May 29th, 2011

How to make Hello Kitty & Pokémon cookies

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Backtracking humongously here, but here are some pictures from before Easter.

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There are seven Japanese mums at my son’s school, & we all got together to raise funds for the Japan earthquake & tsunami relief. We did a sushi & cake sale in the school yard, & I of-course contributed by baking cookies & cakes.

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Upon setting about doing this, I had a clear criteria to solve. Perhaps it’s the old graphic designer in me, but I love brainstorming. So here’s what I considered:

~ I knew I wanted a Japanese theme to them. ~ It had to appeal to primary school children & their mums. ~ It also must be time & cost effective for maximum return. (The going-rate for cake spendage is 20p to a £1 at a standard school cake sale, so for the pricing to be set so low, the cost of ingredients must stay minimal…) ~ And most importantly, explicitly with NO nuts as the school has a nut-free policy.

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After a quick sesh with my thinking cap on, I figured the best way is to bake cookies but also add value to them by imprinting famous childrens characters. Hello Kitty to appeal to girls, & Pikachu (Pokémon) for boys. As for the cookie recipe, I used the tried & tested Nontan one that I wrote about previously on this blog.

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To imprint the characters, here’s what I did:

  • 1. I found a line drawing that I like on the web.
  • 2. Then printed it out b&w to a size that I want.
  • 3. Layer a clear acetate sheet on top of print, secure the corners with sellotape.
  • 4. Using a thin black permanent marker pen, copy the design on to acetate. (Non-permanent will smudge as you do your cut out work.)
  • 5. Place acetate on cutting board, & carefully cut out the black lines. – The important thing to remember when cutting a stencil is that if there is a ‘perfect’ continual line, you have to break it to avoid cutting out the inside. It’s a bit difficult to explain, but think of the inner circle in letter ‘O’ for example. – And if you look at the bow on the kitty cookie below, you’d see that there I left gaps in the line to hold the inside.
  • 6. When you have finished making the stencil, place it on cut-out cookie dough & dust cocoa powder gently & most importantly faintly to avoid smudges. Carefully remove the stencil sheet off, then bake as per usual.

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(I used my tart tin as a cookie mold to get the fluted rim.)

(Pre-packaged in a bag for quick sale. Small handmade Japan flag sticker for added touch & charity feel. Lucky that the Japan flag is just a red circle! I wouldn’t have done this if the flag design was complicated! ie; U.S.A!)

(Cookie came big in five inch diameter! But was sold only for a pound! Bargain!! If at my market, I would’ve sold them at £1.50 I reckon!)

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I made about 55 of these, & they sold within 7 minutes. I didn’t anticipate that most mums would be buying more than one each. ~ I should’ve made more…!!? ^^

May 11th, 2011

Jason Hindley

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Dearest readers, I would like to first of all apologize for not updating my blog much lately. I’ll report soon, I hope. But in the meantime, I would like to introduce you to my dearest, dearest friend of 14 years, Mr Jason Hindley.

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Jason is a photographer, an award(s)-winning one in fact. He’s also a very relaxed, good bloke too, & always very generous & buys me drinks! ^^ (Lol! Now it’s set in public domain, you’d better keep to it J! Lol! ) – On a serious note now, his photographic talent is awe-inspiring. He once took a picture of me when I was about 22, with a mohican-style quiff do. It got used for a calendar I think. Yesss, I’m officially a calendar-girl!! Ha! One day, when I’m wrinkled & want to look back on my youthful looks, I’ll show it to you. – – Anyway, I hope you’d agree from the sample pics here that he’s damn good at what he does… Respect to the man.

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In aid of the Japan Tsunami disaster, he’ll be exhibiting & selling his collection of 100 images taken in Japan at ‘theprintspace gallery’ in Shoreditch, London. All proceeds from the print sales will go to the British Red Cross Japan Tsunami Appeal. The exhibition will provide a rare opportunity to purchase the exhibited prints at an affordable charity price.

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The private view (which you are most definitely welcome to) will be on next Thursday, 19th of May, from 7pm to 10pm.

It’s at theprintspace gallery, 74 Kingsland Road, London E2 8DL.

And then the exhibition will run from the 20th of May until 3rd of June.

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I’m gonna be the first in queue to get in that night to snap up a print. I hear that there’ll also be raffle tickets & stuff too. It’ll be fun & it’s all for charidy!!

I hope to see you there. xxx

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