Treats for your Christmas tree

Deck the halls with boughs of holly And bring out the baubles for your Christmas tree. Set the plates and put out the treats, A cookie for you, a cookie me and a cookie for the Christmas tree!

Published: 17th December 2020 01:46 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th December 2020 10:51 AM   |  A+A-

For representational purposes

Express News Service

CHENNAI: This time around, you can have your Christmas tree and eat it too. Well, parts of it. Bakers in the city are here to give you the means, offering a delectable range of cookies and short eats.

Having taken a short course on pastry and chocolate art from the Whitecaps International School of Pastry in Bengaluru, Aarthi Santhanam has been creating waves in the Chennai market with her unique cookie and cake flavours. She officially launched her brand Bakespeare Tales in 2018 and has been catering to a loyal customer base since then. Having seen two Christmas’ pass, this one being the third, Aarthi decided to set a trend with her cookie ornaments.

Channeling her love for Austrian confectionery during Christmas, Aarthi has been trying her hand at a few traditional Austrian cookies. Her customers are quite happy with her choice and don’t waste a second to order their own customised Christmas ornaments. Choco mint, vanillekipferl, linzer and gingerbread cookies are some of the cookie flavours this Chennai-based home baker has been working with, to make her edible Christmas tree ornaments this festive season. “There are two kinds of Christmas ornaments, one that you can put in a small plastic bag and tie it to the tree, or the other kind which requires the baker to put a hold at the top of the cookie, before it bakes to directly string a ribbon through the ornament. I make both for my customers, depending on their customisations,” she says.

Price: Rs 250 for 250gms Order one day in advance

“My best friend from childhood is a Catholic. During our growing up days, I was always included in all their Christmas celebrations. Her mother used to bake Christmas ornaments in different shapes and sizes. The most common ones were gingerbread men. We loved decorating them with icing,” says Aishwarya Yadav. With years of experience as a pastry chef (some of those at The Westin, Velachery), Aishwarya set up her dream venture — Bakers Bay — this January.

Cupcakes, cookies, muffins, brownies, eclairs, pancakes...yes, if you are drooling by now, we’ll tell you that’s not all. This Christmas, reliving her childhood memories, Aishwarya has on offer edible cookie ornaments. Vanillaflavaoured shortbread cookies in the shape of mittens, stockings, snowflakes, reindeer, Santa’s hat — she’s got it all covered. You can order six cookies in a box. But, if you are the kind who loves to personalise and create your own decor, you can order the DIY cookie ornament kit, which includes sprinkles, royal icing, sugar cookies.

Price: Rs 20 per piece Order one day in advance

With time and curiosity on her side when the lockdown was announced, homemaker A Shoukath tried her first homemade cake for her mother in May this year. Slowly, watching YouTube tutorials, that followed sweet success and smiles from her family, gave her the boost to take the commercial route. Many cupcakes, pastries and muffins later, Shoukath is now ready with her edible Christmas ornaments — a first, that was merely a dream, six months back. Inspired by the generosity of Santa, she began rolling her Christmas spirit into her cookie dough and baked the cheer into her cookie ornaments. “Ornaments have been a trend for a few years now. The children love it. Eating them off the tree brings a light childish spirit to the festivities,” she says. Shoukath’s cookie box of six is filled with iced sugar cookies in the shape of bells, stars, wreaths and candy canes.

Price: Rs 350 for a box of six and Rs 500/- per box of 12 ornaments. Order one day in advance

Another lockdown venture established in July, sisters Farah, Faaliha and Fariza Fahim specialise in cookie decorating. “We saw that customised cookies were a new concept in Chennai and decided to learn the art and do something with it,” says Farah, the eldest. Taking their skills a notch higher, they introduced their first speciality in October — a cookie bouquet, which are shortbread cookies that boast the precision of floral piping patterns. They also made cookie tags to accompany the bouquets. Having worked on this extensively, the trio decided to invest their skills this Christmas by coming up with edible decor. “Since we had already done the cookie tags, Christmas ornaments were not too difficult to follow. This season was the best time for us to have tried out this concept and the response has been good till now,” she says. Their creations of edible cookies are a feast for the eyes and tummy too. The sisters assure you that the bright coloured frosting on the cookies will add that sparkle on your tree.

Price: Rs 400 for a box of six ornaments Order a day or two in advance

With nearly 20 years of passionfilled baking backing her up, Jumana Huzefa launched her brand, J’s bakes, in January 2016. “I quit my job and turned my hobby into my profession,” she says. At first, she featured simple treats like cookies and cakes, but — as she progressed — she ventured into healthy baking. Her vegan and gluten-free products served an increasingly health-conscious customer base and sales picked up quickly. Now, this is where her innovations lie. “I’ve always been fascinated by the charm of Christmas and have wanted to add to the spirit with decorated cookies and cakes. I first decorated Christmas cookies around three years ago. They were not the kind to be used as ornaments, but they were a hit at Christmas parties,” she says. Her cookie ornaments come piped with royal icing or filled with clear candy. She is open to customised orders as well and has left all her customers happy with what they get.

Price: Rs 250 for a box of six cookies Order one day in advance


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