I have two exciting thing for you today… Graduation Cupcakes and a fun announcement!
Many of you, my lovely readers, have been requesting more cupcake decorating ideas, and I’ve been listening! So if you know someone graduating pre-school, middle school, Jr. High, High School, or college, these are a great way to help them celebrate!
And… the fun announcement is that I have joined The TomKat Studio team as a regular contributor! I’m sure most of you know The TomKat Studio as a great source for beautiful party inspiration and custom party printables. I will be adding to that sweet combo with ideas for fun and beautiful cakes, cupcakes and desserts. My fridge is stocked with butter and cream, and I can’t wait to get started! =)
For this set of Graduation cupcakes, I made a few special fondant Graduation Hat Toppers (full instructions below), topped some cupcakes with printable toppers from The TomKat Studio, and dressed up a few cupcakes with simple paper “diplomas”. The diplomas were made by simple rolling a piece of white paper, and tying with a gold ribbon.
The cupcakes themselves are my favorite Chocolate Cupcakes with delicious Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting.
~ How to make a fondant Graduation Cap ~
If you’re not familiar with working with fondant, start with my Fondant 101 post.
1. Color your fondant as desired (more detailed instructions HERE).
2. Roll out the color of fondant you plan to use for the hat.
3. and 4. Cut fondant into strips about 3/4 inches wide and 3 3/4 inches long.
5. Roll up a strip of fondant to create a ring (overlapping slightly). Use a teeny, tiny bit of water or corn syrup to help the ends stay together. Set aside to dry.
6. Cut a square (for the top of the hat) about 1 3/4 inches x 1 3/4 inches.
7. Allow hat bases (the rings) and tops (squares) to dry for several hours or overnight. They should be totally firm before moving to the next step.
8. When the pieces have dried, use a tiny bit of “edible glue”- made with a few tablespoons of powdered sugar and a tiny bit of water (it should be the thickness of toothpaste) and apply with a (clean) paintbrush along the top edge of one ring. Set the top of the hat (a fondant square) on top, and set aside to dry.
9. Once the top of the hat has been secured to the base of the hat, make a tassel. For the tassels, simply roll a tiny piece of fondant into a little “snake”. I used my finger to press down one end just a bit, then used a knife to create just a bit of texture to represent the individual strings at the end of a tassel.
10. Add just a drop of your ”edible glue” to the center of the hat, and attach the tassel. Bend tassel over the side of the cap just a bit. Set aside to dry (at least 1 hour). Add toppers to cupcakes right before serving (up to a few hours before). Fondant decorations added more than a few hours before serving will begin to get soft and lose their shape.
This is my mother…
She has never been on the cover of a magazine, and most likely never will. But she IS beautiful! She doesn’t color her hair, wear makeup (with the exception of maybe mascara 3 times a year) or own any designer clothes. But this woman has made hundreds of pies from scratch, made thousands of healthy meals for her husband and children (at times with quite limited supplies) and folded tens of thousands of loads of laundry. She has driven countless miles toting her children to and from piano lessons, dance lessons, sports practice and church youth group. She has taught her three children how to read, write, balance a checkbook, prepare dinner, plant a garden, and generally how to be confident, well rounded human beings. She is now helping to teach most of these things to her eight grandchildren. She has been faithful, loving and devoted to her husband (my Dad) for over 35 years.
She is my mother and she is beautiful!
Happy Mother’s Day to all of you BEAUTIFUL women!
As promised, I’m posting the recipe for the wonderful chicken salad sandwiches I served at my recent tea party. This is a bit of a first on Glorious Treats… a non “sweet” recipe. Well actually, these delicious tea sandwiches are a bit sweet, due to the cranberries added in the mixture, but they’re not a dessert!
As a lover of tea parties, I’ve enjoyed quite a few delicious tea sandwiches over the years, and made quite a few myself. This recipe is a combination of a few recipes I’ve tried over the years, with a couple of my own touches as well. I’ve made this Tarragon Chicken Salad many times, and it’s always enjoyed by all.
