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How to Make Candy Conversation Hearts

posted Wednesday February 12th, 2014


By the time you get to my age, you have some hard and fast rules. I will not go up in a hot air balloon or ride in a helicopter or bungee jump. I will never climb on the back of a horse. You’re not going to find me swimming in the ocean or any other body of water I can’t see through.

And I am not interested in using a candy thermometer. Ever.

Way too tricky. I used to feel that way about the Kitchen Aid mixer, but then I was given a hot pink one and it was too much to resist. And so, gingerly, I’ve tested the waters (or rather, the powdered sugar) and found that it’s true that if you keep it on a low speed, you will probably not spray your kitchen with the contents of the bowl of your Kitchen Aid.

I went hard core with the Kitchen Aid the other day, making conversation hearts. This is a candy item that does not require a thermometer and surprisingly, it’s really easy to make them. Time consuming, yes. As in, you better get busy if you want them to be ready for the big day.

I modified the recipe I found a while back on and actually used the mixer this time, which made the process even easier. I made two batches and wound up with a giant pile.

1 packet unflavored gelatin
1/2 c. water
2 t. light corn syrup
2 lbs. powdered sugar plus 1 cup
mint extract
food coloring
edible-ink marker (available in Phoenix at ABC)

Mix the gelatin, water and corn syrup in a bowl till dissolved. (You might need to microwave for 30 seconds if stirring doesn’t dissolve ingredients.)

Add the mixture to the mixer’s bowl. Turn the mixer on THE SLOWEST SPEED and slowly add the powdered sugar. Continue adding slowly till you have all 2 pounds in the bowl. You might need a bit more sugar more to get it to a stiff, doughy consistency. Save some sugar for dusting.

Remove the dough from the bowl (this is the messy part) and roll it into a ball, kneading it till it’s smooth and like Play Doh.


Divide it into balls — one ball for each color you want to make. Taking one ball, make an indentation in it that will make it easier to add the mint extract and knead it into the dough. This will take a while and you want your dough just a tad dry since the extract and coloring will add moisture.

I added about a tablespoon of extract to each ball of dough; three tablespoons for the total recipe. (Well, six since I doubled it.) But really, that’s up to you. The extract wasn’t particularly strong.

Knead till distributed, then make another indentation and add food coloring. Start with three big drops then add more as necessary. Knead till distributed.

Repeat for as many colors as you like. I made pink, yellow, orange, blue, green and purple and although the original recipe recommends using different extracts to match with flavors (like orange with orange) I prefer the taste of the mint throughout.

You don’t need to refrigerate the dough; you can go straight to heart-making. Grab a couple of cookie sheets to hold your finished product. Take a heart shaped cookie cutter (any size you like — the smaller the cuter, I think, but also the harder to write on and I had trouble finding a super-fine tipped pen) and roll out the dough (I used the palm of my hand because I couldn’t find the rolling pin) on the counter and punch away, putting the hearts on the sheet in rows to dry.

Once you are done punching hearts (a nice sentiment, right?) leave your hearts out overnight to dry. I actually flipped mine after 24 hours and left them for another day, as the backs were still a little moist, but I don’t think you have to do that before you write on them — just make sure the fronts are TOTALLY dry.


And — get creative. I was busy writing “love,” “nice” and “cute” when my husband walked by and suggested “LMAO” and “STFU” so we have a few of those in the pile, too.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Tags: Filed under: arts and crafts by Amysilverman

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