Valentine's Day Cookie Bouquet

How to make a Valentine's cookie bouquet your sweetie is sure to love.

Looking for a sweet treat other than candy or chocolate for your beloved on Valentine's Day? Consider a cookie bouquet. A cookie bouquet is an attractive presentation of cookies, designed to look like a bouquet of flowers.

Make your cookie bouquet

You will start by making dough for your favorite type of cookies that can be cut with cookie cutters. Sugar cookies can work if you have a sturdy dough; gingerbread cookies are ideal since they are a little more resilient and are less likely to crumble.

What you will need:

- Cookie and icing ingredients

- Long lollipop sticks

- At least one heart shaped cookie cutter

Mix a batch of cookie dough. Try this gingerbread cookie recipe if you don't have your own favorite in mind.

Gingerbread cookies

350 degrees

Ingredients

4 1/2 cups flour

1 TBSP ground cinnamon

2 TSP ground ginger

1/2 TSP ground cloves

1 1/4 TSP baking soda

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

2 large eggs

3/4 cup molasses

Directions

-Mix the flour, baking soda and spices together and set aside.

-In a large bowl, cream softened butter with the brown sugar.

-Once they are thoroughly blended, add the eggs, continuing to blend.

-Add the molasses and mix thoroughly.

-Add the dry mixture, about a cup at a time, stirring completely with each addition.

-The final dough should be stiff. You may want to do the final mixing with your (clean) hands.

-Use a rolling pin to roll the dough to about 1/4 inch in thickness.

- Use a cookie cutter to cut heart shapes out of the dough and place each onto a baking sheet

- Place a lollipop stick into each cookie, embedded into the cookie at least one inch

- Bake for 10 minutes, until they are a light, golden brown.

- Carefully lift the completed cookies off of the baking tray and onto a cooling rack. Do not decorate until they are completely cool.

Decorate the cookies

Make a thick glaze out of powdered sugar (about 3 cups), lemon juice (about 2 TBSP) and water. Add water until it is the consistency of school glue. Use a pastry or basting brush to brush it onto each cookie. You can then add colored sugar or sprinkles and the glaze will hold them in place as it dries. You can also add royal decorator icing, which dries hard. You do not want to use soft icing since it will not hold up to being wrapped and handled in the bouquet.

Alternative bouquet

Don't have time to bake? Make a tray of Rice Krispie treats (add a little red food coloring to the marshmallow mixture if you like) and use your cookie cutter to cut them into heart shapes. Decorate with icing or sprinkles.

Presentation is everything

Once your cookies are decorated and dry, it is time to arrange and present them. Wrap each cookie in cellophane and tie a piece of ribbon around the base of the cookie. Finish it with a nice bow.

You can wrap a group of your cookie blooms with a wide piece of ribbon, or place them into a container to hold them together. For containers, try a terra cotta pot, a small vase or a coffee cup. Use a small piece of florist's foam inside your container so you can place them into just the arrangement you would like. Alternatively, place your cookies in a basket like a collection of freshly picked wild blossoms.

Or, purchase one"¦

Don't have the time or inclination to make your own? Check national gift basket and cookie retailers online since many of them offer cookie bouquets for every occasion. Check the shipping costs before ordering to calculate how much this Valentine's gift will really cost.

© High Speed Ventures 2011