Graduation Cap Sugar Cookies & Several Links for Recipes, Cookie Cutters, and Vanilla Beans

Last week, my best friend of 36 years called and asked, “WIll you make cookies for Dani’s graduation party?”

“Of course!” I shouted as my mind raced with ideas. The problem was certainly not making cookies; it was limiting myself on making too many varieties. With excitement I perused my lengthy list of options.

First choice: Lemon and Vanilla Bean sugar cookies–in the shape of graduation caps in the school’s colors. I’m happy with the outcome. I was pleased to hear guests think they were ordered from a bakery, and even more pleased to hear from others that they tasted even better than the sugar cookies from a popular local bakery. Success!

Cookie Recipes and Decorating Tutorials

If you are interested in sugar cookie recipes and how to decorate, check out my recent blog post with several links. It’s really quite fun to use the royal icing, but the entire process does take a chunk of time (like a couple of days) due to dough mixing and chilling, baking, cooling, and the various decorating steps.

Cookie Cutters

To find a variety of cookies cutters, I’ve compiled the resources I’ve discovered thus far:

    • For those local to the South Bay area, try Cookin’ Stuff in Torrance, CA
    • For those in the Orange County area, try Classic Cake Decorations in Garden Grove, CA
    • Sur La Table has a huge selection and they have stores all over the country
    • For those who prefer online shopping, try The Cookie Cutter Shop. I particularly like this site because as you click on most cutters, the page includes completed cookies to show you how to decorate them–a highly useful feature, indeed.

Vanilla Beans

As mentioned, I used the Lemon and Vanilla Bean recipe, which tastes light and fresh. Vanilla beans can be quite expensive at the market, though. I’ve found them at Costco, during the holidays, for a reasonable price. Since then, I’ve ordered from I’ve also discovered Beanilla but haven’t used this company yet; it looks well-stocked and prices seem reasonable. I found Beanilla via an informative blog post from Vanilla Garlic about the differences and uses of the various types of vanilla beans (I had no idea there were so many kinds out there!).

There you have it–a list of my favorite resources from my research and running around town. If you don’t have the time or energy for decorating, at least try the cookie recipe some day, but it is addictive if you like the taste of lemon. One of these days, I’m going to swap the lemon flavoring for orange…and maybe even lime…

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