It's been hot enough to melt a crayon around here. And the only thing worse that the heat are the whiners who complain all the time about it (like me!).
In weather like this, I like to find indoor projects for the kids and I to tackle. While sorting through our homeschool books, I rediscovered Scribble Art and its recipe for Crayon Cookies. Seeing as we had a gallon Ziploc full of crayon bits, I knew this would be a winner.
We started by peeling the paper wrappers off of all the crayon bits we scrounged up. My lovely littlest offspring used to do this all the time as a toddler, driving every one else using the crayon bin crazy, so she was a natural to be first up as a Crayon Cookie designer. The peeling was by far the hardest part. Apparently if the paper wrapper was still on, it had somehow fused to the crayon and was impossible to remove. I swear I sprained both thumbnails, and anything that might interfere with knitting is strongly frowned upon, so we moved on.
We used mini-muffin tins and filled them with snapped off bits of crayons of 2-3 colors per tin to make a more coherent Cookie (The photos are a bit blurry as I didn't know how to use the close-up function yet when I took these!). See if you can find the (University of Virginia) Wahoo Cookie, the Preppy Cookie, and the Pretty Pony Cookie.
We pre-heated an oven (gasp!) to 300 degrees F., turned it off and popped in our tray. (We should have just topped with aluminum foil and sat it on our front steps). Things got goopy very slowly, so I relit the fire for a few minutes. And then things got very liquid.
The cookies solidified in their pans on the counter (so as not to have liquid crayons running down the sides on my freezer!) and then I popped them in the freezer (Ahhhh!) for about a half hour. They just about jumped out of their little muffin cups and the true artistry could be seen.
We scribbled them to make sure they worked, and then packaged them up for gifts for friends. We made another batch the next day and they came out even better. Here are a few tips if you want to try this yourself:
- Use only one brand/kind of crayon. The batch we made of only regular Crayolas melted more evenly. When you throw in the washable ones (very hard to melt) and all the freebies from dining establishments, differential melting becomes a problem as some melt to water-like consistency while other are rock hard. Also, some are more brittle (the washable ones?) and didn't make very strong Cookies for the over-active scribbler.
- Don't refire the oven if you are too impatient. Just wait and get over it. It'll be a character-modeling lesson for the kids. Right, the kids.
- 2-3 highly contrasting colors gave the best scribble. The all-shades-of-blue Cookie looked great, but was a little underwhelming when it came to performance testing.
- 3 full crayons are about all that you'll want in a mini-muffin tin. It looks like it will hold more, but you don't want them coming over the edge and spilling in your oven. Use a pan underneath while the Cookies are in the oven.
- Last hint: Hit the back-to-school sales now for supplies for Christmas crafts.