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How to Make a Valentine Cookie Bouquet From Scratch

Updated on February 11, 2017
iamradiantrose profile image

Jean has been a cooking instructor and creative self-taught cook with a passion for helping people develop their cooking skills .

Make This!

A step-by-step Valentine cookie bouquet
A step-by-step Valentine cookie bouquet | Source

Or This!

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This is an Intermediate Cookie Bouquet

Today we will be using an electric mixer. We will also be using a regular oven for the upright cookie bouquet as the cookie sticks won't fit in the toaster oven. It won't matter which oven you use for the flat bouquet we are going to make.

This recipe also requires freezer space for the cookie sheet of cut-out cookies before they are baked.

We will be using either icing bags or squeeze bottles for the border and the flood icings on the cookies, so steady your hand and get ready!

A Word About Upright Cookie Bouquets

If you have never make cookie "pop" type cookies before you have to be very careful inserting the sticks and making sure the sticks are firmly in the cookies. There is nothing like having the cookies break, after you have taken the time to make and decorate them.

All the instructions you will need are below but it may be wise to experiment with the cookie sticks when there is more time and this is not a gift. The flat version will be just as welcome as the upright version.

It is very wise to make a few more cookies than you will need in case there are any accidental breakages.

How Long Does it Take, how Much Does it Make?

Prep time: 35 min
Cook time: 14 min
Ready in: 49 min
Yields: Between 12 and 36 cookies, depending on size

Directions for Flat Cookie Bouquet at a Glance

  • Gather your ingredients together.
  • Measure the flour and salt, sift them together, then set aside.
  • In an electric mixture measure the butter and sugar into the mixing bowl and beat until it is light and fluffy.
  • Beat in the egg, scraping the sides and the bottom of the bowl with a spatula. Keep mixing until it is well blended.
  • Carefully dump the reserved flour mixture into the bowl and mix on low speed until it is combined. Low speed reduces the flour cloud that could develop.
  • Scrap the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula to ensure even mixing.
  • Add the vanilla and lemon extracts and mix well.
  • Remove the beaters from the bowl and scrape the dough from them.
  • Gather the dough into a ball, then divide the dough in half.
  • Form each half into a ball, flatten with your hand until it is about half as high as it was.
  • Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 20 minutes, just long enough to set up the dough.
  • Remove one dough ball from the fridge and roll out on a lightly floured surface (or parchment paper) until it is about 1/4 inch thick.
  • Slide the dough onto a piece of parchment paper, if you have not already done so, then onto a flat baking sheet with no sides, cut out your heart shapes.
  • Remove the dough trimming and freeze the cut-outs for about 15 minutes.
  • Heat the oven to 325 degrees F., remove the cookies from freezer and bake for 12 to 14 minutes until lightly golden around the edges.
  • Let them cool for about 15 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.
  • Let them cool completely before decorating.
  • Repeat with the dough scraps and the remaining ball of dough.
  • Design how you want your cookie bouquet to look.
  • Cut a piece of cardboard into the appropriate size.
  • Cover it with colored gift wrap, then a layer of clear basket wrap
  • When the cookies are cold, prepare your outline and flood icings

Directions for Upright Cookie Bouquet at a Glance

  • Gather your ingredients together.
  • Measure the flour and salt, sift them together, then set aside.
  • In an electric mixture measure the butter and sugar into the mixing bowl and beat until it is light and fluffy.
  • Beat in the egg, scraping the sides and the bottom of the bowl with a spatula. Keep mixing until it is well blended.
  • Carefully dump the reserved flour mixture into the bowl and mix on low speed until it is combined. Low speed reduces the flour cloud that could develop.
  • Scrap the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula to ensure even mixing.
  • Add the vanilla and lemon extracts and mix well.
  • Remove the beaters from the bowl and scrape the dough from them.
  • Gather the dough into a ball, then divide the dough in half.
  • Form each half into a ball, flatten with your hand until it is about half as high as it was.
  • Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 20 minutes, just long enough to set up the dough.
  • Remove one dough ball from the fridge and roll out on a lightly floured surface (or parchment paper) until it is 1/4 inch thick.
  • Cut out the hearts with a cookie cutter.
  • Using an egg lifter, lift enough hearts onto the parchment paper lined cookie sheet to make one row on the long side of the pan.
  • Taking a cookie stick, place your hand gently on the pointed end of the heart and push the stick into the cookie for at least two inches.
  • Carefully lift the cookie with the egg lifter and peek underneath to see if any of the stick is showing through the cookie dough.
  • If it is, gently flip the cookie over and lay it back on the cookie sheet, carefully patch over the area where the stick is, with scraps of dough, smoothing it with your fingers. There is no need to flip the cooking back over.
  • Add a second row of cookies, in between the cookie sticks and the cookies, with the sticks going in the opposite direction to the first row.
  • Freeze the cookie sheet for about 20 minutes to set up the dough.
  • Remove the cookie sheet from the freezer and bake 325 degrees for about 13 to 15 minutes.
  • Allow the cookies to cool completely before icing. Do not remove the cookies from the cookie sheet until they are iced.
  • Wrap each cookie stick with basket wrap or cookie bag.
  • Place them decoratively into a vase or other container, stuffing the sides with tissue, paper, confetti or wrapping tinsel.

