We had a busy weekend of soccer, soccer, and more soccer, but my girls managed to squeeze in some time to help me test out what is sure to be one of the hottest toys this holiday season, the Candy Craft Chocolate Pen.
With the Chocolate Pen, you can draw and mold colorful chocolatey treats -- which, of course, held a lot of appeal for my chocolate-loving kids.
The Candy Craft Chocolate Pen kit is available at Walmart and comes with everything pictured above: 1 Chocolate Pen, 4 pouches of confectioners chocolate (in brown, white, pink and blue), 3 mold trays, 4 pen tips/clamps/caps, and 5 gift bags with twist ties. A couple of additional items I'd recommend picking up along with the kit are AA batteries (for the pen), parchment paper and a Sharpie marker.
How to Use the Candy Craft Chocolate Pen
Basically, you place the chocolate pouches in hot tap water to melt the chocolate, snip the top off the pouch, and then insert the tip, securing it with one of the provided clamps. While it sounds simple enough, in practice it took a little trial and error to get it all snapped together. But don't worry, I've got some great tips to share in a moment that should make your first go at it a little easier.
Once you have the tip placed on the chocolate pouch, you're ready to load it into the Chocolate Pen and draw or start filling the included molds. My girls made a quick video showing how to draw with the Chocolate Pen:
As you can see, Camden and Addison had a great time playing with the Chocolate Pen. It takes a few tries to really get the hang of drawing with it, but who cares when you can eat your bloopers!? Even I was surprised at just how tasty the chocolate is!
Though we didn't demonstrate it in the video, the girls also tried the candy molds. It's not super easy to switch colors to get the multi-colored designs pictured on the box, so they tended to just make solid-colored candies. I got the sense that drawing with the pen was much more fun for them, even though the mold designs are really cute.
Tips & Tricks for Using the Candy Craft Chocolate Pen
Keeping in mind that the Candy Craft Chocolate Pen is a kids' toy, it performed about as I would expect -- well enough, but maybe not quite as mess-free as the instructions make it seem. However, I have a few tips to share that should make your experience a little easier from the get go:
- Easily closing the tip clamp -- securing the clamp on the pouch tips was a bit difficult, but I discovered if you pull the pouch tight to one side and fold the extra plastic around (rather than just trying to gather and squash it all in), the clamp will be easier to close securely.
- Create your own templates -- drawing simple line designs on the back of a piece of parchment paper with a Sharpie marker as a guide is much easier than trying to draw something freehand. I just drew some designs on the back and then secured the parchment paper flat on the baking sheet with a piece of tape on all four corners to create a nice, smooth work surface.
- Troubleshooting runny chocolate -- the chocolate is pretty runny right after it's first melted. To compensate, you can either remove it from the water and let it set for a bit to thicken up, or we loaded the melted pouch into the pen and then placed it in the freezer for about 2-3 minutes to thicken it up a bit. We tested it after two minutes, and then if it was still a little too runny, put it back in for another minute.
- Easily drawing with the chocolate pen -- when drawing with the pen, it's not necessary to keep the button pressed the entire time you're drawing. We found the best technique was to hold then pen about 1/2" above the parchment paper and then pulse the button while dragging out the line around the designs.
Overall, we really enjoyed playing with the Chocolate Pen (yes, I tried it, too). It's a totally fun way to introduce kids to chocolate-making. I'm certain my girls will be pairing their chocolate designs with their beloved Easy Bake Oven cakes to create some innovative treats!
Quick purchase links:
- Candy Craft Chocolate Pen, $29.93
- Rayovac AA Batteries (4-pk.), $2.97
- Reynolds Cookie Baking Sheets Parchment Paper, $3.48
- Sharpie Permanent Markers (5-pk.), $6.46