1) Construct cookies using heart and balloon cutter. If you are putting cookie sticks into the cookies, make sure to roll the cookie dough thicker than normal. Then gently place the stick into the cookie, I usually do this before baking.
2) Once cookies are baked, don't move them around at all, wait until they are cool. Flood the cookies with red royal icing, let dry completely.
3) Using painter's brush to tint the edges of the dried icing with brown food coloring, then gently using a very lightly damp brush smooth out/shade the color to make it more even.(Thanks to amazing Liz from Arty McGoo for a fabulous tutorial)
4) Using white food coloring and a brush, paint a little drop onto the cookie to add dimension to the balloon.
Cristina Riches aka Bird, is the founder of BirdsParty.com. She's also a creative mom of two, published author, graphic designer, magazine editor and unconditional party lover. Her party ideas have been featured on numerous publications such as Forbes.com, CNN Entertainment, Parenting Magazine and MarthaStewart.com; and she's a regular party contributor to PBS Parents, Yum Food for Kids Magazine, Créative Magazine and HGTV.