What you Will Need

The butter needs to be at room temperature.
The butter needs to be at room temperature. | Source

The Ingredients (the Icing Ingredient List is Below)

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract

The Tools you Will Need (The Icing Tools List is Below)

  • an electric mixer
  • a flour sifter or sieve
  • a dry ingredient cup measure
  • a teaspoon measure
  • a half teaspoon measure
  • an quarter teaspoon measure
  • an egg lifter
  • parchment paper
  • a flat baking sheet with no sides

Measure one cup of Room-Temperature Butter Into the Mixing Bowl

Do you like my doggie shoes?
Do you like my doggie shoes? | Source

Add one cup of Sugar and Half a Teaspoon of Salt

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Beat With an Electric Mixer Until Well Combined and Fluffy

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How to Crack an egg Easily

Add the Egg and Beat Until it is Well Combined

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Add the one and a Half Teaspoons of Vanilla and the one Quarter Teaspoon of Lemon Extract mix to Combine

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It is Well Mixed

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How to Measure Flour Correctly

Add the Three Cups of Sifted Flour and Slowly Mix to Combine

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Take the Beaters out of the Bowl

The dough may appear to be a bit crumbly at this point so with clean hands, work the dough with your hands gathering it into a ball.

Cut the Dough Ball in Half, Re-form Into a Ball and Wrap in Plastic Wrap Twice to Seal out all Air

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Flatten the Dough Ball by Half and Repeat With the Other Dough Ball

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A Word About Refrigerating the Dough

Only refrigerate the dough for about 20 minutes, otherwise it will be like a brick and very hard to roll out. When you are about to use cookie cutters on the first roll-out, take the second ball of dough out of the fridge.

On Parchment or Waxed Paper, Roll out the Dough to one-quarter Inch Thick

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Same picture with the top layer of waxed paper removed.
Same picture with the top layer of waxed paper removed. | Source

Rolling out the Dough

The easiest and slickest way to roll out any dough is to do it between two sheets of parchment or waxed paper. I also use two one-quarter inch dowels or strips of wood, so the rolling pin glides over them, making the dough an even thickness.

You just peel off the top layer of waxed paper before you use your cookie cutters. If you don't have cookie cutters, use a paper template you cut out yourself. Use a pointed knife to trace around the outline and there you have your cutouts.

Cut the Dough as Close to the Last cut as you Can

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The cut Cookies Ready for the Freezer

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Getting the Dough Ready for the Oven

Once you have cut as many shapes as you can fit on the dough, transfer the dough to a parchment lined cookie sheet and put the cookie sheet in the freezer for about 15 minutes. Reroll the scraps and the other ball of dough, to make more cutouts.

If you want to leave them in the freezer overnight, just remove them from the freezer just before you turn your oven to 325 degrees F.

Put the cookie tray on the center shelf of your oven and bake the cookies for 12 to 14 minutes until they are just turning golden around the edges.

For the Upright Bouquet, cut out Heart Shapes and lay Them Along the Long Side of the Cookie Sheet

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The Upright Bouquet

For the upright cookie bouquet, we are going to put cookie sticks into the pointed end of the cookies. For esthetic purposes, it looks better if the cookie sticks are different lengths, so I cut five of the six sticks. The sticks are 11 3/4 inches, although you can purchase them in different lengths. I cut one at 10 inches, one at 9 inches, one at 8 inches, one at 7 inches and the last one at 6 inches.

Inserting the sticks can be a bit tricky but if you insert them towards the top of the cookie, making sure you don't break through the cookie dough to expose the stick, it is a bit easier. If that happens, however, just take some of the cookie trimmings and patch the break and smooth it out with your fingers.


Insert the Sticks Into the Cookies and put the Cookie Sheet in the Freezer for About 15 Minutes

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Baked To Perfection

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Icing the Cookies

If this is the first time you have made an upright cookie bouquet, it would be wise to let the cookies on the sticks cool completely before you ice them, then ice them right on the parchment paper lined cookie sheet without moving them.

