I have a problem. I've been given 9 delicious gourmet cookies and I can't eat them.

I got engaged a few weeks ago and was given a cookie basket from Cookies In Bloom in Bellevue, Washington as an engagement present. "Given" might be too strong of a word. Really the basket (featuring my fiance, his family, a pair of doves, a cookie engagement ring, and myself) was given to my soon-to-be in-laws, and I begged, pleaded, and held my breath until they agreed that I could take it home and enjoy the image of myself as a "Southern Bride" all dressed in buttercream.

The cookies are gorgeous. I can only hope that my husband-to-be and I are half as pulled together as the cookie versions of ourselves (and that my hair stays anywhere near that smooth in the humid Alabama air). The problem is that they're almost too pretty to eat. I walk by it every time I enter my apartment's kitchen and am instantly met with the most delicious sugar-and-lemon cookie smell just beckoning me to bite my fiance's head off. Or at least nibble on his top hat. Do I eat his parents first? That can't be good for future family relations. How about his brothers? The doves are safe enough, but they give the basket its ambiance, so if I ate them, I'm pretty sure it would turn into a sugar cookie consumption free-for-all that would leave me in a sugar comma humming "Here Comes the Bride" with buttercream permanently jammed under my fingernails.

The worst part is, I hear the cookies are delicious and that they taste even better than they smell. I've been told to wrap them and freeze them, so we can enjoy them in the coming months while we plan the wedding, and then simply microwave them for just a few seconds to return them to their soft, mouth-watering state.

While I'm still pondering how best to enjoy the basket, I do know that it's the best bouquet of anything I've ever received. This is one gift idea I'm definitely passing on to friends and family over the next few months. It's especially perfect for boyfriends who hate giving flowers "because they'll die in a week." These cookies live forever! One word of advice: When you personalize your basket, get all the key characters in, but ask the kind people at Cookies In Bloom to please, please, please include one ugly cookie of an aunt you don't like or your favorite love-to-hate sports rival. That way, you can dig in without reservations and savor this guaranteed-to-please gift.