~Tarragon Chicken Salad Tea Sandwiches~
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
1/2 cup fresh herbs, your choice (I usually use italian parsley, rosemary, and tarragon)
1 onion (yellow or red), thickly sliced
juice of one lemon
salt and pepper
2/3 cup chopped celery
1 small shallot, finely chopped
3/4 cup dried (sweetened) cranberries
1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans
1 Tablespoon finely chopped fresh tarragon leaves
1/2 cup sour cream (regular or low-fat)
1 teaspoon curry powder
Bread- Light Sourdough, Shepard’s Bread, or similar.
~Roasting the chicken~
Spray a shallow roasting dish with cooking spray. Layer the bottom of the dish with thickly sliced onions and 1/2 cup fresh herbs. Lay the chicken breast on top of the onions and herbs and squeeze the juice of one lemon over chicken. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast, uncovered for 35 minutes at 375*F. Cool and chop chicken for salad (discard herbs and onions).
~Making the chicken salad~
Combine chicken with remaining ingredients. Taste for salt and pepper, and chill several hours or overnight to let the flavors blend. Taste again for salt and pepper before serving.
Cut bread into small finger sandwich size. Spread a small about of mayonnaise on bread (if desired) and place a tablespoon of chicken salad on each. Serve immediately, or cover well with plastic wrap or a very slightly moist dish towel and refrigerate for up to 1 hour.
Recipe Source~ Glorious Treats
I often wish I could sit down and share a treat and some milk with each of you, but I’m not sure I could afford all the butter! I truly appreciate each of you who read this blog, and even take the time to comment occasionally. I am constantly thinking of ways to improve this site, and I would love some feedback from you! Would you do me the favor of answering a short survey about Glorious Treats? I can pay you in cupcakes!
I’ve closed and removed the survey. I really appreciate all of the wonderful feedback. In fact I was blown away and really encouraged by so many positive comments! Thank you! I am always open to input, so feel free to leave comments here (or on any post), if you have ideas, suggestions, or feedback.
Over the past 15 years or so, I have enjoyed high tea at most every tea shop in northern California. Most of those pretty meals were shared with two good friends, Esther and Cecilia.
Esther (top), Cecilia (left), Glory (Me) (right) enjoying tea- 2005
Last week Cecilia was in town (she lives 8 hours away), and I took the opportunity to prepare a special tea party, just for us. (Unfortunately Esther- who also lives out of town, was unable to join us).
It was a busy week, so I wasn’t able to make everything from scratch, but I made some delicious tea sandwiches, mini fruit salads and mixed in several store bought treats.
Did you notice, the table cloth has cupcakes and polka-dots on it!! How cute is that?! Mine was a gift from a friend, but I found them online here.
Cucumber Tomato Tea Sandwiches (recipe below)
Tarragon Chicken Salad Sandwiches (recipe HERE)
Fresh Fruit Salad
Chocolate Dipped Madeleines
Giant Pastel Malt Balls
Chocolate Toffee Almonds
The scones, lemon bars and toffee almonds (all delicious) were from Trader Joe’s. The chocolate dipped Madeleines were from Starbucks.
~Cucumber Tomato Tea Sandwiches ~
These simple sandwiches are a delicious variation on the classic cucumber tea sandwich, and are always on the menu when I host a tea party.
English cucumber, thinly sliced
Tomato, thinly sliced
Garden vegetable cream cheese (or another savory variety of flavored cream cheese)
Nice quality, fresh wheat bread
Spread a thin layer of flavored cream cream on bread, add slices of cucumber and tomato and top with another slice of bread (also spread with cream cheese). Trim crust off edges of sandwich and cut into four small squares. Serve immediately, or if needed, cover with a very slightly moist dish towel and refrigerate up to one hour.
The next time I prepare a special brunch I may try this delicious looking Banana Bread Pudding recipe from Reader’s Digest as an addition to the menu.
One of my favorite things about tea parties is eating beautiful food in smaller portions, so you can enjoy lots of different treats. And sharing a meal with a good friend is always extra special.
I’d love to hear about the places you’ve enjoyed tea with friends.