My children have been very blessed to have some great teachers over the years and it is so important to me that we make sure they know how much we appreciate all they do not only for my children but for all the kids who come through their classroom. Teacher appreciation day is a perfect opportunity to let them know this and this year we chose to make cookie bouquets for my children's teachers. This idea started when I found these cute little flower pots at Micheal's for $2.50 a piece. I thought that the white rim at the top would be a perfect place to add a little saying using my favorite crafting tool the Silhouette Craft Cutter. I cut a cute saying using self adhesive vinyl, it says, "Helping kids to grow" and filled it up with these cute little flower cookie pops.
I have made lots of cookie bouquets over the years simply because I love to give them as gifts but hate that they cost so much to buy so the frugal side of me came out and I thought to myself, you have to figure out how to make them so, I did. When I make these cookie pops, I always use this recipe, except instead of 2 tsp. of vanilla, I use 1 tsp. of vanilla and 1 tsp. of almond extract.
There are a couple of different ways in which to get the cookies onto the stick, they include, putting a little bit of royal icing onto the back of a cooked cookie and then adding a stick to the royal icing and letting it dry. I however prefer to bake the stick right into the cookie. To do this I cut the cookie rather thick, 1/4 inch or so and then insert the stick in through the middle of the cookie . If the stick pokes out anywhere or if the dough looks thin, I just take a little of extra dough and push it in over the holes or thin areas of the cookie. I then bake the cookie as normal and when cool decorate, a skill that I am still trying to master. To decorate these cookies, I outlined the cookies forming a dam with a thick royal icing and then thinned the icing and filled in the dammed area with the thinned icing, this technique is most often referred to as flooding.
Once you are done decorating the cookies, let them dry several hours so that the icing has time to harden. When it is hard, you can wrap the cookies in a plastic bag and either tie the ends with a little bit of ribbon or do as I did above and twist the end of the bag around the stick and secure with a little bit of tape. Frugal tip: instead of buying special plastic bags, I often use cheap Ziploc bags from the dollar store and cut off the zip part of the bag, this is especially helpful when you are up late and have an especially big cookie that won't fit into the special bags you bought, not that that happened to me or anything.
To make the bouquet, I take Styrofoam and cut it to fit into the container I am using. I then cover the Styrofoam with a little bit of Spanish moss or some other form of filler and then insert the sticks. The Styrofoam is rigid enough to hold the cookie pops upright. These cookies also make great party favors for birthday parties and have become some what of a birthday tradition at our house. Here's to hoping my children's teachers like them and that they know how much we appreciate all they do.