Tag Archives: cookie decorating

The time I made biscuits for a real life princess (and didn’t even know!).

princess mako of japan studies at university of edinburgh

Oh yes. I made biscuits for a real life princess – Princess Mako of Japan, and didn’t even know! If the name sounds familiar, it’ll be because Princess Mako of Japan has been in the headlines quite a bit lately. The Princess, grand daughter of Emperor Akihito and member of the Japanese royal household is engaged to be married to a commoner.

Japanese law states that if the princess choses to marry a commoner then she must leave the royal family behind and become a normal civilian. There is concern about the Japanese royal family’s bloodline as the Emperor has just 3 grandchildren, two of whom are princesses and will marry and leave the royal family – and just one grandson to continue the line.

Not many people know but Princess Mako spent time living in Scotland a few years back when she studied at the University of Edinburgh for a year. It was while she was studying there that we had the opportunity to make biscuits for her and her friends.

One of her friends was organising a leaving party for the Princess who was heading back to Japan after completing her studies. The friend contacted me and requested a custom order of our personalised floral biscuits.

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These are probably the most detailed and complex biscuits I have in my personalised biscuits portfolio but if I do say so myself, they are pretty stunning and delicious tasting of course.

nila holden vintage floral biscuits for princess mako

Each biscuit has 3 separate layers of fondant icing – one layer of white fondant and the next layer a lovely pinky/peach colour fondant.

I then use a beautiful flower rubber stamp to decorate the fondant icing, which adds embossed detail. Rubber stamps are a great way to add detail fondant covered biscuits if, like me, you are not particularly good at free hand painting.

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Next, each flower is hand painted using edible paint or as in this design, edible dusts that I mix with a small amount of water to to get an edible paint.

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Lastly, each biscuit is personalised with a different name, again using rubber stamps, and then hand painted with a gold lustre dust. The finished effect is stunning – don’t you agree…?

nila holden biscuits for princess mako of japan

I originally designed the biscuits for my daughter’s birthday and the inspiration for the design was a beautiful vintage scarf that I found in a second hand shop in Whitstable. My daughter loved the scarf and so I used the pattern as the basis of the design for her cake and cookies that year.

I loved making the biscuits for Princess Mako’s party and working with all those beautiful and unusual Japanese names.

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I’ve made these biscuits in lots of different colours for weddings & events over the years. Here they are in pastel green and purple.

Thankfully, I didn’t know that I was making biscuits for royalty when Princess Mako’s order was placed, otherwise I think I might have been a complete bag of nerves!

We’ve since gone on to make biscuits for the likes of Harrods, Fortnum & Mason and even our own Royalty the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge, but this is still one of my favourite orders to date.

I wish Princess Mako all the very best and many happy, healthy days in her married life.

princess mako of japan nila holden biscuits

We have lots of decorative iced biscuits perfect for weddings, parties or birthdays. If you’re looking for an extra special finishing touch or a sweet treat to indulge your guests then biscuits are perfect! Visit the gift biscuit pages of our website for more info, prices and to place your order.

Nila x

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Wholesale Gingerbread Biscuits for farm shops, deli’s and food halls.

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Here at the bakery we’ve been busy making lots of gingerbread for our trade customers. This time of year, our retailers and stockists start to stock for the festive Christmas period, so the bakery is filled with delicious aromas of Christmas spice on an almost daily basis!

This year, we have two gingerbread best sellers in our Christmas biscuit range. First up our large gingerbread houses which make for a great showstopper centrepiece to your retail display if you’re deli, farm shop, department store or coffee shop. Large gingerbread houses like these make a beautiful and delicious gift for your customers that are visiting friends and family this Christmas and looking for a unusual gift that’s perfect for sharing.

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We also have these cute mini gingerbread houses as part of our Christmas biscuit range. These mini houses would make great stocking fillers for children or an easy pick up and take away gift for those last minute christmas purchases.

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We have lots of other gingerbread products that can be offered to our trade customers, so if you are looking to source gingerbread biscuit products on a wholesale basis, drop us a line to discuss further.

