Istana's spices, fruits inspire cookie flavours

Right: The Istana Cookies were launched yesterday. Far right: President Halimah Yacob with students Joel Tan (at left), 16, and Afiq Rifdi Jaidi, 14, at the Association for Persons with Special Needs Katong School yesterday.
President Halimah Yacob with students Joel Tan (left), 16, and Afiq Rifdi Jaidi, 14, at the Association for Persons with Special Needs Katong School yesterday.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN
Right: The Istana Cookies were launched yesterday. Far right: President Halimah Yacob with students Joel Tan (at left), 16, and Afiq Rifdi Jaidi, 14, at the Association for Persons with Special Needs Katong School yesterday.
Above: The Istana Cookies were launched yesterday. ST PHOTOS: ALPHONSUS CHERN

President Halimah Yacob launched the Istana Cookies yesterday at the Association for Persons with Special Needs (APSN) Katong School to mark the Istana's 150th anniversary.

Made in collaboration between the President's Office and The Pine Garden bakery, the Istana Cookies contain ingredients derived from spices and fruits found on the Istana grounds.

Said Ms Yun Chan, the bakery's sales and marketing manager: "When we were first approached by the Istana to actually produce a set of cookies, we were elated, and that led to a series of visits to the Istana grounds to physically check out what they have.

"We saw a rosemary garden, nutmeg trees and a lot of things, and the key ingredients were selected."

The ingredients, namely berlinjau, lime, nutmeg and rosemary, were used to create five different flavours.

The flower designs on the packaging are the work of five student artists from the APSN Katong School.

Secondary 2 student Lim Xin Yi, 14, said her design has pink and yellow because she likes the colours.

"I like to draw flowers because flowers are interesting," she added.

This is just one of the ways that the Istana is collaborating with special needs children for the "Istana 150" commemoration.

Madam Halimah said the President's Office will be publishing children's books and books on the Istana that will showcase the talents of students with special needs.

"We are talking about an inclusive society and a caring society where everyone matters. We need to continue to look at platforms, ways and means where we can mainstream that," she added.

The Istana Cookies will be made available at upcoming Istana open house events. Visitors will receive the cookies when they make a donation to the President's Challenge, although the amount is yet to be determined. The proceeds will go to 67 President's Challenge beneficiaries.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 06, 2019, with the headline 'Istana's spices, fruits inspire cookie flavours'. Print Edition | Subscribe