The sweetest day of the year is coming up, and it’s always been one of my favorites! For all the wrong reasons, I’m sure. I was single for most of my adult life (and childhood, for that matter), so Valentine’s Day wasn’t about a romantic dinner with my sweetheart. No, it was about the chocolate!
And now that I actually have a sweetheart — we’re getting married in two months! — it’s still about the chocolate. Sorry, babe!
But it always bums me out when I think about enjoying a sweet chocolate treat, and Jillian doesn’t have anything like that to enjoy. Sure, some of the fruity, sugary candies, like SweetTarts or conversation hearts are safe for her, but we’re girls… and we want CHOCOLATE!
Now, there are a few places online to order dairy-free chocolates for different holidays. Amanda’s Own is my favorite. They have allergy-friendly chocolates for every occasion! My problem, however, is that I always forget to order them in time. I never think about needing chocolates until about two days before the holiday. I know, brilliant. Maybe I’ll think to put it on my calendar for Easter.
But in the meantime…
Let’s make some chocolate hearts!
You only need 3 things: safe chocolate chips (we use Enjoy Life Mini Chips), any flavor of extract you want to add, and candy molds, which can be picked up at Michael’s, Walmart, Target, craft stores, etc.
Obviously, we’re using the heart-shaped molds today. I’ve been collecting these molds over the years, so I have some for every holiday, including some basic molds for mini sunbutter cups! Yum!
If you’ve never made candy before…
It’s sooooooooooooooooo easy!!!
You’ll be shocked at how simple it is, how quickly it hardens and how delicious it tastes!
Let’s get started.
Melt the chocolate.
Pour about 1 cup of mini chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl and nuke them for 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between. Usually just 2 or 3 rounds does the trick, and you’ll have a lovely, creamy consistency. (Try not to start spooning it directly into your mouth at this point, because you know… it might be hot.)
Add in the extract. We chose peppermint, but you’re only limited by what your grocery store carries! About 1/2 a teaspoon is plenty. Stir it up.
Time to mold!
Use a small spoon and dollop — yes, that’s the technical term — a small amount of chocolate into each heart. You want enough to fill the mold to the rim, but not so much that it overflows. If you’ve over-dolloped, just scoop a little out. No harm done.
Once you’ve filled all the hearts, tap the mold on the counter a few times. This jiggles the chocolate into place, and it also brings any air bubbles up to the surface so you’ll have nice, smooth, beautiful chocolates!
Pop them in the fridge to harden. They will harden on their own at room temperature, but the refrigerator just speeds up the process. They should only need about 15-20 minutes.
Step 5 – Extra Credit!!!
You could be done at this point. Your candies are done. But let’s take it that extra mile and fancy them up a bit, huh?
When you go out shopping for your molds, take a look around. You’ll find all kinds of extra goodies to go with candy and cake-making, including these beauties: shiny foil wrappers.
I LOVE these wrappers! They take a homemade treat and elevate it to the next level, making them look elegant, expensive, and store-bought… a big deal if you never get to eat any store-bought chocolate!
Place a heart face-down in the center of the wrapper, and pull up the sides, pressing them together in the back. Voila!
Fancy-schmancy, chocolatier-quality candies for your sweetie on Valentine’s Day. (Just try not to eat them all in one sitting…)