Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Dress For Success Cookies for an UN Spouse Event

One of the things I enjoy most is my volunteer position of producing events for the United Nations Spouse Association. This group, comprised of the men and women married to people in service to the UN have unique challenges posed by mobility. Being dropped in a new city and a new language every couple of years can be overwhelming, and a city like New York for some can be almost paralyzing to get used to the culture. Most of these spouses are highly skilled, educated people and they want to find employment.

In Germany I belonged to a branch of the same group in Bonn. But I had already been living for years in Germany so I was like the native person in the group to the new arrivals and was happy to provide tips for navigating the German system as well as travel advice.

Here in NYC I am the only the only American in the group and a native New Yorker to boot. So I use my contacts and personal/professional network to produce career evening events for the spouses. In the past I have brought in human resources executives, cross cultural experts and even a professional who spoke about starting a home based business. We've covered revamping resumes, corporate manners and customs to fit the American work style as well as selling and marketing of skills through social media. 

Last night through a good friend I was able to bring in a world class fashion designer, an accomplished, interesting woman who spoke about making an impression in the business world and how to dress for success.

Nina McLemore is in short, a dynamo. She traveled the world as a buyer for a chain store, then founded Liz Claiborne accessories. Eventually she went back to school at age 50 to get an MBA, founded a private equity firm and then started her own fashion business. Her niche is female executives in the over 35 age range and her specialty is creating beautiful jackets made with highest quality fabrics sourced from all over the world. Many powerful women in government who are household names wear Nina's clothing.

Nina delivered a dynamic, interesting and very informative presentation. Everyone was very impressed and the event was a big success for us.

So in honor of Nina's presentation, I brought "Dress for Success" cookies. Since Nina's specialty are jackets. I made mostly those with a few ties and dresses thrown in to mix things up a bit.

I used my favorite sugar cookie recipe (below) and my go to recipe for royal icing from Bridget at Bake at 350.

Rollout Sugar Cookie Recipe

  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
  • 1 & 1/3 cups AP flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Line tow baking sheets with baking paper.
  • Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl and set aside.
  • Beat the butter and sugar together until creamy.
  • Add egg and mix thoroughly.
  • Add extracts.
  • Slow the mixer down and add the flour mixture in thirds until combined.
  • Wrap dough in plastic cling film and refrigerate for at least one hour.
  • Roll out dough on floured surface and cut out desired shaped.
  • Place on baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes or until edges are very slightly golden.
  • Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack. Let cool completely before icing.


  1. Extraordinary!! You've out done yourself, sistah!! These should be in a food gallery... or Liz C. could use the images (and baked cookies) for a marketing campaign. Do each of the colors taste different?

  2. They are all wonderful. Can you come and design a wardrobe for me?

  3. That is so impressive!! I've done sugar cookies before and royal icing sure is a pain in the buttocks! Yours is so smooth and flawless! haha.. great job though fashionista!

  4. So not only do you organize great events you take awesome looking cookies along too. Fantastic work.

  5. A lot to be impressed with and inspired by here... MBA at 50 and these cookies I swear are the cats meow. Don't know what else to say. Except what a great service you offer to newcomers. I'll say from experience... It's not easy dropping into a new country and culture.

  6. I meant to say over the top great looking amazing. You are always outdoing yourself.

  7. Oh these dress for success cookies are adorable. I love hearing stories of your other non baking activities what a super event you have coordinated.

  8. That talk sounded wonderful. Could do with something like that. So jackets are a winning number? Your cookies are incredible. Love all the detail, including the flashy bits!


Thank you for your comments and feedback. I love hearing from you!