If you're looking for a unique Valentine's Day gift this year look no further than some hand-decorated biscuits. Velveteen Rabbit Confections makes biscuits perfect for any biscuit lover or confectionary connoisseur who's a fan of finer things. These biscuits are a gift for the eyes they are so beautiful and intricate that you might not even want to taste them! Savour each soft bite of sweet vanilla with the pink heart biscuits, and feel refreshed with a tang of zest from the Lemon flavour biscuits.
Barbara started up Velveteen Rabbit Confections during the first lockdown, she creates stunning hand-painted biscuits as gifts for all occasions such as baby showers, wedding favours and 'Thank you' biscuits.
Pictured above, Barbara decorating 'Thank you' Biscuits for a teacher.
Where does your name come from?
"The name comes from an old children's novel, called 'The Velveteen Rabbit', written by British author Margery Williams and illustrated by William Nicholson. It is the sweet story of a toy rabbit, made of velveteen fabric, who wants to become 'real' through the love of its owner, a little boy.
This is one of my favourite children's books."
What was your inspiration to start decorating biscuits?
"I have always had a passion for anything creative, especially performing and visual arts. I've always created things with my hands, from embroidering to crocheting, to drawing and sculpting. During the isolating months of lockdown, while theatres were closed and all artists were struggling to cope with this new, limiting reality, the need to find a creative outlet led me to start looking at something completely new to me, that could be done from home, but still had that art element that I was craving for. Baking was never my thing, so it was a challenge at the beginning. It took long months of practice, perfecting recipes and honing decorating skills, but it was all worth it."
Barbara holding 'Thank you' Biscuits
How long have you been making these biscuits?
"I have been making my treats for almost 3 years now, delivering them to the whole of the UK."
What was your career before you decided to commit to this after the lockdown?
"Saying my background is varied is probably an understatement. Performing arts at a professional level, luxury retail and e-commerce are my main areas of expertise. All, without doubt, have contributed to Velveteen Rabbit being born."
What technique do you use to create your biscuit(s)?
"Oh my, there are really many! I work mainly in royal icing, which is a fickle beast to manage, affected by temperature, humidity levels and many other factors.
While in the United States royal icing cookies are extremely popular, to the extent of having 2 major yearly events called, you guessed it,
'Cookie-Con', in Europe they have yet to enjoy that level of popularity. Fortunately, there is a growing army of UK-based 'Cookiers' who are trying their best to change that.
Most common techniques used with royal icing are common to many forms of visual arts and include painting (exactly how you would on canvas), 3d piping/sculpting, palette knife painting, stencilling and stamping, moulding… the list is quite long and many techniques are coming up all the time.
My heart biscuits are painted in edible watercolours, with added splatters of metallic edible paint."
What's your favourite style to create?
"Anything that requires a combination of techniques. I enjoy creating textures."
Describe the flavour of your lemon biscuits.
"I use freshly grated lemon zest and a combination of vanilla-infused sugar and lemon oil to make my biscuit base. This gives my biscuits a great, lemony taste."
Describe the flavour of your vanilla biscuits.
"Real vanilla beans are key to getting a strong, natural vanilla flavour. Our icing also has a great flavour and a soft bite."
Do you have biscuits for specific dietary needs?
"We do currently offer a vegan biscuit option. We are working on a gluten-friendly recipe. and we also make Halal marshmallows."