s for you. A recipe from The Kitchn combines flavored vodka, Maraschino liqueur, and grenadine, with a jelly bean plopped in the bottom of the glass as a garnish. Another, from author and DIY guru Erica Domesek, involves infusing vodka with jelly beans, then combining with club soda and simple syrup.
4. JELLY BEAN BARK
If you enjoy peppermint bark around the winter holidays, there’s a good chance you’ll like this springtime bark made with jelly beans and white candy coating. Just break up a pound of candy coating inside a pan, then melt it in the oven and add jelly beans. Once the concoction has cooled, smash it up into tasty morsels.
5. JELLY BEAN ICE CREAM
You could try sticking jelly beans into a scoop of your favorite ice cream. But flavor-wise, that doesn’t compare with making your own blend from scratch. If you’ve got an ice cream maker, it should be no sweat to stir in jelly beans with a vanilla or strawberry mix. Or, you could follow food blogger Kavey Eats’s suggestion for a no-machine, no-churn jelly bean ice cream.
6. JELLY BEAN DONUTS
Call it a different take on the jelly donut. Food blogger Melanie Bauer offers an easy recipe for jelly bean-infused glazed donuts. You’ll need a donut pan, which at $10 is a worthy investment. You’ll also want to eat the donuts shortly after making them, which shouldn’t be a problem.
7. JELLY BEAN CAKE
This can be as easy as stirring jelly beans into your favorite cake batter and baking it up. If you’re feeling really adventurous, you could try making Cosmopolitan UK’s "Exploding Jelly Bean Cake," which is really just an elaborate excuse to eat a pound of jelly beans.
All images via iStock.