Ah, Valentine's Day..... as if being 1200 miles away from my hubby wasn't bad enough, this will be the second Valentine's Day in a row that we will miss spending with each other.  I guess I better get used to it though, if the Abe Mac Band is going to become super famous and constantly be on tour.  My husband, Abe, has been off in Nashville for the past couple weeks.  The plan is he'll stay out there until the band gets a contract, the chances of which are looking pretty good.  Still, we don't know how long it will take.  So, I guess I will just keep on missing my Valentine.   But instead of hating Valentine's Day this year, I am embracing it with tons of Valentine's Day sugar cookies and enjoying time with my other loved ones. 



Who could be sad when you are baking and decorating cookies?  Certainly not me.  Besides, I have always thought of Valentine's Day as celebrating all kinds of love, not just the one between you and your main squeeze.   So, I have been working on cookie bouquets, like this Valentine's Day cookie bouquet, to give to the friends and family I love that are close by.

For this bouquet I wanted a combination of red, light pink, and hot pink hearts.  I also wanted the hearts to look similar to my new favorite cookie design that I came up with last week.

 When I decorate sugar cookies, I use an icing made of meringue powder, powdered sugar, and water.  I like to make small batches at a time, since I like to mix all of my frosting colors at once.  I mix together 1 spoon of meringue powder, 4 heaping spoons of powdered sugar, and 1 1/2 spoons of water.  Then I stir the icing slowly in a bowl until the ingredients are combined.  Depending on the consistency, I'll add more powdered sugar or more water until the icing resembles Elmer's glue.

 After I mix in some food coloring, I'll add some of the icing into a plain sandwich bag.  To the rest of the icing left in the bowl, I'll add a few more drops of water.  Then I'll add the rest of the icing to another sandwich bag.  I like to do this because I have the exact same color icing in a thick consistency for outlining and detail work, and a thinner icing for filling in the cookie designs.

I like to use sandwich bags to decorate with because I think it's actually easier than using a pastry bag with a tip.  For the sandwich bag, I simply snip off the smallest tip of a corner to use for decorating.  Here's what it should look like (even though this icing was used for a different set of cookies.)


And now, on to how to make this Valentine's Day cookie bouquet 🙂

Step 1:

To start this cookie off, I outline the shape of the heart with the thicker of the icings.  I then fill in the heart with the thinner icing, and smooth the icing out to the outline using the back of a spoon.  I then let this dry before moving on to the next step. 

Step 2:


I then make a smaller white heart in the center of each cookie.  Again, I outline the heart with the thicker icing, and fill in with the thinner one.  I then pipe small white dots around the large heart shape on the cookie.

Step 3:

 
 This is part of the reason I love this cookie design so much.  I make random swirls on the colored part of the heart.  Once all the swirls are done, I go back and fill in empty spaces with a few white dots.

Step 4:

There are 2 ways to make the roses for the center of the cookie.
 





 
The first is to make the roses directly on the cookie.  Start with 3 colored dots with the thinner icing.  Then add the green leaves.  The base of the rose needs to dry for about 15 minutes before adding the swirl.  To make the rose look like a rose, you need a thick icing with an extremely small tip cut on your sandwich bag.  Start in the middle of the dot and simply go around in a swirl until you get to the edge of the dot.



The second way to put the roses on the center of the cookie is to pre make them.  Follow the same steps as above, only on a piece of parchment paper.  Once the roses are completely dry, they slide right off of the parchment paper, and can be saved in an airtight container for future use.  To attach these roses to the cookie, just use a small drop of icing to act as glue.

Step 5:



To put the bouquet together, I use floral foam to hold the cookies in place.  Since the vase I was using is a little tall, I needed to add some weight so the bouquet wouldn't be too top heavy.  I used a bag of marbles for the weight, and placed them in the center of a piece of tissue paper.   Once the tissue paper with the marble was in the vase, I cut a piece of floral foam to fit into the vase.  I like to lay out how I want my cookies arranged before inserting the sticks so I don't make too many holes in the floral foam.  Once the cookies are arranged, I then add smaller pieces of tissue paper between the sticks to cover the foam. 

And then your Valentine's Day cookie bouquet is complete!




Since this bouquet is going to be a Valentine's Day gift, I wanted to gift wrap it.  I love the way cookie bouquets look wrapped in cellophane with a pretty bow.


Doesn't this look like a nice gift?  I love making cookie bouquets.   If you would like to see another one of my cookie bouquets, check out my post on my Teddy Bear Rose Cookie Bouquet.

Hopefully, I won't have to spend a third year baking cookies to make up for missing my hubby.  Of course that doesn't mean I won't be baking, I just hope he's there to do lots of taste testing 🙂

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