Making the Cookies
If you're making rolled cookies (like sugar cookies) rather than drop cookies (like chocolate chip or oatmeal cookies), roll them out nice and thick--between ¼ and half an inch. You'll also want to choose a cookie recipe that will not spread too much when it bakes, or your cookies will be too thin to stay on their sticks. To control the spread of your cookies:
- Use half margarine or vegetable shortening and half butter as the shortening in your recipe
- Refrigerate the cookie dough before shaping, and again before baking
- Do not grease the cookie sheets. For easy clean-up, use parchment paper
Follow the recipe directions for making the cookie pops, ensuring that the sticks you use are long enough for the purposes of your bouquet. Gently push the sticks or skewers far enough into the cookie so they will stay firmly planted on their "stems." The portion of the stick that's inside the cookie should be completely encased in dough and not poking out; patch with extra dough if necessary. Always put the sticks in before baking!
Watch the baking time carefully: if you've made large cookies, you may need to turn down the oven temperature and bake them longer if they appear to be done on the bottom before the middle can catch up. Remove the cookies from the pan with a spatula; don't handle them by their sticks until they're completely cool.
When the cookies are completely cool, you can begin decorating. Use different colors of icing, sprinkles, and sparkling sugars. For best results, allow the decorated cookies to dry overnight before wrapping.
When decorating the pot, anything goes: paint flowers and vines, landscapes, animals, or whatever you like. Or affix colorful fabric shapes or photographs. Trim the foam to fit snugly inside the pot, making sure the top of the foam is just below the top of the pot.
Wrap each cookie with cellophane bags or plastic wrap tie them shut. Don't skimp on the ribbon! Gently push the cookie sticks into the foam to create the "bouquet." Cookies in the center should be tallest, so push the outer circle cookies down lower so they can all be seen. Don't crowd the pot.