THESE SPECIAL SWEETS for February 14 are so simple to fix, you'll want to skip the store-bought kind for good...and make more batches on other occasions besides! To prepare their cute confections, the CT kitchen staff shaped melted candies with cookie cutters. Then they piped on royal icing in all sorts of fun designs. Are you planning a Valentine's Day party, wedding shower or other event? Add a guest's name to each heart and use them as place cards...or dangle the treats from a festive tree centerpiece.
Recommended: 20 Heart-Shaped Recipes
VERIFIED BY Taste of Home Test Kitchen
- 1 package (7 ounces) watermelon-flavored hard candies
- ROYAL ICING:
- 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
- 4 teaspoons water
- 1-3/4 teaspoons meringue powder
- 1 yard of 1/8-inch-wide satin ribbon in white or the color of your choice
- 3 to 3-1/2-inch heart-shaped metal cookie cutter
- Candy hearts: Place heart-shaped cookie cutters on a piece of foil, leaving space above the top of each cookie cutter for placing the ribbon hanger later. Coat the foil and cutters with cooking spray.
- Cut the satin ribbon into six 6-in. lengths. Place the ends of one ribbon piece together to form a loop. Position the ribbon loop at the top of one cookie cutter so the ends are touching the foil and the loop drapes over the top of the cookie cutter. In the same way, position a ribbon loop on each remaining cookie cutter. Set aside.
- Unwrap the hard candies and place in the large resealable heavy-duty plastic bag. Crush the candies using a mallet or rolling pin. Transfer the candies to the large heavy skillet. Cook over medium heat until melted, stirring occasionally.
- Fill each prepared cookie cutter with the melted candy to a 1/4-in. thickness, covering the ends of each ribbon loop at the same time. Let stand for 1-2 minutes. Carefully remove the cutters. Let stand until set, about 1 hour.
- Royal icing: In a small bowl, combine the confectioners' sugar, water and meringue powder. Beat on high speed for 6-8 minutes or until thickened.
- Insert the pastry tip in one corner of pastry or plastic bag and cut a hole in the bag. Place the icing in the bag. Pipe the desired designs or Valentine phrases on each heart. Yield: 6 candy hearts.
Originally published as Valentine Candy Hearts in Country Woman January/February 2004, p39