Tag Archives: fondant covered cookies

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.

nila holden vintage floral wedding cookies

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.

nila holden floral painted biscuits

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.

painted cookies, edible paints, nila holden cookies

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.

nila holden personalised biscuits

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

Advertisements

Get Ready with Freddie Cousin Brown at Pandora HQ

freddy cousin brown bloggers freddy my love

I was so excited recently to visit Pandora HQ in Oxford Street for a Get Ready with Me event with blogger Freddie Cousin Brown. My daughter is a huge Freddie My Love fan and as soon as she heard about the event she begged me to get tickets as an early birthday present and well, I couldn’t refuse.

So on a Saturday evening in May we headed off to the flagship Pandora store on Oxford Street, and on arrival were greeted by a short queue of attendees all faithfully wearing shades of pale pink (Freddie’s favourite colour).

We were greeted by the lovely Pandora staff (all also wearing pink) and were given a gift box with a preloaded Pandora gift card in a gorgeous ribbon tied gift box, to exchange in the store (squeee!).

img_1030

We headed upstairs where the hospitality from the Pandora team couldn’t have been more amazing, they had laid on lots of lovely touches – a cocktail bar, sweetie buffet, manicures, hair styling.

freddy my love event with pandora

delicious sweet buffet at the Pandora Oxford street blogger event

Freddie did a meet and greet. I have to say she is so lovely and super stunning in real life and I found myself coming over all fan girl too, much to my daughters dismay!

Later, Freddy did a really interesting and useful Q&A, outlining her top tips for getting ready in the morning, her favourite make up brands and how to stay stunning looking all day.

nila holden freddy cousin brown pandora oxford street

Freddy’s family – Mum, Dad & sister Coco were also at the event and it was lovely to meet them and chat about Freddy’s amazing success and rise to fame over the last couple of years.

get ready with freddy pandora coco tallulah

After a few hours of pampering, indulging and chatting, we headed down to the store where we exchanged our gift cards for more Pandora goodies. I couldn’t immediately see anything I wanted to buy. As a baker, I tend not to wear too much jewellery, but my daughter was more than happy to make use of my gift card.

pandora oxford street

Back at the Nila Holden bakery, I was inspired to make some pretty logo biscuits with the gorgeous Pandora branding – including of course some pretty pink themed biscuits!

nila holden logo biscuits for pandora

nila holden corporate cookies for pandora

My daughter asked me to make some biscuits for Freddy and her younger sister Coco which we gave to them at the event. Some pink (of course!) loveheart biscuits for Freddy and unicorn and rainbow biscuits for Coco.

nila holden pink loveheart biscuits for freddy my love

All in all, we had an amazing time at the event – huge thanks to Freddy and the Pandora team..!

If you work in PR or marketing for a brand – large or small – and are looking for some extra special yummy treats for your next marketing campaign, product launch or PR event then we can help.

You can contact us direct via our corporate biscuit enquiry form or head over to the corporate cookie pages of our website for more info and inspiration. We’d love to hear from you so get in touch today 🙂

Nila x

If you enjoyed this blog post you make also like to read the following posts:

Word on Water, London’s most beautiful bookshop

Beautiful Biscuits for Berin Made Book Launch

Biscuits to launch the Harrods Sale

Biscuits for the Suffolk Coastal District Council Staff Values launch

scdc-corporate-biscuits-nilaholden4

We really loved working on this corporate biscuit commission from Suffolk Coastal District Council.

The Council recently launched its staff values and wanted a little something to give out to staff as part of the launch.

The Council provided us with beautiful artwork for each of the values: truthful, united, good value, dynamic & proud. All values chosen by the staff themselves!

scdc-logo-biscuits-nilaholden3

We then made up biscuits with edible printed toppers.  The finished biscuits looked so bright and cheerful..!

scdc-corporate-logo-biscuits-nilaholden5

Some images from the launch courtesy of @emmaj_lockwood.

screen-shot-2016-09-21-at-14-35-50

screen-shot-2016-09-21-at-14-35-20

 

To see other branded / logo biscuit commissions we’ve worked on be sure to check out these 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

In the meantime if we can help with a bespoke commission or logo biscuits for your next charity campaign, corporate event, trade show or product launch please drop me a line via our  corporate biscuit enquiry form.

Nila x

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

 

 

 

 

Great British Bake Off – withdrawal symptoms?

IMG_2059

For the first time in weeks tonight there will be no episode of Great British Bake off!

Those of you who have been following the series will remember seeing the lovely Nancy Birtwhistle being crowned winner and gaining the enviable title of Queen of Consistency last week.

So, for those of you who are suffering withdrawal symptoms and already wondering how you’ll while the hour tonight and get your GBBO fix – why not try your hand at our baking some cookies?

Here is a lovely and easy to follow tutorial that we put together for the Notonthehighstreet blog a few weeks back to coincide with episode 3 which focused on all things biscuit!

Happy Baking!

