Last week, I posted about an online craft group I recently joined. The Iron Craft Challenge #5 (my first) was "Be Mine". We were supposed to create some sort of Valentine for someone special. It could be any kind of craft or treat, not necessarily a papercraft. I was really excited because I had already planned a fun Valentine project to complete with Aidan this week.
I found a great recipe for homemade conversation hearts. It was really simple and only required a few ingredients, most of which I already had on hand.
We started by combining and warming unflavored gelatin, corn syrup and water. We dumped this into the mixer and slowly added LOTS of powdered sugar. We added the flavoring (vanilla) in at this point because we were only using one flavor. I didn't want to invest in all of the fun candy flavorings until I knew the recipe would turn out.
We dumped our very sticky dough onto a powdered sugar-dusted board and kneaded it until we had a nice smooth dough. Then we divided the dough into pieces and kneaded gel food coloring into each section.
We rolled the dough out and cut out tiny hearts and even tinier hearts for what felt like ten years. My fingers literally bled. (Doesn't this sound like a fun project?) The dough dried out pretty quickly so next time I would cover the unused portions with a damp towel to keep them softer. Then we left all of the hearts to dry on parchment-lined cookie sheets for a full twenty-four hours.
The next day, we got out our fun edible ink markers and wrote tiny Valentine messages on our hearts. Aidan practiced writing his alphabet letters and making some cool shapes and "words".
Once the ink was dry, we packaged them for our friends in little homemade tulle bundles. I had a ton of leftover tulle from my tutu-making fury this summer. We tied them shut with some fun Valentine ribbon and added our friends' names. We can't wait to hand them out to all our favorite Valentines!