It’s that time of year again, and love is in the air! Of course while not everyone has a honey to shower with gifts, Valentines Day manages to bring out the sweet tooth in all of us. Whether you’ll be out on a date with your special someone, up all hours having ladies night at your local club, or drowning your sorrows in rom-coms and candy, this recipe is for you.
The only thing that says “I love you” more than conversation hearts are homemade conversation hearts. So for your gluten-free loved one this year, try this special recipe.
Homemade Conversation Hearts
Necco Sweetheart Conversation Hearts are indeed gluten-free, but pay close attention to the packaging. This brand isn’t sold everywhere and there are other brands of conversation hearts that contain gluten. Creating your own conversation hearts at home gives you the peace of mind that they are gluten-free and also the freedom to get creative and write whatever your heart desires!
Note: These hearts take a while to dry, so don’t procrastinate! Start the process at least 24 hours before you need the hearts.
- 1 packet (2tsp) unflavored gelatin
- ½ cup warm water
- 2 tsp light corn syrup
- 2 lbs powdered sugar, plus additional for dusting
- Assorted flavoring extracts of your choice
- Assorted food coloring of your choice
- Mixer (or you can mix by hand)
- Heart-shaped cookie cutters (choose size depending on how large you want your hearts, smaller hearts are more standard but larger are easier to write on)
- Food coloring markers (to write the text)
- Stir the gelatin, corn syrup and water in a microwave-safe bowl until the gelatin is well distributed. Microwave for 30 seconds or until gelatin dissolves, and stir well.
- Pour mixture into mixer bowl fitted with paddle attachment (also possible to hand mix). Add 1 cup of powdered sugar and mix until sugar is incorporated.
- Add another cup of powdered sugar and mix in. Continue adding the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, until you have added all 2 lbs and it is mixed well. The mixture will progress from a watery liquid to a stiff dough.
- Dust a work surface with powdered sugar and scrape out the mixture, which should be thick and very sticky. Dust the top of the mixture generously with powdered sugar.
- Knead the candy like you would bread dough, folding it over onto itself repetitively. Continue to add powdered sugar as necessary to prevent dough from sticking, and repeat until dough is satiny and not sticky.
- Divide candy into portions depending on how many colors/flavors you want to make. To flavor: flatten ball into palm-sized disc, add a few drops of food coloring and flavoring extract into the center, and fold it over onto itself. You can wear gloves during this portion to keep your hands free of dye). Knead the dough until the color is evenly dispersed and has no streaks. Repeat until all candy is colored and flavored.
- Dust your work surface and a rolling pin with powdered sugar and roll out the candy to your desired thickness. Store bought conversation hearts are usually around ¼ inch thick, but you may want to make these thinner because they will be larger.
- Use heart-shaped cutters to cut hearts out of the rolled candy and transfer hearts to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Once you have cut out your hearts, you can re-roll the scraps and continue. Repeat with the remaining candy balls.
- Allow hearts to dry for at least 24 hours before writing on them. This is important! The extra moisture in the hearts will cause the ink to run if you don’t let them dry properly.
- After 24 hours, use the food writing markers to write messages or draw designs on the hearts. Store in an airtight container at room temperature. Enjoy!
Have a happy, gluten-free Valentines Day!
Giliah Librach is a regular contributor to the CeliAct Blog. You can find Giliah on Google+.