Friday, May 20, 2011

Surprise your teacher with an edible chalkboard.


The end of the school year was always so exciting for me, knowing that I'd get to spend a few months hanging out either at the pool or in a friend's back yard just having fun. However, knowing that I would not be in class with my favorite teachers the next year always made me a little sad. So, as the school year was coming to an end, my mom and I would create handmade crafts or bake up some sweet treats to give to my teachers to thank them for being so special.


If you and your kids are looking for a project to do together that would make a great teacher's gift, why not try making these really cute chalkboards made from chocolate? You can personalize these edible chalk boards with a special message from your child and I am certain any teacher would love receiving this gift.

These chocolate chalkboards can be made several different ways.  I made my own large chocolate bars, but you can just buy your favorite chocolate bars if you prefer. You will need to make your own edible chalk, by pouring melted white confectionery coating/candy melts (or tempered white chocolate) into a drinking straw. Once the candy is hardened, you simply push the candy chalk out of the straw, using a wooden skewer or toothpick, and break it into pieces.  Then you use the chalk to write a special message on the chocolate chalkboard.  A bit of powdered sugar can be sprinkled over the chocolate chalkboard and brushed off using a pastry brush to make your chalkboard look as though it has been used by a classroom of students. If you want to add some special touches to your boards, you can add a frame, an apple, or any other decoration using modeling chocolate.

Chocolate Chalkboards

Before you begin, if you plan on making your own candy bars and/or modeling chocolate decorations and are not experienced making chocolate, click on this link to read my very detailed chocolate making tutorial including the recipe for modeling chocolate. You will find all you need to know about making and coloring modeling chocolate to use as decorations for your chalkboards.

Ingredients:

dark chocolate candy bars (larger, thicker bars work best)
white confectionery coating/candy melts (1/4 cup makes enough chalk for 8-10 boards)
powdered sugar (about 1/4 teaspoon per chalkboard)
optional decorations: modeling chocolate

Special Equipment Needed:

disposable pastry bag or a zip top bag
drinking straws (don't use bendable straws with ridges, you need a smooth surface)
glass filled with a few inches of sugar
wooden skewer or long toothpick
optional: candy bar candy molds (I used a 6-1/2" by 4-1/2" rectangle mold)

Instructions:

Candy Bars (You can buy them or make them.)

If making your own candy bars, melt dark confectionery coating/candy melts (or temper pure dark chocolate) and pour into candy bar molds. Freeze candy to set (refrigerate pure chocolate bars) then un-mold the bars and let them come up to room temperature before proceeding.  Note: The candy mold that I used needed 5.75 ounces to fill, so I used just over a pound of chocolate to make my three bars. The amount of chocolate you will need will depend on the size of candy bar mold you use. I recommend you use bars at least this big to make your chalkboards.  If you buy bars, make sure they are at least 5" long, so you have plenty of room to write your message.

If you make or buy break apart bars (bars that are scored on one side to make it easier to break apart the candy bar) make sure the bars are pretty thick. When you write on them with the white chocolate chalk, you'll need to use a bit of pressure and you don't want to break your bars.  You might want to buy or make an extra bar just in case you do break one. Just a thought. I hate having to run to the store in the middle of a project. Plus an extra chocolate bar will never go to waste.

Now to transform your candy bar into a chalkboard, you need to rough up the surface of the candy bar.  Take a pastry brush or a paper towel and rub the bar to take away the shine of the bar. You don't want to rub so hard that you end up with indentations, just enough to dull the surface.
To make the white chocolate chalk:
Pour a few inches of sugar in a glass. Insert drinking straws into the sugar. I used three straws and had more than enough chalk for my three chalkboards. Pour 1/4 cup of white confectionery coating into a small microwave safe bowl. Heat on high for 10 seconds.  Stir. Heat for 10 more seconds. Stir vigorously.  If wafers aren't melted, heat for 10 second intervals on medium power, stirring after each until melted. This small amount of candy will burn very easily, so be sure to melt slowly.  You can also melt using a double boiler or skillet.

Once melted pour into a disposable pastry bag or a zip top bag.  Cut the tip off the bag. Squeeze candy into each of the straws filling completely.  Squeeze remaining candy back into the bowl - if you plan to add any decorations to your chalkboards you will need it to attach the pieces of modeling chocolate. If you aren't going to add decorations, squeeze the remaining candy onto a piece of parchment paper and freeze it for 5 minutes then you can use it for another project.

Freeze your candy filled straws for 5-10 minutes. Set your timer. You don't want to forget them in the freezer as the candy will become sticky if left in the freezer too long and wont come out of the straw.
To remove the candy from the straw, push a wooden skewer or toothpick into the straw and push the candy up and out of the straw.  If the candy won't come out, you may need to freeze it for a minute or two longer.

Break the candy chalk into pieces.  Allow to come to room temperature before using on chocolate chalkboard.

