Conversation Hearts, We Won’t Quit You
Like ’em or leave ’em, conversation hearts are a Valentine’s Day icon that’s not going anywhere…unless you factor in the shortage of 2019. If you haven’t heard, the OG conversation hearts are not available this year—we know, we gasped, too. The reality is that even if you don’t like shoveling an entire box into your mouth (which, by the way, who are you?), you likely do enjoy finding just the right message to pass on.
This got us to thinking…why deny ourselves the presence of those sassy little hearts & the joy it brings to pick one out for the special or not-so-special or entirely random someone? And so we made them ourselves & we made them huge, like huge huge.
The payoff: making your own conversation hearts means you get to pick what they say. Never one at a loss for words, we have found our true calling.
Homemade & Huge Conversation Heart Recipe
Makes: approximately 20, depending on size of cutter
Takes: about 1 hour for prep & 45 minutes to decorate
- ¼ ounce packet of powdered gelatin
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp granulated refined sugar melted in 1 ¼ tbsp boiling water
- ½ cup boiling water
- ⅛ tsp salt
- 2 pounds confectioners sugar + extra for kneading
- Cooking spray
- Parchment paper
- Food coloring of your choice
- Food coloring pens or icing gel for writing on hearts
- Optional: extracts for different flavors
1. Boil more than a ½ cup water. Add granulated sugar to stand mixer bowl or large bowl & pour in 1 ¼ tbsp of boiling water. Mix well.
2. To same bowl, whisk in gelatin, vanilla, salt & ½ cup of boiling water. If using a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment.
3. Beat in confectioners sugar slowly, mixing it in entirely bit by bit. You want it to form a sticky, yet slightly stiff, mixture.
4. On a clean surface, sprinkle additional confectioners sugar—much the same way you would sprinkle flour to knead dough.
5. Knead mixture until smooth & workable—this is when it does not stick to your fingers or the surface anymore. If still sticky, continue to add more confectioners sugar to the surface.
6. The number of colors you want to make will determine how to divide the dough. We made 5 colors, so we divided the dough into 5 pieces.
7. Add a few drops of food coloring (& any flavor extract you want to add—we skipped adding flavors because sugar flavor is our fave flavor) to the first piece of dough. Fold the dough to spread the color. Continue adding food coloring to get your desired hue. Repeat for remaining dough.
8. Coat parchment paper with cooking spray. Roll out first color of dough until about a ¼ inch thick. Cut out hearts. Repeat for other colors.
9. Leave hearts out at room temperature for 24 hours. Flip halfway through to avoid any sticky situations.
10. After 24 hours, decorate hearts with your messages.
11. Good for up to a week when stored in an airtight container—get real, these will be gone by end of day.