You can still create a Launcher on the Desktop by using the old GUI dialog.
Get to your terminal and type:
sudo apt-get install gnome-desktop-item-edit
gnome-desktop-item-edit --create-new ~/Desktop
This will start the create launcher dialog. You can put the .desktop file this creates in any folder, and then drag and drop to the launcher.
Note: The package must be installed first, so if you have gnome-panel installed, then it is installed automatically.