Use the candy chalk to write a special message on your candy bars.  You will break several pieces of candy chalk while writing each message.  Well, I did, anyway.  I found smaller pieces worked best. Once you've completed your writing, sprinkle some powdered sugar over the candy bar.  Use the pastry brush to brush the powdered sugar across the candy bar.  Your chalkboard now looks like it has had a lot of school lessons written and wiped away over the years.  You can stop now.  The chalkboards will surely be a big hit just as they are. Wrap them in clear cellophane bags or using clear cellophane sheets. Tie on some ribbon and you have a fun teacher's gift.

If you want a more elaborate chalkboard you can use modeling chocolate to add decorations:

To add a frame around your chalkboard:
Dust your work surface with some powdered sugar.  Roll some brown modeling chocolate (either make modeling chocolate using milk chocolate or tint white modeling chocolate with brown candy coloring) out to 1/8" thickness. Cut into 1/2"-1" thick strips.  Place one strip on each of the four sides of your chalkboard, overlapping the strips at the corners.  You need to cut the strips at the corners so that they match up nicely. The easiest way to do this is to cut down through the overlapping strips at a 45 degree angle. Remove the excess modeling chocolate then gently press the two angled strips together. Repeat with all the corners.


Reheat the white candy melts in the microwave on defrost for 10 second intervals, stirring after each, until melted. Use a bit of melted candy to attach the frame pieces and a few pieces of candy chalk to the chalkboard.


To make an apple, color some white modeling chocolate with red candy coloring. Pinch off about a teaspoonful and roll into a ball.  Flatten and shape it into an apple shape.  Color some modeling chocolate brown to create the apple stems and some green for the leaves.  Attach decorations with melted confectionery coating/candy melts.


These chocolate chalkboards can be personalized for any occasion and will make great gifts for teachers, students, and faculty members.

If you like this recipe, please share it with others by using the share buttons below. I really appreciate being Stumbled Upon, and am always grateful to those of you that share my ideas on your website. I do request that you don't post my entire tutorial, but rather share a picture with a link and be sure to mention the recipe came from Hungry Happenings. If you make this recipe, I'd love for you to send me a photo to beth@hungryhappenings.com. Thank you for visiting Hungry Happenings - Beth

55 comments:

  1. Total genius!!! I can't wait to post a link to your site tonight for my readers! love it!

    hugs! Kim @ Party Frosting!

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  2. How amazing is this! I'm a teacher and I would've never thought of making something like this. Thanks for sharing!

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  3. This looks amazing! So creative and beautiful--what a wonderful gift idea!

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  4. OMG!!! How cute is that!!!!... Thanks for sharing!!

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  5. I AM IN LOVE WITH THIS! As a teacher (by day, chef by night), I may be making these for co-workers for the end of the year (and what a great retirement add-on as well). Thank you for sharing

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  6. Unbelievable. Wow, this is crazy amazing! I posted a link on ediblecrafts.craftgossip.com :) One more wow. Wow.

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  7. Wow wow wow thanks a bunch for this post what a great end of the year post for a lucky teacher.

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  8. Oh wow, this is so clever! Thanks for sharing! I can't wait to try it with the kids...

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  9. So creative! I may try these for my son's teachers this year. Thank you for a great idea!

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  10. This is REALLY GREAT!!! Someone DEFINATELY has on their CREATIVE HAT!!!!! WOW!!!!!!!!!! Wish my kids were still in school!!!!!!! :)

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  11. Amazing! I swear, every time you post i am blown away.

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  12. I was wondering what to get the teachers this year. These are perfect and my kids will love making them. Thanks for the great idea!

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  13. This is very cool. Am now a new follower:) I'm currently looking for guest posters for tasty treat projects this summer - would love to have you share an idea!

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  14. These chalk boards are so stinkin' cute

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  15. It is so exciting to see so many nice comments about my chocolate chalkboards. I hope you enjoy making them and that all the teachers that receive them as gifts think they are sweet.

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  16. This is just about the cutest thing I have ever seen! A-dorable! Thanks for sharing. ~~ Robyne

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  17. You are a genius. I love everything you are doing here. Totally going to be a follower!!

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  18. That's a great idea! I'm a teacher and would LOVE to get such a thoughtful gift!

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  19. These are incredible...just unbelievably creative. Saw this on OPT and I just HAD to peek in! So glad I did. :)

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  20. I wanted to let you know that I featured this recipe in my "What I bookmarked This Week" Post. Stop by and grab a button!

    danielle
    http://mostlyfoodandcrafts.blogspot.com/2011/06/what-i-bookmarked-this-week_18.html

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  21. This is awesome! They look so real. It's great how the white chocolate works like real chalk

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  22. this looks awesome bit i don't think i could do it

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  23. omg. this is incredible!!! what an awesome idea!

