This year the husband and I are celebrating our 4-year wedding anniversary, and I couldn’t be happier, or feel luckier, than to be married to such an amazing man. And, in light of his amazingness, I decided to celebrate our anniversary with a nod to his favorite character – the Amazing Spider-Man!
When I looked up the traditional anniversary gifts for a four-year wedding anniversary, I was greeted with the very “blah” discovery of “fruit and flowers” with the modern convention of “appliances.”
Although there are certainly many modern men who might appreciate the gift of flowers, my husband would not care at all about them. And while he is a happy fruit eater, especially of anything involving strawberries, gifting him with a basket of berries just didn’t strike me as the gift to celebrate the year.
While I did actually buy him an appliance (I stretched the definition to “electronics” and bought him a new phone charging station – that’s what’s in the box), I still wanted to attempt “fruit and flowers.”
So . . . after a thorough search of Pinterest, I came across the idea of doing a cookie bouquet. Genius! My husband LOVES cookies! I also found many ideas for candy bouquets as well, and this gave me the idea to mix “fruit” and “flowers” in one vase together. The husband is also a great lover of fruity candy, especially Mike & Ike’s Red Rageous flavor. (So that’s two boxes of Mike & Ike’s you see in the pic behind the cookies. I actually bought him four boxes, for four years, but they didn’t all fit in the vase, unfortunately . . .)
Making a candy bouquet is fairly straight-forward. I just taped a tall lollipop stick (you can find these at your local Michaels or candy/baking supply store), to the back of each box and stuck them in the vase with the cookies. I had a couple of these left over from making the cookies, but you could also use a slim wooden dowel.
If you’re doing a candy bouquet, you could probably just fill your vase with tissue paper and stick all the candy straight into the vase (artfully arranged, of course). However, making a cookie bouquet requires the use of either florist foam or Styrofoam in order to stabilize the cookies. Check out how to make a cookie bouquet HERE.
I took a vase we already owned (we have a collection of them piling up in the dining room . . .), and trimmed a piece of Styrofoam to fit. Then I wrapped it in tissue, stuck it down in the middle of the vase, and filled in around the Styrofoam with more tissue paper (just like is demonstrated in the video link).
I found an image through Google Search that had no background, so it was easy to cut around, and printed it out on cardstock. Then I simply cut out the image as well as a slit on either side of the heart for my ribbon to fit through (as in the picture below).
I used a wide red grosgrain ribbon, and overlapped it with a narrow blue grosgrain ribbon. (Superhero colors!) The whole thing is “attached” to the vase with a few drops from a glue gun on the back. (The layers of ribbon are dotted together, and then the two ends of ribbon are glued to the glass.) The fortunate thing about using a glue gun with glass, is that should you decide you want to put your vase back in the dining room and recycle it for yet another project, you can do so. 🙂 The glue will easily peel right off.
Note: I did not use glue anywhere on the paper, because I did not want any kind of bumpy or rippling effect. If you pull your ribbon tight, that will be enough to hold everything on.
Okay, now on to the cookies!
First thing: This is my first ever attempt at decorated sugar cookies. (Yeah, I know . . . I am perpetually getting these ideas in my head for all kinds of projects – many of them never-before attempted – and then thinking, “Oh, what a great idea! I can do that!” *sigh* And then I go and follow the same line of thinking all over again. I just can’t seem to help myself . . .).
Let’s just suffice it to say, I have all kinds of new levels of respect for cookie artists. These ladies (and gentlemen) are artists, there’s no question about that. Unfortunately, I am not an artist, so my cookies by no means look professional. However, I am still super proud of my first effort, and I am eager to try a go at future (simple) cookie designs now that I know how to do it. And, of course, the husband LOVED them, which is all that really matters. 🙂
So, first, click HERE for my new go-to sugar cookie recipe from its-fitting.com. Discovered, naturally, while browsing Pinterest for holiday cookie recipes. It’s important to know that my husband loves cookies, but ONLY soft cookies. He hates a crisp cookie. So, I have, in the past, tested no end of different cookie recipes trying to uncover different types with the perfect texture. (By the way, if you’re interested in learning more about what goes into a recipe that will produce different textures of cookies, click HERE.)
This sugar cookie recipe produces a really yummy and soft cookie that will not turn crispy once it cools. And did I mention, they’re super yummy?
Before you decorate your cookies, it’s best to wait until they’re completely cool. I suggest baking them a day ahead of time.
Everything I’ve learned about the decorating process comes from Sweet Sugarbelle. In fact, the idea for these heart-shaped Spider-Man cookies also came from the very same source. Although this link will take you to the heart-shaped cookies, click HERE for the actual how-to for decorating a Spider-Man cookie. And click the links below for what you will need to know about making and prepping the icing for these cookies.
- For how to make royal icing, click HERE.
- For how to color and prep your icing, click HERE.
- For help with outlining and flooding, click HERE.
Some tips I learned along the way:
- This probably goes without saying, but when she tells you to use a #5 tip to outline Spider-Man’s eyes, use a #5 tip. I used a #3, which was what I had on hand, but my black outline was not quite thick enough to hold back the red flood icing. So while my colors stayed intact, and the red didn’t actually spill over, my Spider-Men cookies do not have that characteristic thick black outline around Spidey’s eyes.
- Wait overnight for your cookie icing to dry completely before bagging them. I did not plan ahead, and decorated my cookies on the same day I gave them to my husband, so not only was it extra frustrating to get the cookies in the bags without smearing them, but a day later the icing in the bagged cookies had bled. There was no bleeding in the cookies that were not bagged. (I made 2 dozen actual cookies, as that’s what the recipe produced, but only bagged up four of them for the bouquet. Four cookies for four years!)
- Speaking of waiting – I became endlessly frustrated mixing my red icing. I could not get it past a dark shade of pink no matter how much color I dumped into it. Turns out you’re supposed to wait a day or two for red color to develop. Who knew? (I do now. LOL) For more tips on red icing, click HERE.
By the way, check out what the husband gave me! I got fruit and flowers also – pink roses, which are my favorite, and four fruits for four years. But my “real” gift involved blue topaz, the stone for year four.
It’s the new R2D2 necklace from Kay Jewelers! Not to get too “sickening,” but isn’t he just the greatest! (And doesn’t he know me so well. 😉 )
Check out our Anniversary Gift Ideas Pinterest board for more geeky inspiration!
Do you have any awesome geeky anniversary gift ideas? Let us know by replying in the comments below. (Please review our Comment Policy before posting. Thanks!)
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