By the time you are reading this, it is too late. Valentine’s Day has come and gone, and you have won or lost. I offer a chance at redemption, for the forgetful: Chocolate playdough.

3 cups powdered sugar

6 Tbs cocoa powder

¾ cup powdered milk

½ cup of butter (one stick)

½ cup corn syrup

1 tsp vanilla

Chocolate playdough is pretty simple. Combine the dry ingredients in one bowl, and the wet in another. Make sure to really beat the butter-syrup-vanilla mixture, until most of the lumps are either gone or small. It should look like this:CD1

The powders should look like fluffy hot cocoa mix; in fact, you should try it as hot cocoa. It seems like it would work out well. At any rate, add the dry to the wet in 1/3 increments; a lot of the lumps will mix out as the combination thickens. A quick note here: powdered milk can be rather granular, and give the dough a rougher texture than what you may want. Try to get some milk powder that is very fine grain, or perhaps run it through a wheat grinder. Maybe go without entirely and substitute in some flour?

Sculpture – Doughmance

It should look like this, which is to say, the best part of a brownie, the soft middle. At this point, powder a surface with flour and/or powdered sugar, and knead the dough until it smooths out a bit and looks shiny.

Sculpture – Doughmance

I added a little oil to this to keep it from sticking as much, and it still needed a fair amount of kneading and powder infusions. At room temperature, the dough is pretty soft and still a little sticky. The solution is to toss it into the freezer for a little while, perhaps 30 minutes? As long as it’s cold it’s stiffer, and ironically easier to work with. Now what do you do with a drunken sailor? You can flatten it out an use cookie cutters, or shape a heart by hand.

Sculpture – Doughmance

If you want to make something a little fancy, take a piece off and flatten it into a long rectangle-ish thing. Curl the end back and up a little to make a little bud, then roll the strip of dough up. Next, grab some more of the dough and make petals like in the picture above, the thinner the better. Apply those petals to the sides of the roll, and keep going until it looks like a rose.

Sculpture – Doughmance

 

Sculpture – Doughmance

 

Oh yeah, you got romance in the bag. For some other ideas, scroll back up to the picture at the top of the article. I personally recommend that mustache; everyone loves fake mustaches. Keen-eyed readers may notice a rather large thing on the left. Your hawk sensibilities have you salivating, because that is a rabbit. Yes, not only can you surprise your loved ones with roses and mustaches, you are now ready for Easter.

Sculpture – Doughmance

Cute enough to eat, eh? In fact, if you have done everything this far, and not eaten a bit of the dough, you have my admiration, tinged with fear at your inhuman self-control. For those wondering, the flavor is rather familiar; this dough tastes like a tootsie roll.

And there you have it, a way to salvage whatever mistakes you may have made on Valentine’s Day. Of course, like Christmas, it is important to carry the spirit of the holiday with you always, giving your loved ones handmade chocolate sculptures as you are moved to do so.

Hmmm… it also looks like poo, so there may be some pranking opportunities there. Food for thought.

Have I inspired you? Do you also have a terrible habit of wasting food? I would be very interested to see if others have followed in my rambling footsteps, so if you have made something inspired by one of my articles, take a picture and send it to [email protected] Label it: Crafts for Brandon. If you do, that picture will be at the end of my next article, with your name attached. If you made something beyond the fantastic scope of my chronicle, you might consider writing a guest article and sending it to that same email address to be considered as a guest post. It is always inspiring to see what art you may see in the mundane.

Brandon Quist About Brandon Quist
Brandon is originally from Olmsted Falls, Ohio. He has studied both at Baldwin Wallace college and Brigham Young University, and is currently pursuing Chemical Engineering, among other things. He considers himself a jack of all trades, and a master of none. In his spare time, Brandon enjoys knitting, guitar, reading, origami, writing, and photography.

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