The creation of a search shortcut was a little tricky. But it works!
Unfortunately, I've yet to find a way to return search results in my own app. Right now my options are:
1) Send a keystroke sequence (user editable) to open the DeskBar followed by the search string.
2) Create a temporary search shortcut, and open it (spawning a new Explorer search results window).
I'm leaning towards the latter.
Also, it seems you can search by setting date boundaries (ie. Before:1/1/04 After:1/1/03) - but there doesn't seem to be any (documented) way to search for items that are x number of days old. I think that would be a useful option... I could have a “search folder” that shows all the executeables I've downloaded in the last 3 days. Or all the music/videos/documents whatever that have been recently acquired.