Doting Mother and Cookie Culinarian are the words that describe the owner of one of Houston’s latest local bakeries. Meet Cristal Ordonez, founder of Heaven on Earth Gourmet Affairs, an exclusive gourmet gifts and treats company that specializes in exquisitely delicious butter pressed cookies and now edible statement necklaces.
Ordonez wasn’t always a professional patissier. She has several years of managing a business under her belt. But let’s backtrack to when she was fourteen years old. She began making smoothies and then graduated to cookies. She has always been a picky eater and found that most were too sweet. Armed with a starter recipe from a friend, she went on to experiment on her own. After numerous trials (one had too much sugar and would harden too fast, another just took too long to bake), she perfected her recipe.
For twenty-two years, she gifted the cookies to friends. It wasn’t until about five years ago, that a friend of a friend had requested a tray of cookies for a company party, and a professional bakery was made.
Eventually, she continued to get calls requesting her cookies, thus prompting her to launch Heaven on Earth Gourmet. The company officially launched on September 1, 2013, after the Cottage Food Law passed in Texas.
She recently took on jewelry making, but with a twist. One day, while baking, she had a batch of cookies that had broken. She noticed that they resembled beautiful beads. “To me, every piece of my cookie (including the flavor) is beautiful,” Cristal explained. Then, the idea just sparked. “Oh, I’m going to make me a necklace.” It took her a year to assemble.
The concept evolved from cookie, cracker or some other type of dough to shape the base. After trying many different blends, she found that fondant worked best for holding onto the cookie without ruining it; or bleeding it or infusing it with any other flavor, smell or color. She likes to only use natural ingredients, natural flavors (there are 10 so far) and only uses dyes upon request. She puts her heart into baking, hand-carving and cleaning the cookie masterpieces, which she calls- The Gemmes Collection.
The collection celebrates women and she wanted to do something that hasn’t been seen. She’s named necklaces after her Mother-Mireya and her bestie- Claudia (of Mio Boutique). The necklaces have a temperature and humidity base and have withstood up to two hours without dripping. The necklaces can also be made to hold up longer, upon request. Prices range from $50-100, just depending on how simple or complex you want the design to be. She can put up to five different flavors in one necklace.
Orders can be placed on her website. Or just browse around at the fashionable culinary accessories and trays of rainbow confections.
***Additional Photo Credit: Motley Melange