I also did a last-minute plate for a co-worker's birthday -- anytime I have leftover dough I make a few balloons and circles and stick 'em in the freezer. It is a great timesaver and means that even with short notice I can contribute something homemade to a party. Circles are versatile but I'm not great with freehand design, so I love having the balloons to make it more festive:
The star design is courtesy of SweetSugarBelle, who has a great tutorial here. I love her cookies and ideas!