It’s the first big mile stone in every child’s life. Graduating Kindergarten is such an accomplishment and should be celebrated with fabulous grad decorations, fun activities, cool confections, and grad-themed party favors they can enjoy with their friends. Show them how proud you are with a graduation party to allow them to let loose and enjoy themselves and their friends. Enlist the help of parents for the day to help coordinate the party fun!
Make your patriotic parties one to remember with Shooting Star Cookies. Each cookie packs a surprise!
Shooting Star Cookies
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla
Use the same ingredients for the plain dough for the blue dough.
Make the dough blue by adding:
1/4 tsp. blue gel food coloring or 1 Tbsp. blue liquid food coloring
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon dried egg whites
1 tablespoon water
Blue gel food coloring (optional)
Red colored sugar
In the large bowl of a stand mixer* combine the butter and sugar. Beat on high speed until light and fluffy. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl and add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
In a medium mixing bowl combine the flour and salt; whisk to combine. With the mixer on low, add the vanilla to the butter mixture, then gradually add the flour mixture until just combined (do not overmix). Transfer dough to a piece of plastic wrap and press into a rough rectangle. Wrap and chill for 20 minutes.
To make the blue dough, follow the same steps listed for the plain dough except add food coloring to the butter mixture.
In a small bowl stir together the powdered sugar and egg whites. Add water, one teaspoon at a time, until mixture resembles a thick, pipable paste. Add a small drop of blue gel food coloring, if using, and stir to combine. Transfer to a small pastry bag fitted with a small round tip. Place a damp paper towel into the bottom of a tall glass and place the bag with royal icing with the tip resting in the towel to keep icing from hardening.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. Divide each dough in half. Roll each piece of dough into a 12×8-inch rectangle on a piece of plastic wrap or waxed paper. Invert a blue rectangle on top of a plain rectangle and remove top sheet of plastic wrap. Invert remaining plain rectangle on top of the stack, removing plastic wrap. Add remaining blue rectangle, and remove plastic wrap. Cut the dough crosswise into four 8×3-inch strips. Stack one strip on top of the other and press gently to adhere (16 layers). Wrap in plastic wrap and chill at least 30 minutes or up to 1 1/2 hours.
Using a very sharp knife, trim the short ends of the stack. Cut a 1/4-inch slice from the short end of the stack. Press the slice with your hand until even and the layers hold together. Using a 3-inch star-shaped cookie cutter, cut a striped star from the slice. Transfer to prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining stack (you should have about 28 striped stars). Gather the scraps and pat together. Reroll to 1/4-inch thickness and cut 3-inch stars. Place all stars on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until edges of the cookies are very lightly browned. While still warm, cut again with clean 3-inch cutter. Using a small 1 1/2-inch star cutter, cut a small star from the middle of 14 marbled stars. Remove and cool on wire racks.
Place half of the striped cookies top-sides down; pipe a thin ribbon of royal icing around the inside edge of each. Place a marbled cookie with cutout on top of each piped cookie, aligning edges. Let dry about 2 minutes. Spoon red sugar into the cutout in each. Pipe another thin strip of royal icing along the inside edge of each and top with remaining striped cookies, top sides up. Allow to dry completely, about 10 minutes.
Images and recipe from: http://www.bhg.com/recipe/shooting-star-cookies-1/
Place your Shooting Star Cookies on patriotic platters for your guests to enjoy!
If making cookie dough and icing from scratch is not your thing, purchase premade sugar cookie dough and icing at your local grocery store to make your patriotic dessert!
¡Hace Calor! It’s a summer full of margaritas, chili peppers, and parties! From sweet and spicy, lip-smacking margaritas to tangy, spicy chicken, it’s going to be a kickin’ summer fiesta!
Set the scene indoors, or out on the patio, with chili pepper décor. Hang lanterns, fluffy paper balls, fans or danglers from the patio awning or surrounding tree branches. Add chili pepper lights to give your lanterns a spicier sparkle. Decorate with tinsel cactuses, chili peppers, garland and decor to make it more festive. Scatter confetti on the table before you place your tableware and décor, to keep it from falling on the tableware. As your guests arrive, hand out fun party favors and wearables for everyone to enjoy! Here’s a spicy drink and food recipe to help you get your party started!
Ahoy, Matey! Throw the perfect baby shower full of our one of a kind, nautical Ahoy Matey theme! It’s the perfect summer shower that can be kept stylish and simple, or can be dressed up with crafty DIY ideas!
