Showing posts with label hearts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hearts. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Candy Conversation Hearts!

Everyone seems to have a "Love 'em or Hate 'em" attitude when it comes to the traditional candy conversation hearts. I know I do. I love them because they are a tradition. They have been a part of every Valentine's Day I can remember, but I am not crazy for the chalky taste or the fact that they are hard on my teeth. I found this recipe in last years February issue of Food Network Magazine, and I was intrigued.
What I discovered after making this recipe, is that these are so much better than the original they were trying to copy. These taste fresh and they are easy to eat. I think you will like these!
Candy Conversation Hearts!
1/4 ounce packet Unflavored Gelatin Powder
1 tablespoon Light Corn Syrup
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Pinch of Salt
1/2 cup Boiling Water
2 pounds Confectioner's Sugar
Extra Confectioner's Sugar for kneading
Your choice of food color 
Your choice of extract
Cooking Spray
Food Decorating Pens
Whisk the gelatin, corn syrup, vanilla, salt, and 
boiling water in a stand mixer until the gelatin dissolves.
Beat in the confectioners' sugar, on medium, one cup at a time
until you have a stiff, sticky dough.
Move the dough to a clean work surface and knead.
You will have to add a little more confectioners' sugar
to make it workable. Add just a little at a time.
You shouldn't add more than a cup.
The dough should become soft and pliable, but still a little sticky.
Divide your dough into 4 pieces. Wrap the other pieces
so they don't become dry. On the piece you are working on
put some of the color you want this piece to be. I chose pink for this one.
 Also, drop a few drops of your extract. I used Almond.
I put 3 drops of pink color and 3 drops of almond. I used an 
eyedropper to add the extract. I added the color first, 
and then so the extract wouldn't go all over, I pulled the
 dough into a cup  form and added the extract.
 Knead the dough until the color is evenly distributed
through out.  As you can see, I also made green. :)
Take a large piece of parchment paper and spray it with
pan spray. Roll out your dough between 1/8" and 1/4".
I used 1/8" on the pink hearts and 1/4" on the others. The
1/8" was a little thin, but that is just my preference.
Start cutting out the hearts using a 1" cookie cutter.
As you peel away the dough,.....
you will have all these scraps left. Just reroll until you
have none left.
Transfer your cut hearts to parchment paper for drying.
Now do the steps again for each of the three left
over balls of dough. You can choose a different color for
each one. I used pink, green, yellow, and blue. I used almond for each
color, but you could certainly switch them up. Let the hearts sit out, uncovered
for 24 hours, but flip them over at 12 hours.
Once the hearts are dry, you can write on them with a food writer pen.
Here are a few that I wrote on. I wasn't happy with
my penmanship, so I haven't written on most of them, but I did
write a few updated ones like these and these...
just for kicks!
This recipe was time consuming, so after I made the dough,
I wrapped it tightly in plastic and did the rest the next day.
When they were done drying, I placed them in a plastic
container to keep them fresh.

So, that's it. A copycat version  of Conversation Hearts,
that I know you will love! Have fun, and thanks
for joining The Freshman Cook today!


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

You Heart Meatloaf and I Heart You!

My husband is a meatloaf lover! I am not. He has always loved it. I have always barely tolerated it. Of course, as a chef and as a wife and mother, I have made meatloaf a million times. I love making it for my husband. He always appreciates it. So this is for him. His favorite meatloaf recipe with my touch!
 
 The meatloaf is heart shaped. It is rather difficult to see in the pictures.


Ingredients:
1/2  pound Ground Beef
1/4 cup Parmesan Bread crumbs
1/4 teaspoon Pepper
Dash Salt
1 small Onion~chopped( but not too small)
1 Egg
Mix the ingredients together in a bowl.
I use my hands to get it thoroughly mixed, but you
can use a fork instead. Make six little balls with the ground beef.
Flatten the beef out with your hands.
Cut the meat with a heart shaped cookie cutter.
Place the six hearts on parchment paper on a baking sheet.
Adjust them by making the center V of the heart a little deeper.
These are going to shrink a little. Firm them up with your hands by 
pressing the sides so they are together. We don't want them to fall 
apart like a burger might if it is not molded together well.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.
Keep an eye on them. See the spoon under the baking sheet.
I put that there so the grease would run away from the meat.
They kept their shape pretty well. I flipped over each one,
and cleaned any edges or grease that might have collected.
I added mashed potatoes and gravy!

Happy Valentine's Day!!