Let the icing set and dry for 24 hours before wrapping or bagging them and inserting them into your chosen container.

The Icing Ingredients

We are going to be using two consistencies of icing, one for the border and the other for the flood icing. The border icing is stiffer and will create a defined border around the edge of your cookie or between colors. The flood icing is runnier and will spread to the edges of the border icing. It could actually run off the side of the cookie if there was no border icing to stop it.

For the border icing you will need:

  • 2 cup sifted icing sugar (aka confectioners sugar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla or other flavor extracts
  • 2 to 2 1/2 tablespoons of water or milk (the kind of milk doesn't matter)
  • food coloring paste or powder of your choice

For the flood icing you will need:

  • 2 cup icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla or other flavor extracts
  • 2 1/2 to 3 tablespoons of water or milk
  • food coloring paste or powder of your choice

The Icing Tools

We are going to use just a few colors today but you will only need a red for the red and pink we are going to make. The white icing we will be using does not require any color.

For both icings, we will need:

  • a few small bowls, depending on how many colors you will be using
  • a sifter or sieve
  • a few teaspoons to mix the icing
  • toothpicks to scoop the color into the icing
  • some disposable icing bags, heavy duty ziplock bags or squeeze bottles
  • small funnel
  • wax paper or parchment paper
  • clear counter or table space

Piped Icing Tips and Tricks

  • To color icing, use a toothpick to mix the paste color in the jar, then add a blob of color to the icing. Throw away the toothpick away each time. No double dipping - no getting bits of icing into your color paste.
  • Coloring will stain plastic bowls that you may use to mix the icing.
  • Border icing is obviously what you use to outline a cookie if you are going to flood it to make a smooth finish, but it is also what you will use to add the detail anywhere on the cookie.
  • Let the flood icing dry before you add detail to any of the flooded area.
  • If you are using a buttercream icing for making flowers and other shapes (which I will be demonstrating in the cupcake tutorial soon) you can make the flowers on little squares of waxed paper and freeze them so when you need them, you place them frozen where you want them, then let them sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes for fresh looking and tasting decorations.
  • After the cookie icing has set and you want to add detail, you can easily remove small mistakes with a toothpick or the tip of a small knife.
  • Note that prepared icing like we used on the "simple Valentine bouquet" will not hold its shape. When you look at the bow, you can see how it has collapsed on itself. If you want nice, crisp looking designs and decorations, you will need to make your own icing from scratch.
  • Practice the lines and designs you want to make on waxed paper first. That way you can fix any design flaws before they hit the cookies.
  • Royal icing dries really hard and some people like it because it makes a very durable cookie, but note that it tends to dry out the cookie extensively, making eating them not so enjoyable. Also, unless you flavor the icing fairly strongly, the flavor can be less than the best.
  • Add your detail to the center first, if your design allows, then work around the edges. You are less likely to disturb the design and smudge it.
  • Roll up your sleeves or wear short sleeves so your cuffs don't drag in the wet icing. In addition, lanyards, necklaces and hoodie ties can dangle and land where you don't want them.
  • If you are going to be more than a few minutes before using an icing in a bowl, lay a small piece of plastic wrap right on the surface of the icing to prevent it from crusting.
  • Leave the border icing to dry for a few minutes before you flood the cookies to prevent the cascade effect over the side of the cookie.

The Flood Icing Ingredients

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We are Going to use Christmas Red Today for the Border Icing

To go with the pink, red and white theme, we are also going to be using raspberry flavoring with just enough to take away that peculiar taste in the icing sugar. I used half a teaspoon in the border icing, but I will use more in the flood icing.

A Word About Your Weather

Your weather has a lot to do with how much icing sugar you will need so that the border doesn't start creeping into the middle or falling over the side.

To test to see how your border icing is doing take a small spoon and drop a drop onto a plate or piece of waxed paper. If it starts to spread, add another tablespoon of sifted icing sugar then test again. Keep adding a tablespoon of icing sugar until the icing seems to be holding its shape.

If the icing seems to be too stiff, add a couple of drops of water at a time until the icing is a tiny bit looser, but still holds its shape. Don't go crazy with the water or you will soon have a bowl with six cups of border icing.

We Will be Using the 12 Inch Icing Bags Today

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Use a Sieve or a Sifter

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Put the Sieve Into a Bowl With A Kitchen Cutlery Spoon

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Measure 2 Cups of Icing Sugar and Push it Through the Sieve With the Spoon

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Measure and add the Flavoring and the Water

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Mix it Briskly Until it is Lump-Free

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Test the Icing to see how Much it Spreads

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Adjusting the Icing Thickness

It is very damp here on the West Coast today, so I had to add more icing sugar to stop it from spreading. The amount really doesn't matter, because tomorrow it could be different. Your climate may be similar to the BC West Coast, but probably not identical, unless you live here, of course.

