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Here's How: Box of Chocolates

When I was a kid I loved to make things that had moving parts, things that could be opened and closed, played with. So, it is not surprising that when I was trying to think up an original idea for a Valentine's Day cookie I remembered a two part "box of chocolates" cookie that Lisa, one of my best assistants ever, came up with ages ago. Though at the time it seemed complicated, with a few adjustments it now seems pretty easy and somewhat open to interpretation! So, I decided to make some for Valentine's Day.

Start with 2 heart-shaped cookies - mine are 3 1/2 inches. Pipe a border around the hearts in red or your color of choice! Fill in the hearts with red royal icing. I use a brush to do this (see my new book). I like this technique because you end up with only a thin layer of icing on the cookie. Let the icing set on the cookies 8 hours, overnight, or until hard.

Use a #1 tip to pipe a frilly white border around one of the iced hearts and then write a message in the center if you like. Set aside to dry.

Pipe a red line around the edge of the other heart, and a white line within that to represent the wall of the box. Keep both lines close to the edge to save space for lots of chocolates!

Color some royal icing 2 shades of brown for the dark and milk chocolates. You can use cocoa to color these if you want them to actually taste like chocolate! Using #1 tips, randomly make the shapes of little chocolates within the heart. I like to make the icing thick enough so that there is some texture on the tip, like real chocolates. Arrange the chocolates in the space any way you like.

Let the chocolates dry for 30 minutes and then carefully add any decorations, like white lines, dots or a little edible gold. Set aside to let harden 2 - 4 hours.

Place the first cookie on top of the second and drill 2 holes near the top but not too close to the edge. The drill will go through both cookies at once. Before I had a drill I would carefully carve into the cookie with an exacto knife or point of a small scissor to make holes. Or you can easily make them before you bake. I love my drill and use it all the time for hanging cookies.

Attach the two parts together with ribbon, tying a bow, but keeping enough length to allow you to open the box all the way.

And, "Please Don't Eat" the ribbon!

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