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Webmaster | 11. August 2007 @ 16:17

We've all seen them. Clusters of big, gourmet cookies, individually wrapped in shiny, colored cellophane, with bows and ribbons. They come in many styles and with different treats, toys or gift items attached to or inside a basket or vase of some sort. They make a terrific and edible gift idea. After all, who doesn't love cookies? Sadly, they can be very expensive gifts, especially when considering that cookies don't cost a whole lot to bake.

Here's how to make your own cookie bouquets at home without spending a fortune!

What You Will Need:

Chopsticks or Wooden Skewers - Make sure they are heat-proof. If you're baking smaller cookies, then popsicle sticks would also work.

Cookies - Find a delicious cookie recipe that makes larger size cookies, (your favorite or your gift recipients favorite will do fine)

Container - This needs to be a sturdy container that is a bit bottom heavy, especially if you plan to include more than a few big cookies. You can try putting some pebbles in the bottom to make sure the container won't tip over, if needed. Some ideas for containers include: a coffee mug, a metal or plastic pail, a basket, a vase, a planter, cookie jar or glass jar, glass bottle, a toy or wood box of some sort, teapot, porcelain or pottery serving ware.

Cellophane - The shiny, colored kind looks best, but the colored plastic wrap you get at your local supermarket would work too.

Ribbon - The curly kind works well for this. Any colors you like.

Decorations - Anything goes! What's appropriate to the occasion and what does the gift recipient like? Some ideas include: stuffed animals, small toys, candy, balloons, fake or real flowers, stickers or whatever you find at the local craft store.

Block of styrofoam or florists foam - You know that stereo you bought last December? You probably kept the box, just search your garage for some spare, clean, stryofoam.

Something to cover up the stryofoam or florist's foam - You can use a big ribbon, some moss, plastic grass, tissue paper crumpled up or whatever else you have handy.

Instructions:

1. When you place the cookie dough on the cookie sheet, press the dough down a bit to flatten it so that it doesn't spread too much while baking and so that the stick can be inserted properly. Before you bake the cookies, you must insert the chopstick or wooden skewer into one side of each cookie. Push it in almost the length of the cookie without going out the other end. This is an important step, as if your cookie is too big and your stick is not sturdy enough, the stick won't hold it and the cookie may fall apart when you pick it up. When baking big cookies, you probably won't be able to fit more than 3 cookies with their sticks to a cookie sheet.

2. After baking the cookies with their sticks, cool the cookies thoroughly, then wrap each one with the colored cellophane. A different color for each cookie would be ok, or all the same color appropriate to the occasion. Tie each one with some curly ribbon at the base where the stick comes out of the cookie. Tie it very tightly so the cookies will stay fresh on the stick. You can adorn each cookie with additional, larger ribbons or bows at this point. When using curly ribbon, don't forget to curl it!

3. Now cut your styrofoam or florist's foam to the size of the top of the container you chose. Then fit the foam in so it is nice and tight and near the top of the container. Remember, you can place something heavier in the bottom of the container so that it does not tip over. Small pebbles work well for this. Remember that the sticks will poke through the foam and into the bottom of the container.

4. Here comes the fun part, let's assemble the cookie bouquet! Take each of your cookies and stick them through the foam so they go all the way through the foam and further, near to the bottom of the container. You can assemble the cookies in any manner you like, but most cookie bouquets have one cookie at the center that is taller than the other cookies, so keep that in mind. Decorate with additional ribbons, toys, candy, flowers, gifts etc. Each item can be attached with additional ribbon to the container or the sticks of the cookies or even with a glue gun (if appropriate).

5. Give your gift and watch the smiles! Make sure to give the bouquet as soon as possible after you have assembled it, you don't want the cookies to go stale!

Tips:

Make sure you bake enough cookies for your container, if baking small cookies, you may run out if you are filling a large container. Always bake more than enough. Surely your extras won't go to waste.

Bake both large and small cookies and use them both in the bouquet for a nice varied look, like a more traditional flower bouquet.

More Ideas:

Some cookie bouquets use cutout cookies, these can be fun to make and decorate. Use your favorite sugar cookie cutout recipe and cut into shapes appropriate for the occasion. For cutout cookies to work, you may want to double your sugar cookie recipe as the cookies need to be nice and thick for the stick to go through them. For this type of cookie, wooden skewers will work best, chopsticks may be too thick. Then decorate the cookies with frosting or icing. The icing should be the kind that hardens a little so that it won't stick to the wrapping. No need for colored cellophane with these cookies, use regular plastic wrap or clear cellophane so that the beauty of your hand decorated cookies shines through.

Remember, your cookie bouquet doesn't need to look professional, it's the homemade touch that makes it a truly special gift.

About the author:

Ricky Alberta is a baker and one of the editors of Cookie-Recipes.net. Cookie-Recipes.net is a site devoted exclusively to cookie recipes. Includes a recipe exchange forum, baking tips, how to's, articles, a blog, as well as hundreds of tasty cookie recipes. http://www.cookie-recipes.net.

info@cookie-recipes.net

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