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  24. This is the most clever thing I've seen in a long time!!

    Thanks for linking up! I featured your post in my wrap up http://tidymom.net/2011/great-ideas-3/ Have a great rest of the weekend!

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  25. I absolutely love those and can't wait to do them for my kiddos!

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  26. OH my goodness! This is the cutest things I've ever seen! You are so creative. I really love this! Pinning it now.

    xo-
    Jamielyn
    I ♥ Nap Time

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  27. Totally amazing!! Wow - you are so talented!!! I featured you today in my Friday I'm In Love Favorites!

    http://socialsalutations.blogspot.com/2011/08/friday-im-in-love-week-12-back-to.html

    - Jenn @ Social Salutations

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  28. Great idea. All these awesome back-to-school gifts for teachers makes me wish I was one :D

    We have a link-up party going on - Tea Time Thursdays @ Kreative Korner. I would really appreciate if you'd link up some of your awesome posts there. Hope to see you at the party.

    http://tanyaanurag.blogspot.com/2011/08/tea-time-thursdays-2-and-features.html

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  29. i loved it beth..but here in INdia we dont get coloured chocolates :(

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  30. I never leave messages on these things but...YOU ARE AWESOME!!! I am in love with this site!

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  31. Thanks everyone for all the wonderful comments. I appreciate the fact that you've left me messages:)

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  32. As a new reader: Your idea's are AMAZING!!! I can't wait to try a few of them. I am enjoying going through your entire blog. You have wonderful recipes and easy tutorials. I don't feel like I "can't" do these at all! Thank you!!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Kim and welcome! I'm happy you like my ideas and I hope you do try some of your favorites.

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  33. whoa sister! new reader and LOVING your stuff. thanks for the inspiration - can't wait to start playing!

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    1. Thanks Carla! These chocolate chalkboards can be used for so many occasions. Have fun.

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  34. Insanely cute! I've never seen such a thing - way to go!!!

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  35. What a great idea! So personal and most teachers won't pass up chocolate. I'd love for you to link up at my party and show them off as well!
    http://qualitycheaphome.blogspot.com/search/label/POC%20Linky%20Party

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  36. what a seriously creative gift~ love it

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  37. This is one of the most creative teacher's gifts I've ever seen! I know teacher's would love this! I would love for you to link it up to my link party. I know my readers would love it too!
    http://weliketolearnaswego.blogspot.com/2012/05/what-i-learned-wednesday-9.html

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  38. Thanks again for linking up to my link party! I'm featuring you tomorrow on my blog!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for featuring my choc-boards, Alexis!

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  39. I don't even know what to say - you are beyond creative. Love your ideas - I will have to make this someday ;) Thanks for sharing.

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  40. This is a fantastic idea, but it unfortunately didn't work out for me this time (purely my own fault ;)) But I still linked to you in my post if you would like to see

    http://www.byhelen.co.uk/scraps/2012/07/10/teacher-gifts-hybrid/

    Helen x

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    1. Sorry to hear it didn't work for you. The only thing I can think of is if the chocolate bar and the white chocolate chalk weren't hard enough you wouldn't be able to scratch the word onto the chocolate with the chalk. Another option is to actually scratch words into the chocolate bar with a toothpick then dust powdered sugar over it. It wont look as good as the actual candy chalk marks, but it will still give the effect of a chalkboard. Hope the teachers enjoyed the candy bars anyway. I'm sure they did!

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  41. Love the idea of using the powdered sugar to get the used board effect - it looks soooooooooooooo real!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Amazing..

    Sowmya
    http://nivedhanams.blogspot.in/

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  42. Beth, Thanks for the inspiration! I am sharing your great idea today with my readers and linked back to your original! You are so creative! :) The only thing I did differently was I actually stuck the straw in the white chocolate and sucked it up the straw! haha! It was SO much easier than squeezing it into the straw... I wasn't patient enough for that! :)
    I think you're great! Thanks again!
    Mackenzie :)
    cheerios and lattes.com

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    1. Hi Mackenzie, clever idea to make the white chocolate chalk. I just went to your website, and your chocolate chalkboards turned out great. I'm happy to see that using a Hershey's Bar worked so well for you. That makes the project quite a bit easier to complete. Hope the teachers love them!

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  43. Estoy enamorada de ésta página. Soy una ama de casa en Costa Rica y esto me ha servido de inspiración para hacer mis proyectos y salir economicamente adelante. Gracias por compartir sus hermosas ideas.
    Dios la bendiga
    Adriana

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    1. I'm in love with this page. I am a housewife in Costa Rica and this has inspired me to make my project and go forward economically. Thanks for sharing your beautiful ideas.
      God bless
      Adriana

      Hi Adriana,

      I'm so happy you stopped by and am pleased you like my projects. I hope you enjoy making some of my recipes.

      Have a sweet day,

      Beth

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