Graduation Mortarboard Cookies
Inspiration, Knowledge, and everything Successful is what your Graduate is made of. It’s time to celebrate their accomplishments with a Graduation party! Toss something sweet and significant into the mix with Candy Filled Chocolate Graduation Cap Cookies!
Ingredients: (chocolate cookie recipe adapted from Lili Loa)
10 Tablespoons butter, softened slightly
¾ Cups granulated sugar
½ Teaspoon vanilla
1/3 Cup cocoa powder
¼ Teaspoon baking powder
½ Teaspoon salt
1 ¾ Cup flour
¼ batch of white modeling chocolate, recipe here
½ – ¾ cup chocolate frosting
12 scoops (about a tablespoon each) of small candies like M&M Mini’s
2 ¼ inch round cookie cutters
2 ½ inch square cookie cutters
Optional: clay extruder or new garlic press
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
1. In a large mixing bowl, combine butter and sugar. Cream until light and fluffy. Mix in eggs and vanilla. Combine cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. Stir in to wet ingredients. Add flour and mix just until incorporated.
2. Roll out the dough in between two sheets of parchment paper. You’ll want the dough to be about 1/8th of an inch thick.
3. Cut out twelve 2 1/4 inch circles and twelve 2 ½ inch squares, re-rolling dough as needed. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 8-10 minutes. Allow to cool completely.
4. Roll out remaining dough and cut twelve more circles. Cut a pie piece out of each circle of dough. Turn mini muffin tin upside down. Set a round of dough over a muffin cup, press it down, wrapping it around the cup. Cut off any excess dough at the cut and press the seam together. Repeat, creating a total of 12 cookie cups.
5. Freeze cookie cups for 15 minutes, to ensure they will hold their shape well. Bake for 8-10 minutes. As soon as you remove the cookie cups from the oven, press down on the top of the cookie cups to create a flat top. Allow cookies to cool completely, then pull up on them and remove them from the muffin tin.
6. Assemble the chocolate cookie graduation cups. Fill cookie cups with candies. Pipe a thin line of chocolate frosting around the edge of the cup. Press one round cookie onto the cookie cup and set it on the counter, flat cookie side down. Pipe a small amount of chocolate frosting on the top of the cookie cup. Press one chocolate cookie square on top, creating the shape of a graduation cap. Allow to dry for at least 15 minutes so that all the pieces stay together.
7. Knead a small amount of white modeling chocolate and roll it into a thin log. Insert the log into a clay extruder fitted with a multi hole plate. Press the modeling chocolate through the extruder, creating tassels. Cut the tassels about 1 ½ inches long. You can also use a new garlic press or just roll very thin logs of the modeling chocolate by hand.
8. Pipe a small dab of chocolate frosting in the center of the square cookie on your graduation cap. Press the tassels onto the frosting. Pinch off a pee size piece of modeling chocolate, roll it into a ball, flatten it into a disc and press it down onto the center of the cookie on top of the tassels.
9. Pipe a small dab of chocolate frosting in the center of the square cookie on your graduation cap. Press the tassels onto the frosting. Pinch off a pee size piece of modeling chocolate, roll it into a ball, flatten it into a disc and press it down onto the center of the cookie on top of the tassels.
10. Store in an airtight container for up for up to a week. Each cookie can be served as dessert or wrapped in cellophane bags and used as party favors or graduation gifts.
Recipe and photos from: http://www.hungryhappenings.com/2013/05/pinata-graduation-cap-cookies.html
You don’t have to be at the ball park for the same great food and entertainment. Bring the ballpark into your home by creating a concession stand your guests will enjoy. There is nothing better than ballpark food.
Create a one of a kind backdrop for your concession stand with blue crepe paper, a banner, and lettering. Simply tie the crepe paper of your color choice to a rope or a string and cut to desired length. To create your banner, use a colorful banner and simply print out “CONCESSION STAND”, cut the letters out, then paste. After the baseball banner has dried, hang it in front of the crepe paper to hide the knots at the top.
Nothing says baseball like fresh peanuts! Make cute peanut bags using brown paper bags, twine, and cutouts. Roll the top of the brown paper bags down, using a glue stick; paste a baseball on the front of the bags. You can leave the baseballs blank, or using a sharpie, write your guests names on them. Fill the bags full of peanuts and wrap twin around the top and tie it off for added décor to the bags.
share a drink or do not like drinking out of bottles or cans.
Place irresistible Carmel Cracker Jack Cupcake’s on a dessert stand. Find out how to make scrumptious Caramel Cracker Jack Cupcake’s with Wally’s Major League Baseball Opening Day blog! Finally, place baseball plates and napkins on the table.
For it’s one, two, three strikes, you’re out. At the old ball game