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My daughter made macarons last week and decided to use a pencil to sketch out the shapes on parchment paper. Unfortunately the pencil markings (lead) ended up on the bottom of the macarons. What would be an alternative (edible) writing instrument that we could use for this kind of thing?

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Most pencils "leads" are made of graphite, which is non-toxic. It called a "lead", they are not made of lead (anymore) – TFD Mar 2 '14 at 22:23
They never were; they have always been graphite, clay, and binders. The only unknown ingredient is the binders that hold it all together, but the amounts would be so low, the risk is trivial. But the trick is simple, even if it is only an aesthetic issue. – SAJ14SAJ Mar 2 '14 at 23:19
up vote 10 down vote accepted

Plain pencil is what is normally used. The trick is that you draw on the reverse side of the parchment, and then flip it over so the food is on the non-written on side.

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