Friday, 27 September 2013

Top Chick!

A little while ago, I was chatting to the owner and designer of an upcoming fashion brand, Top Chick. She was in the process of organising the launch of her label, a dream she's had for a long time of designing sassy clothes for plus size women.

It was always Vickie's intention to present the guests at the launch a party bag, full of all sorts of goodies like vouchers from various companies, soaps, chocolates, flyers, discounts, and, a deliciously, home-baked custom designed item of mine! How exciting to be asked to be a part of a new fashion brand's special night.

After meeting with Vickie about a month before Top Chick's launch, we together decided that biscuits were a better choice over cupcakes, as biscuits still taste fresh the next day. To be unlike anything else, the idea of a biscuit representing the Top Chick logo was suggested, so that whenever people see those stylish red locks (and bite into them), they will know that Top Chick is the place to go for sassy plus-fit styles.

First, I needed to make my own cookie cutter, which I did! My friend brought home a strip of aluminium from his work, and said that it's flexible enough to bend with my hands, and curl around Vegemite jars, etc... After putting off making it for weeks, crunch time came the weekend before the launch, and I just had to do it... And, I've got to say: it was pretty straight forward. I had printed out the Top Chick head, traced around it (which would be the shape of the cutter), and got bending and shaping.

Because of the tricky inner parts, where I would have needed to double back onto the cutter, risking both snapping it, and slicing my arm off, I made 2 separate parts:

Which I stuck together with sticky tape! :)

I was now ready for the production line of making these custom Top Chick biscuits...

After a kilo of sugar, 2 kilos of butter, and 5 kilos of flour, I had shortbread biscuits. Heaps of shortbread biscuits, in the shape of a Top Chick head.

I wasn't sure quite how I was going to ice them. My mind hadn't gotten that far yet. Thoughts flashed from using fondant, to using royal icing, back to fondant, and then, somehow, to chocolate? Mmmm, chocolate...

My cravings for chocolate were clearly getting the better of me, enticing me to do things that I wouldn't have originally planned to do! But, it worked out well. I knew (from experience, maybe, but probably more from reading a cake decorating magazine) that if I made runny royal icing, it would smooth out  to the edges and not appear piped. But before that, with some dark chocolate, I piped the outlines of the Top Chick hair and face.

With some "red red" coloured royal icing (which I got upset* at when it didn't look 'red red' but more 'pinky red') I began the 10 hour process of filling in the hair and lips on the biscuits... I was up to about 50 when I was tempted to call Vickie and cancel the order, claiming I now suffered from back injury, and schizophrenia. But the little voices told me that I needed to just keep going, and that therapy was a waste of time; I just needed more chocolate.

* Husband sees it differently. By "upset", he says that on a scale between 1 to 10 of crazy, I sat quite comfortably at 16 as I raged around the house, and slumped in despair that it wasn't RED red...

Once the red icing was on, I melted some more chocolate and added the all-important eye lashes. It was about this time (I'm certain it had nothing to do with the fact that it was 2am at this stage) that instead of Top Chick heads, all I could see were pirate faces. Aarrrrrrrrrr, my back. Aarrrrrrrrrr, cramp in my hand. Aarrrrrrrrrr I hate dieting.

The process of sliding the biscuits into cellophane bags, and then tying each one up with ribbon, was potentially the fiddliest of the whole thing, but maybe I'm exaggerating out of excitement of almost being finished.

With some sticky dots (that I searched for because of an impulsive decision to stick cards to the biscuits instead of threading them onto the ribbon**), I attached cards to the back of each cookie bag, so that people knew who had made them, and, of course, where to go to read a blog post about how it was done!

** Best decision ever! I would have easily jumped to level 25 of crazy had I threaded each card on individually!!

These were the front and back of the little cardboard cards I attached:

So, after 20 hours (or thereabouts - I eventually lost count) of mixing ingredients, cutting out shapes in shortbread dough, baking, melting chocolate, colouring icing, piping chocolate and icing onto each cookie, wrapping, tying, and labelling 120 of these delicious cookies, my job was finally done!

They were placed in a box (well, in 2 boxes), ready to be delivered for the launch. I added an extra 3 (good thing I had spare, in case some turned out c-aarrrrrrrrrr-ap), for Vickie, her husband, and her son, because why should they have to miss out? :)

The launch was a success, the biscuits were loved, the remainder of the chocolate has been eaten (oops), I think I've caught up on sleep, and, with time and therapy, I will be able to look at another shortbread biscuit once again!

Wishing Top Chick a huge success in the fashion industry.


  1. These are amazing. I can't believe you made your own cookie cutter. That is going above and beyond!

  2. Thanks Julie! It was a pretty cool experience making my own cookie cutter, and really no other way to create these particular biscuits without one! I may have possibly opened myself up to a whole new obsession, though... :)