Chalk-A-Lot Cookies with Edible Chalk
Welcome to the fanciful world of Rosie Alyea. If you aren’t yet familiar with her blog Sweetapolita, you have a colorful and tasty world to explore. Now in the The Sweetapolita Bakebookshe brings us fantastical creations like these Chalk-A-Lot Cookies with Edible Chalk. The “chalk” is made from candy coating and brilliantly molded in cake dowel straws or sturdy jumbo drinking straws. Also check out her Coney Island Cheesecake for another rainbow hued treat.
Reprinted from The Sweetapolita Bakebook: 75 Fanciful Cakes, Cookies & More to Make & Decorate. Copyright © 2015 by Rosie Alyea. Photos by Rosie Alyea. Property of Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC. by Rosie Alyea. Published by Clarkson Potter, 2015.
Kids will not only love that they can chalk-scribble all over these chocolate sugar cookies disguised as little chalkboards, but they’ll think it’s pretty cool that they gobble up the cookie and the chalk when they’re done. Now that’s a wee-one’s idea of craft-time cleanup! I like to use a bigger cookie to provide more room for coloring, but any size will do. While kids love making and eating these cookies themselves, I bet they’d relish giving them away as teachers’ gifts or to fellow classmates.
5-inch-wide plaque-shaped cookie cutter
Small rolling pin with ¹⁄8-inch guides
Small offset palette knife
Artist’s palette knife
- Confectioners’ sugar, for rolling and dusting fondant
- 1 pound plus 8 ounces (750 g) black ready-to-use fondant
- (I use Satin Ice brand for a chalkboard finish)
- Piping jelly or fruit jelly
- 6 ounces (170 g) candy coating in desired color (I like Wilton)
- 1 (4 g) jar petal dust or luster in coordinating color
- Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
- 2¾ cups (350 g) all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup (90 g) best-quality Dutch-process dark cocoa powder (I use Cacao Barry Extra Brute)
- 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder (optional)
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (225 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup (205 g) superfine sugar
- ½ cup (110 g) packed light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- For the Chalk: Melt the candy coating in a microwave-safe bowl in 20-second intervals, stirring with a spatula after each one. Add the petal dust and stir until completely incorporated. (For a more intense color, add more dust.) Pour the candy into a plastic zip-top bag and snip a small hole in one corner. Fill each straw with the candy. Put the straws in the freezer until the candy is set, about 5 minutes.
- Remove the filled straws from the freezer, and using the wooden dowel, push the hardened candy out of the straw. The “chalk” should slide right out. If still too soft, put it back in the freezer for another 3 minutes. Cut each chalk into three even pieces. Dust with confectioners’ sugar for a chalky effect, if desired.
- The chalk will keep in a plastic zip-top bag in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight for up to 8 weeks.
- For the Cookies: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder (if using), baking powder, and salt.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugars on medium speed until the mixture becomes a pale paste (you don’t want it to be super-fluffy, or the cookies will expand when baking), 2 minutes. Add the milk and vanilla, and beat well. Add the egg and beat until incorporated, about 1 minute. Reduce the mixer speed to the lowest setting, and gradually add the flour mixture, beating until just incorporated (do not over-mix). Wrap the ball of dough in plastic wrap, and press it into a disc. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Unwrap the chilled dough and put it on a large piece of parchment. Put two ¼-inch wooden dowels on either side of the dough and put a second sheet of parchment on top. Roll out the dough until it’s level with the dowels. Slide the parchment and dough onto a board and freeze or refrigerate for about 15 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment. Remove the dough from the refrigerator, and cut out large plaque shapes with a cutter. Put the shapes about 1½ inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Freeze for at least 15 minutes.
- Bake the cookies until the edges are firm and the center is still soft, 12 to 15 minutes (this can vary greatly, depending on your oven, the size of your cookies, and how long they were in the freezer prior to baking). Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets on wire racks for 10 minutes. Gently transfer them to wire racks to cool completely.
- The cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
- Dust a work surface with confectioners’ sugar and roll out a lemon-size ball of black fondant to 1⁄8-inch thickness. Cut out fondant plaques with the same cutter you used for the cookies. Let the fondant sit to firm up, about 30 minutes.
- Using a small offset palette knife, spread a small amount of jelly onto the cookies, and using an artist’s palette knife, gently transfer each of the fondant pieces to the cookies. Gently press into place using your fingers to smooth the edges and let the fondant dry completely, at least 2 hours.
- Serve the cookies with edible chalk, and let them doodle till they drop!
- If you find the chalk really doesn’t want to come out of the straw, use a craft blade (I use X-Acto) to carefully cut the straw down the middle, then remove.