Graduation Cookies Simplified

I have a confession to make.  I HATE making graduation cookies.

Please, don’t give me that horrified look…it’s okay to hate certain cookies, right?  Especially the ones that tend to be the same, year after year.

I mean, if you want to get creative you could always make my little graduate faces {or Georgeanne’s if you’re smart} or  recreate these little cuties by the Cookieartisan, but when it’s all said and done you’ll probably end up making a few hat and diploma cookies, which also happen to be one of the hardest simple cookies to make.  Or at least they were when I was a beginner.

So, being the wonderful caring cookie person I am, I made a quick little tutorial to simplify the process.  You can thank me when you wake up from the graduation cookie coma.  It’s a real thing you know.

Before I begin, I’ll warn you, I made these cookies for example’s sake only so I used plain old black and white icing to make things a little easier to see.  That said, let’s get this show on the road.

Begin by outlining and flooding the cookie.  For help with this click here.  Let the cookies dry overnight.

After the cookies have dried add the details.  First I added a bow then two swirls, one on each end.  If you want to get all crazy try Ali-Bee’s bow instead of mine.  It’s a lot prettier.  If you’re in a super hurry though, don’t stress it.  The stringy thing works just fine.

Sometimes swirly lines can be scary.  But like most things they’re pretty easy after you get the hang of them.  Just remember to work counter-clockwise.

Once you’ve got the sqiggles on, add the top and bottom lines to close up the design.

See, nothing too it.  Simple and sweet!

Sometimes I get a little OCD and it’s hard for me to resist adding a little line to connect this little space.  Word to the wise, LET IT GO!  I know, it’s hard, but when it comes to cookies, that’s a skill almost as important as piping.  Take my word for it.  That’s years of experience talking.

Now for the hats.  Keep in mind. there are about 101 different ways to approach this cookie. I chose to add the tassel first using 20-second icing.  If you’d rather add it later, no biggie just skip this step and move on.

When the tassel had dried, outline and fill the cap.  Don’t try to divide it into sections.  This makes things harder.  A solid surface is best.  The details will  come last.

Let the cookie dry completely at this point.  Overnight is best.  Normally I use the same color for flooding and detail work, but if you’re using black and have bleeding problems, use an oscillating fan to dry the cookies.  This REALLY helps!

Anywho, use piping icing to add details.  Outline the top of the cap first {it’s almost a diamond shape} then the bottom.  I made each cap slightly different just to show that there is a little room for creativity with even the most generic of cookie shapes. Use flood icing to add the top button.

To finish up, add a tassel.  Be creative.

To erase the horror of yet another graduation cookie, I thought I would finish up with something fun. So, let’s talk about plaque cutters.  Here are mine.

You might notice that these are actually gumpaste/fondant cutters. That’s because I bought these from Global Sugar Art before there were a gazillion plaque cutters to choose from.  They work well for me and they’re reasonably priced.  There’s even a cute little baby one.  Is anyone else seeing belt buckle cookies, or is it the Texan in me?

The one drawback is that these don’t work well for cookies over half an inch thick. If that’s the case, check out Copper Gifts or Ecrandal {click on the links to see the selection}.  They have a wonderful assortment.  As a matter of fact, I have my eye on this one.  {I even linked to it just in case this is the day my sweet wonderful husband decides to read my awesome cookie blog and buy me a present for Father’s Day…you know, since I mowed the lawn that one time and all.}

Anywho, this is the last peep you’ll hear from me about graduation cookies.  Until next year, that is.