 

If you’re a gift retailer, deli, farm shop or other high end foodie outlet looking to source luxury artisan iced biscuits for your food service or gifting departments, be sure to check out the wholesale biscuits section of our website.

And if you’d like some more info in the meantime, why not sign up to become a stockist by filling this online form and we’ll send you our trade catalogues and terms & conditions.

Look forward to hearing from you!

Nila x

If you liked this post, you might also like these:

Mini gingerbread houses for Fortnum & Mason 

Our Christmas Gingerbread U Turn

Corporate Christmas Biscuit Gifts for your business

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Are you looking for iced biscuits for your corporate christmas gifting this year? Do you a beautiful logo or artwork that you’d like on a biscuit to send your clients, or to gift to your loyal and hardworking staff?

We’ve got just the thing for you! Here at the Nila Holden Bakery, we specialise in iced biscuits and we work closely with many corporate companies both large and small to help them with your corporate gifting requirements.

We have recently invested in edible printing technology and can now offer you a range of iced biscuit gifts that can be customised to match your branding.  We can match most colours of icing, and can print logos, artwork eg an image or graphic design onto icing.  We can even come up with some creative shapes for your biscuits!

This Christmas, due to popular demand, we have our christmas tree and christmas bauble biscuits that come iced in your choice of colour, with a logo added for ultimate brand awareness.

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We also have this delightful box set of 6 iced biscuits, 3 christmas shapes that again, can be iced in your choice of coloured icing, and 3 biscuits that have a logo printed. You can have a mix of logos, or even double the quantity of biscuits.

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If you’d like more info on our corporate biscuit range or would like to have a chat about how we can help with your corporate gifting requirements this Christmas then do drop us a line via our corporate biscuit enquiry form.  We look forward to hearing from you.

If you’d like to see more examples of our corporate biscuit / logo biscuit projects for our corporate clients then be sure to check out the following posts:

Biscuits to launch Harrod’s Summer 2016 Sale

Biscuits to launch Harrod’s Summer Sale

Biscuits for Benefit Cosmetic’s Bold is Beautiful Campaign

Biscuits for Benefit Cosmetic’s High Rollers Club

Cookies for Colour Saturday

Baked Book Launch with BKD London

bakedbook unicorn cake adelle smith

I was delighted to be invited to the book launch party of Baked recently.

Baked – the book was created by Adelle provides recipes for cakes, cupcakes and biscuits in beautifully illustrated step by step projects accompanied by stunning photography, ideas for parties and children’s anecdotes.

Adelle was taught how to bake by her Nan, and originally began baking with her son, Cai, in an attempt to get him to eat more vegetables in a fun way. She has always seen baking as a family activity. Adelle says: “I’m delighted to be turning my passion into a gorgeous book. My family and I have spent so much time enjoying creative imaginative and tasty projects together and I can’t wait to share this fun –  I’m hoping BAKED will bring together enthusiastic bakers of all ages to create even more memorable moments.”

Keen to support a fellow baker and Notonthehighstreet.com friend I went along to the launch party hosted at the rather scrummy Hoxton Hotel in Shoreditch accompanied by my own teen bakers.

And what fun we had! A delicious & yummy selection of treats and lots of fun baking, caking & crafting activities for children & adults alike!

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My two teenage bakers enjoyed getting hands on with cake decorating and made these super cute burger cupcakes!

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It was almost a crime to cut into that adorable unicorn cake but I couldn’t resist having a slice, it was delicious!

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And we had our very own photobooth moment with Boxless Booth’s and their amazing props! A photo I’ll treasure forever!

nila holden iced biscuits boxless booths

All in all a brilliant morning – so inspiring and so much fun.  Thanks to Adelle and the team for inviting us.  Wishing you all the best & lots of success with the book!