Roughly Divide the Icing Into Three, in Small Bowls

We are going to do pink first, using the red paste color. I have pink, but you may not.
We are going to do pink first, using the red paste color. I have pink, but you may not. | Source
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Use as Much or as Little Color as you Like

You decide the look you want to achieve and use your judgement as to how much to use. When you see what I am doing, it will give you a good idea what could work for you.

We Have an Icing Bag and a Coupler

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That Goes Together Like This

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How to Assemble an Icing Piping Bag

First of all, I use a coupler in my icing bags so I can change the tip when I need to. If I just pushed the icing tip down to the pointed end or even cut a small hole in the pointed end of the bag, then I am limited to what I can do with the icing. If you are new at doing this and you are trying it out to see if you like it, then by all means cut a small hole in the bottom of the icing bag after you have put the icing into the bag, or the sturdy ziplock.

If you're seriously hooked, here is how you assemble an icing piping bag:

  • Take the coupler apart by unscrewing it.
  • Push the larger piece into the icing bag with the narrower end pointing towards the pointed end of the bag. Push it until it is snug.
  • With sharp scissors, cut off the excess plastic tip that hangs below the coupler.
  • Stick icing tip #2 over the end of the coupler and screw on the ring until it is just snug.
  • That was easy!

Use a Tall Glass to Support the Icing bag While you Fill It

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The Easiest way to Fill an Icing Piping Bag

Sometimes you need two hands just to get the icing into the bag and if the icing is very loose, it can drip out the bottom as you are filling the icing piping bag. So, here's how you do it:

  • Get a tall glass and sit the assembled piping bag in the glass with the bottom opening of the icing tip resting on the bottom of the glass.
  • Fold the top edge of the bag over the outside of the glass and pull it down over the glass but keep the tip opening resting on the bottom of the glass
  • Now you can scoop or pour the icing into the piping bag with minimal mess.
  • Fill the bag only about half full at most because you will need to twist the top of the bag shut and put a tight elastic or twist tie on it to prevent the icing from squishing out the top of the bag.
  • When you have put your icing into the bag, pull up the sides of the bag off the glass but don't lift the bag out yet.
  • Twist the top of the bag, forcing the icing down to the bottom of the bag and put the twist tie as close to the top level of the icing as possible.
  • Don't squeeze too hard or the icing will start coming out into the glass.
  • This icing is quite loose so quickly lift the bag out of the glass and flip it upside down to prevent the icing from running out.
  • Put your clean finger over the hole and get ready to flip it back over and start applying your cookie borders.

Pipe Your Border Just a Fraction Inside the Edge so the Icing Stays on top of the Cookie

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Now mix the red Colored Icing and get Ready to Pipe the red Borders

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Once you are Satisfied With the Color, set up the Piping bag and Fill It

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Pipe the Remaining Cookies With the red Border

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Now Make Your Flood Icing Using the Same Method

You have two choices. You can squish the icing out of the bags and thin it slightly with a few drops of water but you may not have enough icing to flood your cookies. Or, you can make new icing and re-tint it. You won't get the exact color but no one will know you didn't plan it that way except you.

Sometimes you can add about an eighth teaspoon or so of water and about 2 tablespoons of sifted icing sugar and get an icing that will flood and the tint will be almost exact. It all depends how much border icing you have left.

Using a Small Spoon, Smear Small Amounts of Flood Icing Inside the Border Icing

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The Trick is to use Small Amounts of Icing at a Time or it Will Flood Over the Side

The flood icing should come to the top of the border icing without over flowing.

The icing will need to set overnight before we can add any more detail and adding the detail is just like doodling. We will use a border type icing, only a little thicker to add details to this awesome cookie-bouquet-to-be.

Making More Border Icing and Using a Number 2 Icing Tip, Decorate Your Cookies

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Leave the Icing To Harden for About 24 Hours, Then We'll Assemble This Gift

We need to make sure the icing is hard enough so it won't damage when we wrap the cookie bouquet.

Meanwhile, pick your container and we'll get ready to wrap it up!

A Bouquet of Real Cookies

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    • iamradiantrose profile image
      Author

      iamradiantrose 10 months ago

      Ha! I'd give you the whole bouquet! Thank you so much!

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 10 months ago from Home Sweet Home

      Your heart cookies in a flower form is a special gift, very clever indeed, I wished that your house is around my housing area, would drop by to snatch one heart!