July 20, 2012
Yep, those are sandwich-shaped cookies and yep, they really do come in all those flavors and all it takes is getting a little imaginative with homemade candy clay and marshmallow fondant. Today let’s enjoy the yummy simple wonder of . . .
Candy clay adds another layer of flavor and texture to cookies. It functions much like fondant except unlike fondant people won’t pull it off your cake or cookie before eating it because it’s so intensely sugary that a coma is all but guaranteed upon consumption. Yes, I’m ragging on fondant. Forgive me this my sin. Anyhoo, candy clay is insanely yummy, super easy to make and just as easy to use. I first learned about candy clay by viewing a video tutorial over at Karen’s Cookies. Thank you Karen! For those who don’t know candy clay requires no more than two ingredients; chocolate and corn syrup. Karen recommends using candy melts but I prefer baking chips based on both the flavor factor and the convenience of always finding baking chips at the local grocery store. I prefer avoiding the insanity known as Michael’s Craft Store whenever possible. Just saying.
As we all know, either from our own life experience or from careful attention to the reading assignments in history class, there was a time when children had to actually tie strings together to keep their shoes on, when making a phone call away from home required finding a phone booth and having change in your pocket, and when the only baking chips to be found in the grocery store baking aisle were semi-sweet and milk chocolate. And dinosaurs roamed the earth.
Welcome to the here and now where a world of chips in a variety of flavors await! White chocolate, special dark chocolate, chocolate mint, butterscotch, peanut butter, and cinnamon are standards you can find at most grocery stores and additional flavors like peppermint, chocolate cappuccino, and raspberry dark chocolate can be ordered online from various sources for the hardcore among you. You can make, and should make, candy clay with all these flavors. And don’t forget you make your own combinations…chocolate and cinnamon, peanut butter and chocolate…be bold, be brave.
As Karen’s perfectly awesome tutorial shows, all you need to do to make candy clay is melt one bag (12 oz) of chips and after removing the melted chocolate from your heat source stir in 1/3 cup light corn syrup.
As you continue to stir, the melted candy will begin to seize and form into the candy clay.
As soon as it’s thoroughly incorporated get a spoon and a glass of milk and then picking up the bowl with the warm chocolate clay, go find a comfy place on the couch to eat your snack while watching a good movie.
you could go with the other option which would be to remove the clay from the bowl and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap.
You say tomato, I say tomahto.
Once the clay has cooled to room temperature it will be ready to use…or eat.
Here are a few candy clay tips in no particular order than as they spill out from the clutter of my mind:
- When rolling out candy clay use a very light dusting of cornstarch to prevent the clay from sticking to the counter top and rolling pin. If you use powdered sugar, as some might suggest, you’re going to ultimately increase your sticky factor and who wants that?
- Store leftover clay by bundling it tightly in plastic wrap and storing at room temperature in an airtight container.
- Soften hardened clay by warming the amount needed in the microwave for a few seconds at a low setting or knead it with your hands. In my microwave I nuke it in 8 second intervals.
- Color white chocolate clay by kneading in a few drops of coloring gel. Do not add the gel to the white chocolate before first making it into clay by incorporating in the corn syrup. You can also make some nice muted colors using the peanut butter clay as the base.
- Be aware that dimensional details made with candy clay will eventually dry out and become brittle causing them to easily break. I don’t recommend shipping cookies decorated with dimensional detailing.
- If you find that after combining the chocolate and corn syrup there’s a film of moisture squishing around on the clay just pat the excess moisture off using a clean (did I even need to mention that?) flour sack kitchen towel, or any kitchen towel that’s not going to releasing fiber onto the clay. Avoid, oh, I don’t know…terry cloth towels perhaps.
And finally, here are a few examples of how I’ve used candy clay in the past:
I used candy clay for the whites of the eyes, the base of the binky and the wings of the owl. As you can see on the wings, candy clay gives you great results with texture mats and rubber stamps. Just spray the texture mats with cooking spray and then wipe off all the excess with a paper towel before pressing onto the clay. The clay should also be more firm than soft so you might want to roll it out on a cookie sheet and drop kick it into the fridge for a few minutes prior to adding the texture.
The little leaves and roses on the center of the ballerina dress and the blossoms on the lily pads were made using candy clay. The leaves and roses survived shipping, the lily blossoms did not.
Beginning top left and moving to the right, if you want to cover a cookie with candy clay add it while the cookie is still slightly warm and it will soften enough to attach itself securely to the cookie. And yes, you can decorate on top of candy clay with glaze and I assume the same would be true of other icings too but what would I know since I’m a glaze loyalist. For the horses manes and tails I pushed candy clay through a garlic press but as I previously mentioned, once the clay completely dried the horses started shedding within a couple days. For the leap year cookies I was able to add strips of color to the cookies quickly to avoid using glaze which would have required additional drying time to avoid color bleed. The box of candy Dots…sigh….I love all the dimension and strong colors, and the insignia on the cigar band was pressed with letter stamps and then painted with wet gold luster dust.
So that’s candy clay.
Just wait until I tell you what I discovered with marshmallow fondant. I amazed even myself.