Do It Yourself Gifts Valentine's Day Cookie Bouquet
I've searched and searched for the perfect cookie recipe to make the ideal cookie bouquet--and I finally found it! You don't have to look any further...I've tried them all. Although there are many great recipes out there, I think that this one by Michelle Bommarito takes the prize.
SUGAR COOKIES RECIPE
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
2 sticks of butter, unsalted, softened
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
dash of almond extract
TOOLS THAT YOU'LL NEED
Fork or Whisk
Measuring Cup and Teaspoon
Cookie Sticks (in the craft aisle)
Sift together the flour and baking powder. In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in the egg, salt and both extracts.
Slowly add flour mixture (1 cup at a time) and stir until mixed.
Form the dough into a disc and wrap it in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Roll the dough onto a lightly floured surface to approximately 5/8" thick. Cut the cookies into shapes and place the cut cookie shape on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Place a stick into each cookie.
Bake the Cookies for approximately 8-10 minutes or until the edges begin to turn golden brown in color. Remove cookies from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for at least 5 minutes. This recipe makes about 2.5 dozen cookies, depending on how thick you make them.
Now, for the frosting. You can choose to do two things--stroll down your local grocery store's baking aisle and buy the frosting already made, or you can whip up this easy and delicious icing recipe:
SUGAR COOKIE ICING RECIPE:
4 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup shortening
5 TBSP. milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
food coloring (optional)
In a large bowl, cream together the confectioners' sugar and shortening until smooth. Gradually mix in the milk and vanilla with an electric mixer until smooth and stiff (about 5 minutes). Color with food coloring if desired.
Use your imagination and decorate the cookies in any way that you please. For Valentine's Day, you could use white, pink, and red frosting and put sprinkles, candy or cinnamon hearts on top. For a cute touch, spell something out by writing one letter on each cookie.
Now that you're finished with your beautiful works of art, let's talk about how to make them into a cookie bouquet!
There are endless ways to display cookies on a stick, so think about what type of container the person will be able to use afterwards. Some of my favorites are a basket, a vase, a clay pot, a candy dish, or a coffee mug.
Have a custom mug made with a picture of the two of you on it, or of your children, and fill it with your cookies to make a creative cookie bouquet. For this project, I put floral styrofoam--the kind that is used for arrangements (found in the floral aisle at craft stores) inside the mug and stuck the sticks into it. I covered the styrofoam with shredded valentine's day colored paper. This would also look good with spanish moss or easter basket grass over it--don't spend a lot of money on this detail--use something that you have around the house.
Again, I used the same floral styro- foam to put the sticks in this clay pot. I glued candy hearts on the pot, but there are so many other ways you can decorate it. You could paint it, have your child put their handprints on it, glue items to it--the possibilities are endless. One of my favorite ideas is to decoupage pictures onto the pot. Include a small pack of potting soil and some seeds with your cookie bouquet, and after the cookies are gone, they can grow a plant in your unique pot!
This project is a simple way to give a little something to a lot of people. Place a couple of your cookies on a stick into a cellophane bag and tie it with a ribbon. You may want to put a piece of heavyweight paper (like poster board) behind the cookies in the bag to give it stability.
Useful Tips: Here are some suggestions that I have after completing this project.
Make sure that you bake the cookies on the middle rack in your oven. I found that the parchment paper browns the bottom of the cookies really fast...take them out as soon as you see the first signs of brown on the edges or they will burn.
When you roll the dough out, do it in small sections. If you try to roll the whole thing out at once, it is really difficult.
If you don't have cookie cutters, you can use a stencil made of paper or cardboard. Lay the stencil on the dough and trace around it with a toothpick. Remove the stencil and use a knife to cut it out.
Don't roll the dough to thin--you need a thick cookie to hold the stick. Also, they burn easily when they're thin.