The definition of ‘commencement’ is a 'ceremony for the conferring of degrees or diplomas.' Commencement also signifies the beginning of a new chapter, the next goal, the next achievement in life. It’s a word we associate with graduations and tend to think of the end of elementary, high school, college or grad school and the culmination of years of studies.

May and June is graduation season. It’s time for speeches, diplomas, photographs and parties; a time to celebrate success with family and friends; to relish in the reward for hard work and take pride in reached goals. Cherish the moment, savor the memories and progress on to the next phase in life. The orators advice to graduates is continue to work hard, learn from ones failures, don’t give up, maintain your pride and values and remember to be kind and respectful to others, including adversaries. Commencement speeches contain great advice not only for the graduates but to all in attendance, as life is an ongoing learning experience, day in and day out at every phase of life.

These whimsical diploma cookies were made for my nephew’s law school graduation. The purple ribbon denotes the color worn by Juris Doctor grads. The graduates were all smiles and family and friends beamed with pride. Next, cramming for the Bar exam. Congrats to all the graduates!

Diploma Cookies
Diploma Shortbread Cookies
Royal Icing for outlining and flooding tinted with AmeriColor Super White
Royal Icing for outlining tinted with AmeriColor Super Black
Royal Icing for outlining tinted Purple with AmeriColor Regal Purple
Disposable piping bags & couplers
Squeeze bottles
Wilton Decorating Tip #2, #3
PME Decorating Tip #1.5

Outline diploma with #2 tip in white icing

Flood diploma with white icing. Let sit 45 minutes.

Outline detail of diploma with #1.5 tip in black icing.

Pipe center line and bow with #2 tip in purple icing. Let dry overnight.





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Royal Icing can be very finicky and occasionally does not turn out perfectly. If you look closely at the unfinished cookie, you can see how the icing did not dry to a smooth finish and appears bumpy. All cookie decorators have this problem from time to time and there’s no easy answer. I may have over-beaten the meringue powder (dried egg whites), which is the first step in making royal icing, or over-beaten the icing. Another possibility could be that too much food coloring was added to the icing and the icing was over-stirred. To achieve the red-orange color, I used a lot of red and orange gel food coloring which may have changed the consistency of the icing.  None of this affects the taste of the cookie. Although, the likely culprit is that when preparing the flood icing, I added too much water at one time. It is essential to add only 1/2 teaspoon or short spritz (if using a spray bottle) at a time, then stir to incorporate the water. Repeat the process several times and add water in very small amounts until achieving flood consistency icing. Too much water can also prevent the royal icing from drying, and remain tacky even after 24-48 hours. Patience is key!

I planned to airbrush the edges to add dimension to the cookie, but instead added sanding sugar to hide the imperfections. Who was it who said, ‘when you get lemons, make lemonade?’

Peach Cookies
Peach Shortbread Cookies
Royal Icing for outlining and flooding tinted Red-Orange with AmeriColor Super Red and AmeriColor Orange
Royal Icing for detail tinted Brown with AmeriColor Chocolate Brown
Disposable piping bags & couplers
Squeeze bottles
Wilton Decorating Tip #2
Meringue Powder
Rose Luster Dust
White Sanding Sugar

Outline cookie with #2 tip in red-orange icing.

Flood cookie with red-orange icing.

Pipe leaves with #2 tip in brown detail icing. Let dry overnight.

 See the bumpy surface

Using a paintbrush apply rose luster dust to the leaves.

Mix 1 tsp meringue powder and tsp water. Stir until smooth.
Using a paintbrush apply to peach.

Sprinkle with white sanding sugar. Gently shake off excess. Let dry 30 minutes.




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SPRING FAVS/ Around the Web

There are thousands of bloggers on the Internet each with their own unique style and personality. In today’s post I would like to introduce you to a handful of my bloggin’ buddies. We lend support and encouragement and cheer for each other’s successes. Bloggers get bloggers. What I mean by that is each of us started our blogs out of a passion for the crafts we enjoy and the desire to share with others. Whether it’s a scrumptious dessert recipe or creative concept the passion comes through. Spring has arrived and here is a collection of my springtime favorites you are certain to enjoy.
*  *  *  *  *

Deb from Cooking on the Front Burner admits to a true love of anything lemon. She has oodles of delicious recipes and often delights us with a citrus-y dessert. Her Mini Lemon Bundt Cakes are so adorable and guests will delight in their own individual cake.

Colleen from Royal Icing Diaries* shares her ups and downs of decorating with royal icing. Her expertise shines through in her creative cookie designs. The arrival of warmer temps signals the beginning of grilling season and these Hot Dog and Grill Cookies look like the real thing.
(*Blog Inactive)


Jemma from At Home with Jemma brings the outdoors into your home with her gardening tips, DIY projects, fashion and recipes. She demonstrates how to put your own personal touch in any area of your home. Jemma made Three Spring Wreaths, one pictured here. Be sure to visit her blog to view the others and choose your favorite. 

Lisa from The Barefoot Baker has a knack for making the most enticing cookies that resemble some of our favorite summertime treats. Everyone loves ice cream and these cookies are reminiscent of that childhood mishap with an ice cream cone. These dropped Ice Cream Cone Cookies illustrates Lisa’s superb creativity.

Anne from From My Sweet Heart* confesses to being a dessert addict and I’m so glad she is. I get excited when a new post appears in my mailbox. She makes some of the most unique and appetizing goodies. Her repertoire is vast and today I’m showcasing her Strawberry Hazelnut Smoothies … just the perfect refreshment for springtime. Be sure to check out her mouth-watering cakes.
(*Blog Inactive)


Kim from The Cookie Puzzle will transport you to a white sandy beach and turquoise water as you take a bite of her Pina Colada Muffins. This tropical delight contains pineapple and coconut. Visit Kim’s blog for more delectable sweets.

Cindy from Little Miss Celebration is always creating. She has a decoration for every holiday and every season, and her bubbly personality comes through in each and every design. Her Bursting with Blooms Frame Wreath will cure your spring fever. Brighten your front door, indoor porch or mantle with this DIY decoration.

Mickey from A Helicopter Mom captures springtime’s beauty in these charming Stacked Flower Cookies … five flowers stacked on each other. How cool is that! These cookies sing cuteness and I’m inspired by Mickey’s innovative design.

One of my favorites from last spring are these brightly-colored Butterfly Cookies in three wet-on-wet designs, which were made for my grand niece’s garden birthday party.

These are just a small sampling of the creative talent of these bloggers. I urge you to drop by and visit their blogs, stay awhile and tour the collection of crafts and goodies. Then be sure to subscribe to their blogs to keep up with the latest happenings. Happy Spring!

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