When we think of our graduation student we think of pride and a deep sense of accomplishments. It’s a new beginning for them for careers, furthering their education, and happiness in their life. After the ceremony why not get together with family and friends to celebrate your graduate with little effort. Assorted dessert table is something that can be prepared and set out in advance for your guests, giving you time to enjoy the graduation ceremony.

Chocolate Mud Bars

2 sticks unsalted butter

½ cup cocoa

2 cups sugar

4 eggs, slightly beaten

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

Pinch of salt

1 ½ cup nuts (of your choice), chopped

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 jar marshmallow cream

Melt butter and cocoa together. Stir in sugar and beaten eggs mixing well. Add flour, salt, nuts and vanilla extract. Mix well. Spoon batter into a greased 13 x 9-inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Spread marshmallow cream over warm cake.

Frosting

1-pound powdered sugar

½ cup evaporated milk

½ cup cocoa

½ stick softened butter, unsalted

With mixer, mix all ingredients together until smooth. Spread over warm cake.

When cake is cool cut into squares.

Mini Strawberry Tarts

1-pint strawberries

1 cup sugar

3 ½ tablespoons cornstarch

½ cup water

Mash berries. Combine in saucepan berries, sugar, cornstarch and water. Cook until boiling about 2 minutes. Cool. Spoon into baked tart shells.

Mini Key Lime Tarts

1 can condensed milk

1 cup sour cream

½ cup fresh lime juice

Mix and spoon into baked tart shells.

Pastry Tart Shells

1 package ready-made pie crust roll

Open roll and cut with round cookie cutter. Press into ungreased mini-muffin pans. Bake at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Note: 1 roll makes 10 pastry shells.

Graduates Chocolate Chip Cookies

½ cup butter

½ cup shortening

¾ cup white sugar

¾ cup light brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 eggs

2 ¼ cup white all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 (12oz.) package semisweet chocolate chips

1 cup chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts)

Cream butter, shortening, sugars and vanilla until fluffy. Add eggs and mix well. Gradually add flour and baking soda. Mix well. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts. Drop by a teaspoon full on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes. Makes 4 dozen cookies.

Queen’s Tip: Don’t forget to add your graduates favorite punch or beverage.

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