There was a time when to mention a ‘cookie bouquet’ was to be met with a, “Huh, what? A cookie bouquet? Bouquet’s are made out of flowers, silly!” If you mention cookie bouquets today, the only question you’ll be asked is what kinds of cookies are inside. Cookie bouquets are exactly what they sound like: a bouquet of cookies arranged like flowers in a flowerpot, flower box, or wrapped in cellophane. Cookie bouquets are perfect for any occasion, from baby showers, to holiday gifts, to get well gifts. What makes them even more special is if you hand make them! Read on to find out how make a cookie bouquet that will sweeten anyone’s day.
You will need:
Something to place the finished cookie flowers in, like a terracotta or earthenware pot, large mason jar, etc. You’re only limited by your imagination. Try and choose a container with a heavy base so that it doesn’t tip over.
Green Styrofoam for the sticking the “flowers” into. You can also use the green foam used by florists in potted bouquets.
Wooden sticks (heat proof), lollipop sticks, chopsticks or skewers.
Cellophane wrap to wrap the cookies in.
Cookie decorations (frosting, fondant, sprinkles, etc.).
Decorative ribbon for the stems.
Colored tissue paper or Spanish moss to camouflage the foam base.
Things to decorate your pot (glue, photos, paints (acrylic or puffy), etc.
Baking Your Cookies
You can use the cookie recipe of your choice, but make sure that you choose one that doesn’t spread too thin as it bakes. The cookies will need to be thick enough to insert the sticks (stems) into them. For cookies that need to be rolled out, like sugar cookies, use a rolling pin to roll them to a thickness of about ½”. There’s something called an Accu-roller pin that can help you roll out the perfect size. Use cookie cutters to create interesting shapes, but make sure that the thickness of the dough doesn’t fall below ½”.
When you’re adding the shortening to your recipe, replace it with half butter and half margarine or shortening. Once your dough is ready, allow it to chill for a few hours in the refrigerator before you shape it. Once you’ve made all of your cookie shapes, chill them again in the refrigerator before baking them. These steps will help make the cookies the perfect consistency for standing up on their sticks.
To prevent the cookies from sticking as they bake, use parchment paper on the cookie sheet instead of greasing the pan. Again, you’re trying to limit amount of ingredients that could limit the cookie’s ability to stand up.
Insert the sticks into the cookies. Do so as gently as you can so that you don’t break the cookies. Make sure that no portion of the stick that’ inside the cookie is sticking out. If you do see a section that’s exposed, just cover it up with a bit of dough. Some bakers insert the sticks as soon as they come out of the oven instead of sticking them in before they bake. If you choose to do so, you need to be as gentle as possible so as not to break the cookie.
Bake the cookies for the amount of time as required by the recipe, but keep an eye on them. For larger cookies, reduce the oven temp so that they can bake a bit longer just in case you find that the bottoms of the cookies are baking faster than the middles. When the cookies are finally done, take them out of the oven and set them to cool. Don’t pick them up by the sticks while they’re still warm or else they could break.
Decorating The Cookies and Pot
Now for the fun part: decorating the cookies! Think of the theme that you’re going for. If you’re looking for a colorful bouquet, use food coloring in your icing to create an explosion of color. Play around with sprinkles, rainbow colored sugar, etc. If you’re using fondant, many cookie bouquet makers recommend using marshmallow fondant, which tastes much better than regular fondant. Other bakers recommend using royal icing, which is the perfect consistency for spreading on cookies. Once you’ve decorated the cookies, chill them in the refrigerator for at least a few hours, but preferably overnight.
Next, you’ll start decorating the pot. Again, think of the look you’re going for. Keep it simple, or affix personal photos on the outside of the pot. You could even use a classic steel watering can to hold your flowers. Imagine the country-inspired look you’d create by filling it with a bunch of daisy cookies! Cut down the foam so that it fits perfectly inside your pot. You want it to fall just below the top edge. Cover the foam with shredded green paper, Spanish moss, or ribbon to mimic grass.
Take your chilled cookies and wrap them in cellophane. Tie them with pretty ribbons. Form your bouquet by sticking the cookies’ stems into the green foam.