Nila x

If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy these posts about our journey in the world of baking publications and the services we offer to the cake & baking publishing industry:

Designing biscuits for Disney Sweets & Cakes Magazine

Sharing our baking expertise with Disney Sweets & Cakes Magazine

 

Designing Biscuits for Disney Cakes & Sweets Magazine

You may have read our blog post last week about how we’ve been Sharing our Baking Expertise with Disney Cakes & Sweets Magazine.

Well this week, I thought I would share some more about the actual biscuit designs we worked on.  Next week, I’ll show you a little more about some of the other cakes and sweet treat projects we made.

We used a vanilla cookie recipe for all the biscuits below.  We can’t share the exact Disney recipe due to copyright but we have our own vanilla cookie recipe that we’re happy to share with you.  If you’re looking for a simple, easy to follow vanilla cookie recipe be sure to check it out.

In all instances, the team at Creative Plus sent us the cookie cutters and brand / colour guidelines for each character. And then left it to us to translate the graphics into a cookie design.

In each case, as the character is a living breathing person, dinosaur or animal, the key thing was to capture the essence & personality in the tiny details – the eyes, hair, jewellery.  All the time, being mindful that we would need to explain the steps for the printed tutorial. So we needed to keep it simple – a real challenge!

Some of the biscuits were decorated using fondant/sugarpaste as a base, some with royal icing. And we used a mix of royal icing and coloured fondant/sugarpaste for the details.

First up, we have some delightful Lady & the Tramp biscuits. A little ‘old school’ in the timeline of Disney classics but I was secretly pleased that there were a few projects featuring characters from my childhood!

 

Next up Flounder and Sebastian from Disney’s Little Mermaid. Now these are two that I remember, as when my daughter what little, she loved to fall asleep listening to Little Mermaid. I remember the music was particularly good – Sebastian does a few good numbers in the film including the classic Caribbean inspired ‘Under the Sea!’ Love these bright colourful designs.

Next up, Princess Sofia the First. I had to admit to not recognising this Disney Princess who is a more recent addition to Disney Royalty. This was one of our first designs and it was tricky to find a way to bring the beautiful dress and jewellery to life without overcrowding the cookie but I think we managed this really well with some simple but effective royal iced detail.

And then, two of my personal favourites, both in terms of the projects and the movies, Merida from Brave with her wonderful locks of hair, and the Good Dinosaur.

 

If you’re interested in finding out more about cookie decorating, you might want to check out the cookie decorating tutorials  section of this blog.

You may also be interested in the following posts:

Decorating cookies with fondant/sugarpaste

How to make Edible glue for cake/cookie decorating

Decorating cookies using rubber stamps

5 top tips for beautifully decorated cookies

12 tips for baking the perfect vanilla cookie

Be sure to pop back next week to see a little more about some of the other cakes and sweet treats we designed for Disney Cakes & Sweets magazine.

Nila x

 

 

 

 

Cookie Decorating Classes at Notonthehighstreet

It’s heartwarming to see just how excited sensible professional adults can get about cookie decorating!

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Notonthehighstreet are huge fans of our cookies.  A couple of weeks ago we were invited into the Notonthehighstreet HQ in Richmond to deliver a cookie decorating class for their staff team. The company had faced a difficult few weeks and the decorating class was a fun and creative Friday afternoon treat for staff.

We gave a short talk on the do’s and don’ts of cookie decorating, and a few tips and ticks on decorating biscuits with royal icing and how to decorate biscuits with fondant.

It was a super fun day and the staff team really enjoyed getting hands on with tubes of brightly coloured icing, and sprinkles and sweeties galore for the perfect and delicious finishing touches.

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To bring a bit of healthy competition to proceedings, we also ran a competition for the best decorated cookies.

 All in all, it was a fantastic day.  Even more fantastic was receiving such great feedback from NOTHS:

“I just wanted to send an email to say THANK YOU SO MUCH! The biscuit decorating was such a highlight of everyone’s day and everyone is having a lovely afternoon snack! I really appreciate all the effort you put into the class and we would love to do something again here at NOTHs..!”

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If you’re need of a fun, morale boosting activity for your staff then cookie decorating is just the thing.  Do drop us a line if you’d like further details or would like to discuss a bespoke package for your corporate or team building event.

