Once you've made the treasure chest, use any leftover dough and icing to make fun pirate-themed cookies. Soup cans work well for propping up the cookie pieces while you're assembling the chest.
- Portion size 1 serving
- Credits : Canadian Living Magazine: October 2014
- 1/2 cup butter softened
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup fancy molasses
- 85 g semisweet chocolate melted and cooled
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- black paste food colouring
- Brown paste food colouring
- 1 pkg marzipan
- 1/2 teaspoon vodka rum or clear vanilla extract
- pinch each brown edible decorating dust
- pinch each gold edible decorating dust
- 1 tablespoon black licorice whips (scant 1/4 inch/5 mm long)
- assorted candies (optional)
- 1/3 cup pasteurized egg whites
- 3 cups icing sugar
MethodDownload the Chocolate Cookie Treasure Chest pattern here.
Print out pattern pieces and cutting diagram at 100 percent. Trace pieces onto cardboard or card stock; cut out to make templates.
In large bowl, beat butter with sugar until fluffy; beat in egg, molasses and chocolate. In separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt; stir into butter mixture to form smooth dough. Divide into 2 discs; wrap each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. (Make-ahead: Refrigerate for up to 24 hours.)
On lightly floured work surface, roll out each disc to 1/4-inch (5 mm) thickness; using the templates, cut out all of the shapes, rerolling scraps as necessary. Grouping similar sizes together, transfer shapes to parchment paper–lined rimless baking sheets, leaving 1 inch (2.5 cm) between each; refrigerate for 15 minutes. Bake, 1 sheet at a time, in 325F (160C) oven until firm to the touch, 15 to 18 minutes for smaller pieces and about 20 minutes for larger pieces.
While still warm, place the original templates over the cookie pieces; trim cookies to match the original sizes. Let cool completely on rack. (Make-ahead: Store in airtight container for up to 24 hours.)
Royal Icing: In large bowl, beat egg whites until foamy, 30 to 45 seconds. Beat in icing sugar, 1 cup at a time, until smooth, thick and glossy, 6 to 8 minutes. Reserve 1/4 cup; cover with damp cloth and set aside. Tint remaining icing with brown food colouring; cover with damp cloth.
Lay the base cookie piece on a work surface. Using piping bag fitted with a small plain tip, pipe brown icing along 1 long end of 1 side cookie piece; attach upright to 1 long side of the base. Leaving 1 short edge bare, pipe icing along edges of 1 end cookie piece; attach iced short edge to short end of the base with bare edge toward top. Repeat with remaining side and end pieces to form an open-top box. Let stand until dry, about 1 hour.
Pipe brown icing along inside of both short ends of 1 of the slat cookie pieces. Hold 1 half-moon cookie piece upright on work surface; attach the slat to outside edge of half-moon where it meets work surface. Attach remaining half-moon to opposite end of slat. Pipe along top edge of the slat and inside of both short ends of another slat; attach to half-moons and first slat. Repeat with remaining slats to form a lid. Let stand until dry, about 1 hour.
Knead the brown food colouring into three-quarters of the marzipan; roll out between 2 layers of parchment paper to 1/8-inch (3 mm) thickness. Cut into scant 1/2-inch (1 cm) long strips. Using brown icing, attach strips to treasure chest and lid to make border and slats (see recipe image); trim ends to match size of treasure chest and lid.
Tint the remaining marzipan and the reserved icing with black food colouring. Using hands, roll marzipan into two 6-inch (15 cm) ropes. Fold each in half and twist; press ends of each together to form 2 ring-shaped handles. Set aside to dry slightly, about 30 minutes. Using black icing, attach handles to ends of treasure chest.
Mix vodka with brown and gold decorating dusts. Brush over border and slats; let dry completely, about 15 minutes.
Cut out shapes of the black marzipan for the top and bottom half of a lock; cut keyhole shape in bottom half. Using black icing, attach top of lock to treasure chest lid and bottom of lock to treasure chest box.
Using black icing, attach licorice to treasure chest for bolts. Fill chest with assorted candies (if using); cover with lid.
Tip from The Test Kitchen
To avoid colouring your hands, wear disposable gloves when kneading food colouring paste into marzipan.