The Freshman Cook: 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!


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