Nila x

Bake your own Christmas decorations – Stained Glass cookie tutorial

stained glass cookies

Don’t you just love beautiful stained glass cookies at Christmas? Perfect for adding a personal and DIY touch to your tree, or just a fun rainy day activity with the kids.  They are super simple and easy to make and the results are so pretty and delicious!

Follow my step by step tutorial below:

Ingredients (for the cookies)

Makes approx 12 medium sized cookies
75g salted butter, cold from the fridge
275g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
95g caster sugar
1 small free range egg, beaten
2 tbsp golden syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract

For decorating

10 Boiled Sweets – pink or red coloured
100g of white fondant/sugarpaste
Bakers twine
round cookie cutters
mini cookie/sugarpaste cutters e.g. stars, christmas trees
edible glue
Method:

Preheat your oven to 170 c

Sift the flour and baking powder into a mixing bowl and add the caster sugar. Grate the cold butter into the mixing bowl. The colder your butter, the easier this will be. Or if easier, you could cut the butter into small cubes and add to the bowl.

Rub the butter into the dry ingredients using your fingers until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

Crack the egg into a separate bowl to ensure you don’t get any rogue shell and beat. Add the golden syrup and vanilla essence to beaten egg and mix.

Make a well in the dry ingredients bowl and pour in the beaten egg, golden syrup & vanilla essence mixture. Mix together to form a dough. Try not to overwork the dough as this will make it tough.

Place dough into a plastic food bag and flatten to form a disc shape. Refrigerate for 30 mins to chill the dough.

Meanwhile, line two baking sheets with baking parchment.  Remove dough from fridge and roll out on a lightly floured surface until about 5mm thick.

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Using round cutters cut out your circles and place on the lined baking tray. Using the mini cutters, cut out a shape from the centre of the circle taking care not to distort the circle. Take the pointed end of a clean paintbrush or lollipop stick and make a hole at the top of the cookie


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Place in the oven and bake for 5 mins.

In the meantime place the boiled sweets in a food bag and crush with a rolling pin until you have a fine powder.

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After 5 mins take the cookies out of the oven and leaving them on the tray, sprinkle the crushed boiled sweets into the centre of the cookies.

You will need to work quickly here, but take care not to get any powder onto the cookies at this will not look great when completely baked. Also make sure that the space is inside the cookie is covered to the edges with the crushed sweet powder.

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Return the tray to the oven and bake for a further 5 mins. When baked, remove from oven. You may need to repierce the wholes at the top of the cookies if they have closed up a bit. Carefully remove from the tray and cool on a wire rack.

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When completely cooled, thread some bakers twine through the hole at the top of the cookie and tie a knot at one end. And voila – you have some beautiful stained glass decorations for your tree!

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A good way to disguise any drops of melted sweets that might have crept onto your cookie shape is to roll out a small amount of sugar paste and then cut out a circle with the same cutter you used for your cookies. Cut out a shape from inside the circle with the matching cutter. Using a paint brush lightly cover the cookie with edible glue and cover with the sugarpaste.- as with the photo below.

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Once you’ve mastered the technique, why not try experimenting a little, with different cookie shapes or different coloured sweets?

For example the stained glass house cookie in the image below is made in exactly the same way, just using a house cutter, and by cutting out four mini squares in the middle.  I’ve used green and red sweets in opposite squares and highlighted the eaves with some white sugar paste.  Or try cutting a love heart shape and fill with pink or red crushed sweets.  Be as creative as you like!

Wishing you a very Merry & Sweet Christmas!

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This tutorial was first published on the Notonthehighstreet blog.

Styling by Louise from Bloved Weddings  photography by Claire Graham Photography & Claire Naylor photography

© Nila Holden 2014. All Rights Reserved. No part of any recipes/tutorials/tips & tricks or any of their contents may be reproduced, copied, modified or adapted, without the prior written consent. Recipes & designs are offered for personal use only and should not be reproduced for sale or commercial purposes.