Cookie Bouquet

Valentine’s Day is coming up…This year, forget the chocolates in a heart-shaped box, you can make something super special for your sweetie!

The Dish: Cookie Bouquet

The Restaurant: Sweet K

The Chef: Kristin Foristall

Ingredients:

— 1 1/2 c. (3 sticks) softened butter

— 2 c. sugar

— 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

— 4 eggs (local farm fresh eggs if possible)

— 5 1/2 c. flour (unbleached, unbromated)

— 3 tsp. salt

— Lollipop sticks (purchase at any craft store)

Frosting:

— 2 c. confectioners’ sugar

— 1/2 tsp. salt

— 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

— 1 tsp. egg white powder

— Water

Decorating suggestions:

— Red and pink sprinkles

— Cinnamon heart candies

— Conversation hearts

— Food coloring

— Stencils

— Styrofoam, basket/pot, basket grass, ribbon – for bouquet

Directions:

1. Mix the butter and sugar together using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Do not over-mix at this stage or the cookies may spread while baking.

2. Add the egg, salt and vanilla extract. Continue mixing on low speed, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

3. Slowly add flour to the butter and egg mixture. Mix on low speed until a dough is formed.

4. Take half of the dough and press it onto a good size piece of plastic wrap, forming a 1-inch thick oval. Wrap the oval completely in the plastic wrap. Repeat this with the second half of the dough. For shaped cookies, the dough should be chilled for at least four hours. It’s helpful to prepare the dough the night before.

5. Choose your cookie cutter shapes. We’ll use hearts for the cookie pops.

6. Remove the plastic wrap. Place dough on a surface dusted with a flour/confectioners’ sugar combination. Keep both flour and sugar handy as you may need to continue dusting the dough to work with it more easily.

7. Roll dough to a 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch thickness.

8. Cut out heart shapes from the dough. Transfer to a non-stick baking sheet.

9. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

10. Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes.

11. Remove the cookie from the sheet and insert the lollipop stick through the center of the cookie. Repeat.

12. Transfer to a wire rack. Once completely cooled, decorating can begin.

13. Prepare frosting by combining the confectioners’ sugar, salt and egg white powder. Add water very slowing creating a creamy frosting. Add the vanilla last to give it a yummy taste. Utilize food coloring to create different colors for your cookies.

14. Frost and decorate with sprinkles, hearts, candies, etc. Be creative and have fun! Once dried overnight, the pops can be individually wrapped as gifts or arranged into a basket or pot as a cookie bouquet.

15. For a cookie bouquet, utilize a piece of Styrofoam from a craft store and cut it to fit into the top circumference of your basket. This will hold your cookies in place. Simply poke the cookie pops through the Styrofoam, arranging them in a pretty display. Cover the foam with basket grass and add a ribbon to your basket. Now you have a bouquet!

16. Enjoy!