 

Cupcake Cookies

Ingredients
Makes approx 8 cupcake 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

Method
1. Preheat your oven to 170°c.
2. 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. If it’s simpler, you can instead cut the butter into small cubes and add to the bowl.
3. Rub the butter into the dry ingredients using your fingers until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
4. Crack the egg into a separate bowl to ensure you don’t get any rogue shell, then beat. Add the golden syrup and vanilla essence to the beaten egg and mix thoroughly.
5. Scoop a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the mixture of beaten egg, golden syrup and vanilla essence. Mix together to form a dough. Try not to overwork the dough as this will make it tough.
6. Place the dough into a plastic food bag and flatten to form a disc shape. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to chill.
7. Meanwhile, line a baking tray with baking parchment.
8. Remove the dough from the fridge and roll out on a lightly floured surface until about 5mm thick.

Using a cupcake cutter, cut out shapes and then transfer to the baking sheet. Lightly knead any off cuts and re-roll until you have 8 cupcake shapes.

1NHBakeoff

Bake cookies for 12-15 minutes until just cooked and starting to brown. Remove the tray from the oven and leave to cool for a couple of minutes. Then transfer the cookies to a wire rack and allow to cool completely before decorating.

Decorating your cookies
What you’ll need:
Sugar paste in cream, pink and green colours (you can buy this in most supermarkets)
Icing sugar to dust
Palette knife
Pastry brush
Paintbrush
Rolling pin

Lightly dust your surface with icing sugar. Roll out the cream sugar paste to a thickness of approx 4mm, using the cupcake cutter, cut out a shape.

cupcake cookie tutorial
Take a cupcake shaped cookie. Lightly brush with cooled boiled water.

3NHBakeoff
Using a palette knife, lift the cream sugar paste shape and gently place on the cookie, making sure to line up the edges.

4NHBakeoff

Roll out your green sugar paste to a thickness of approx 4mm. Cut out a cupcake shape. Using a knife, cut half way along to form the wrapper shape.

5NHBakeoff
Take the pointed end of a clean paintbrush and lightly indent the sugar paste to make the grooves of the cupcake wrapper.

6NHBakeoff

Carefully lift from the board using a palette knife and place on the cookie shape, carefully lining up the shape to the edges of the cookie. Gently press down to ensure it has stuck firmly to the cream sugar paste underneath. Next roll out a small amount of pink sugar paste. Using the cupcake cutter cut out a circle shape for the cherry on top. Place on top of the cookie shape.

 7NHBakeoff

If you have a stitching tool, you can use it along the edges the cookie, or just leave it as it is!

8NHBakeoff

And there you have it – a gorgeous sugar paste-covered cupcake cookie! Perfect with a cuppa.

IMG_2069

If you liked this tutorial then be sure to check out the other tutorials, tips & tricks and recipes on this blog.

And be sure to pop by my Notonthehighstreet store if you’re looking for a fabulous and delicious cookie gift for a loved one or special friend.  We have something for all occasions and are happy to do bespoke commissions too!

© 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.

Wedding Favour Cookies at Brides the Show 2014

imagination room at brides the show

We had an amazing time at the Brides the Show on Saturday, the highlight being our cookie decorating workshop in the Imagination Room.

We had some super creative and talented star baker brides at the workshop learning how to bake the perfect cookie, tips & tricks on decorating followed up with the all important tasting!

photo copy 6

personalised wedding favour cookies at brides the show

photo copy 7

cookie decorating workshop at brides the show

A huge thanks to the Brides the Show team for inviting us to be involved and for all their support on the day.

photo

If you’re interested in a spot of wedding DIY and would like to try your hand at making your own cookies, then be sure to check get our recipes, and all important tips and tricks by visiting the pages of this blog.

Alternatively, if you’d prefer for us to take care of it all for you and for your  wedding favour cookies to be made up and sent out to you then pop over to our Etsy store for further information and prices.

Happy baking!

Nila x

© 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.

Loveheart Cookies for Bridal Musings Wedding Blog

I was really excited when Louise from Bloved asked me to make some love heart cookies for an upcoming photoshoot for the Bridal Musings wedding blog.

It’s always an amazing thing when other creative people get their hands on your work and mix them up with props, florals, styling and some out of this world photography! The results are usually pretty mind blowing.

The brief for the photoshoot was “chic, creative and a little bit playful featuring beautiful florals in ombre tones – red, coral, peach, blush…”

So after a few hours mixing up different ombre toned icing I made up a selection of love hearts, added a tiny bit of gold sparkle and sent the cookies off on their way.

And then waited patiently to see the results.  And I was not disappointed…!

024 018 153 164 013 044 015

Absolutely stunning wouldn’t you agree..?  And what a fab collaboration with such a talented team.  I love getting involved in photoshoots, It’s always great to see your work through other people’s eyes and for me, quite often ends up resulting in new designs.

Head on over to the Bridal Musings blog to see the full shoot and for lots more wedding gorgeousness.

Credits:

Photographer: Marianne Taylor Photography / Stylist: Louise Beukes of B.loved Weddings / Venue: The Institute of Contemporary Arts /Hairstylist: Hepburn Collection / Makeup Artist: Mariam Jensen / Flowers: Blue Sky Flowers / Cookies:Nila Holden Artisan Cakes and Cookies / Cake Baker: Olofson Design Macaroons and Marshmallows:Anges De Sucre / Linens: The Sweet Hostess

© 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.