ABOUT COUNTRYSIDE CONFECTIONS!
Hi! I’m Daniela Anderson! I am a classically trained, fine artist with a passion for baking! Growing up, I doodled and drew on everything, including my food, LOL! Family and friends have enjoyed original art on my cookies and cakes since I was a teen. I got my degree in Fine Art and Art History, but I never stopped baking, participating in sugar art competitions or creating wedding and specialty cakes all through school and into my early thirties. It is no surprise that eventually, these passions would combine and turn into a delicious business!
As an artist, I have exhibited in museums and gallery shows in the United States, Canada and Europe and have explored every cultural art form that has crossed my path. I started teaching art as a camp counselor in college and have continued to share art instruction with kids and adults in a variety of settings, including schools, museums, summer camps, specialty tours in Italy, specialty group events, community centers, private art parties and individual instruction. Art always has been one of my greatest passions!
Cooking, baking and feeding loved ones are some of my other passions! What can I say, I’m Italian and it’s in my genes! I was lucky to grow up bilingual in Italian in a multicultural family, sharing two cultures and countries all throughout my life. My mother was born and raised on the border of Austria and Italy in the Tyrolean Alps, the daughter of a Genoese Italian whose family goes back centuries along the Italian Riviera, and an Austrian mother who also was born in the Tyrolean Alps along the Brenner Pass.
I grew up sharing joyful memories in the kitchen cooking traditional dishes with my mother, aunt and grandmother both in Italy and in the States, and the intrinsical connection between creating delicious food and celebrating family and friends has stayed with me through my life.
WHAT INSPIRES MY ART!
I also am very passionate about the outdoors, gardening and my animals. I grew up showing horses and dogs and foxhunting in the Maryland and Virginia countryside. I was very lucky to grow up hiking and climbing in the Italian Dolomites and would rather be out in nature than anywhere else! In my early twenties, I became a Master gardener. These passions show up frequently in my drawings and paintings, and flora and fauna feature prominently in my original artwork on my cookies and cakes. My love for for the countryside and sporting life led to my choice in name and and focus when I created Countryside Traditions, my company that features my artwork and custom, classic products for you, your home and garden and your four-legged companions. Countryside Confections is the sister company that was created to focus on my edible, artful confections!
HOW I GOT MY START IN THE WORLD OF PASTRY, CONFECTIONS AND SUGAR ART!
I have been drawn to pastry, sugar art and baking since I was a kid. When I was a junior in high school, I begged my mother to let me work in a famous bakery in Washington D.C. over the summer to study pastry from professional chefs. I was hooked! This experience led me to apprentice under two award winning, pastry chefs who had won the national competition in their respective countries of Austria and Hungary. They had been brought over to run the pastry department of the luxury resort in the Adirondacks where I was running the arts and crafts department as well as a cooking school for kids while I was in college. My experience studying under these masters has been invaluable.
I started decorating wedding cakes, cupcakes and fancy cookies during college and that led to sugar art competitions. I continued to expand on my professional baking experience all through my twenties and then shifted gears when I had my son in my early thirties. I opened a specialty tour company based in Northern Italy that specializes in educational workshops taught by celebrities in their niche, embedded in out of the box immersion tours. Over the years I have focused on art based workshops and food/wine/cooking school vacations in Italy, Austria and the French Riviera! I am delighted to have been awarded #1 cooking school vacation in Northern Italy multiple times by leaders in the travel industry!
WHAT MAKES OUR CONFECTIONS SO UNIQUE!
I am so blessed and delighted that everyone who tastes my cookies tells me that they are the best cookies they have ever tasted! It is very important to me that our cookies taste not only as good as they look, but even better! I have developed my own recipes both for the dough and my royal icing over the years. Clients remark all the time that my royal icing is not the typical, gritty and hard coating you often find on cookies sold in bakeries. The texture of my royal icing is soft, smooth and creamy because of the ingredients I use and the method by which I create my icing. I flavor my sugar cookies and royal icing with citrus extracts and orange liquors for a wonderful, fresh twist on the traditional, vanilla sugar cookie. The ganache fillings in my French macarons often feature liquors such as Grand Marnier, Chambord and Orange Cointreau.
In response to client requests, the business has expanded to include custom cookie and cupcake toppers made from edible wafer paper featuring my unique artwork. I also create custom cake wraps and toppers for your special event. We also produce custom, specialty cookie cutters in any shape and size you can dream up! I can create not only the cookie cutter but the toppers to go with it for a truly unique party favor from your photos or designs.
Because I can reproduce my custom artwork (or your organization’s logo) on the wafer toppers, we can fulfill any sized order, including large conferences for thousands of people (with advanced notice based on the number of cookies requested). Each cookie comes wrapped in an individually sealed, clear, cellophane bag. You can opt to include your organization’s branding on the packaging.
WHAT MAKES OUR COOKIE DECORATING PARTIES SO UNIQUE AND POPULAR!
I love teaching, and we offer hand painted cookie decorating parties and classes regularly in Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia. Our cookie decorating parties can be customized for your private event, business promotional event, fundraising event or client/employee appreciation event. Check out our Events Calendar page to see when and where our next parties for the public will be held, or book a private party in the comfort of your own home!
Our cookie decorating parties are different from anything else currently being offered! What makes our parties unique is that I teach you how to hand paint and draw on your cookies with food gels, paintbrushes and food markers instead of decorating with messy bags of icing! You get to go home with some really special cookies and the skills to create your own, unique masterpieces! You can recreate these artful cookies at home very easily with a minimum of supplies and very little prep or clean up. Your cookies will be one of a kind, wowing your friends and family with greatly appreciated gifts!
IT’S STILL ALL ABOUT CHARMING AND ORIGINAL ARTWORK GRACING THE TABLE ON YOUR SPECIAL DAY!
My hand painted cookies always will remain the hallmark of Countryside Confections and my signature specialty. I am delighted that I can combine my love of art and baking to provide you with beautiful and delicious, artful confections for all of your very special events!
I look foward to working with you to create something truly unique and spectacular for your special day!