Homemade Conversation Hearts
I found this recipe online and thought it might be a fun way for your family to leave each other personal messages. For the original post and pictures go to http://candy.about.com/od/valentinesdaycandy/r/convo_hearts.htm .
•1 packet (1/4 oz, or 2 tsp) unflavored gelatin
•1/2 cup water
•2 tsp light corn syrup
•2 lbs powdered sugar, plus additional for dusting
•Flavoring extracts anything you like
•Food safe coloring markers
In a microwave safe bowl add corn syrup, gelatin, and water, stir until everything is dissolved. Then microwave bowl and liquid for 30 second to make sure the gelatin is totally dissolved. Either poor mixture into a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or a large bowl if using a hand mixer, then poor in 1 cup powder sugar and mix on low until well incorporated. Continue to add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time and mix until well incorporated; it will go from liquid to stiff dough.
Knead the dough on the counter that is dusted with powdered sugar until the dough is no longer sticky. You will have to continuously add more sugar to avoid the dough sticking to the counter or your hands.
Here is the fun part, pick out the number of colors and favors you want to make and break the large dough ball into the correct number of smaller balls. Work in color and flavor until it makes what you are looking for.
Roll the dough balls out to about ¼ inch thick or less, cut out the different heart shapes and sizes you would like to make. Air dry the hearts for at least 24 hours on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
After 24 hours of dry time, use the food safe markers to write special family messages or jokes.