Valentine’s Day is almost here, and that can only mean one thing: it’s time to overdose on candy! When it comes to conversation hearts, there are two parties. There are those who hate them and those who love them. I fall into the latter. So, why not try and booze these little Valentine’s Day treats up?
You may be asking yourself, why would I make something that costs about 50 cents a package? Well, there are two reasons. First, you get to make them with vodka. And second, you get to write your own messages (cue the dirty jokes).
Boozy Conversation Hearts
Yield: About 100 hearts
Stand mixer with paddle attachment
Marble slab or countertop
Heart-shaped cookie cutters
Baking sheet lined with parchment paper
2 tsp (10 ml) gelatin
1/2 cup (120 ml) vodka
2 tsp (10 ml) cornstarch
2 lb (908 g) powdered sugar
Food coloring, of your choice
Flavoring, of your choice
1. Mix the gelatin, vodka and cornstarch together in the heavy-bottomed pot. Heat over low heat until the gelatin is completely dissolved.
2. Pour the gelatin mixture into the bowl of the stand mixer. With the mixer on low, add the sugar 1 cup at a time, letting it completely mix in before adding more.
3. The mixture should go from a thin liquid to a very thick paste. Depending on the consistency, you may need to add more powdered sugar or more vodka (take care to add very little at a time if needed).
4. Lightly dust a marble board or countertop with powdered sugar. Gently knead the sugar dough until it is smooth and very firm (it should hold its shape).
5. Divide the dough into equal portions, depending on how many colors you plan to make.
6. Working with one portion at a time, add a few drops of the appropriate color and flavor to the dough. Knead the dough until the color is evenly distributed. Taste to ensure the flavor is right. Add more extract if necessary.
7. Repeat step 6 with the other colors.
8. Roll each colored portion out to about 1/8″ thick. Using the heart-shaped cookie cutters, cut out the hearts. Place them on a lined baking sheet.
9. Leave the candy hearts at room temperature for 24 hours to harden. You may need to flip the candy hearts over after 12 hours.
10. Once completely dry, use a food-safe pen to write messages on each heart.
Russell van Kraayenburg is Editor-in-Chief of The Boys Club and blogger at Chasing Delicious.