Thursday, April 23, 2009

A Cookie Bouquet to Brighten Your Day

Did you know it's National Volunteer Week? In my job at Guide Dogs for the Blind, I am fortunate to work with some very dedicated volunteers, and we always like to recognize them for going above and beyond with their time and talents. This year, our team recognized two of our most loyal supporters, Bob and Elisabeth (GDB volunteers for 30+ years!), by presenting them with a homemade cookie bouquet. The gift was such a big hit, that I thought I'd share it here in the event anyone out there needs a kick in the pants to recognize someone who is important to your life or livelihood.

The cookies themselves were made by my friend, co-worker and baker extraordinaire
, Nancy, and her recipe is included below. Notice her exquisite decorating skills! And is that a Swiss flag I see? The attention to detail is astonishing! :) I then took her ridiculously tasty baked goods-on-a-stick and gussied them up to look pretty when we presented them to Bob and Elisabeth; another friend and co-worker, Sierra, snapped the photos; Joanne and Denise (the final friends/coworkers) helped with quality control taste tests.

And there you have it. Although the idea is not an original one, a cookie bouquet is a simple and truly personalized way to say you care. Now go do it! After all, life is too short to not show your appreciation.

Sugar Cookies
Contributed by Nancy Olivas
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
Combine the flour, salt and baking powder and set aside. Cream the sugar and butter well, then add vanilla and eggs and mix in. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and stir until well blended. Chill dough for at least 30 minutes, then roll to desired thickness and cut into shapes. Chill another 30 minutes, then bake at 325 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until the cookies just begin to brown slightly at the edges. Makes a dozen large cookies.

Icing (This recipe works well because it hardens quite quickly, allowing you to stack the cookies for transport.)
  • 1 pound powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon meringue powder
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 2-6 tablespoons water
Combine everything in a bowl, adding enough water to make the icing spreadable. Divide icing and tint to desired color. Spread onto cookies and allow to set at least several hours.

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