Because I have some sort of problem, and am completely incapable of doing anything simply, HRH and I made our own homemade valentine treats to send into school for her class’s Valentine’s Day exchange. I gave her two options: goldfish cracker valentines, or swedish gummy fish valentines, and I told her that she could pick the one that she wanted to make.
So (unfortunately?) I made the mistake of showing her my Valentines board on Pinterest, which had FAR more than these two projects on it. Yeah. Mental note: do not do that again. As a not-quite-four-year-old, she did what comes naturally to her. She picked anything but the projects I had picked out for her. Her choice was the chocolate covered marshmallow hearts. Sigh.
These are perfectly cute and adorable, but I was not loving how much messier they were than the other two projects, which involved melting of nothing, and no sprinkles at all. Sprinkles spread like a plague in our house. But HRH had spoken, so off I went to the store to buy the supplies.
Surprisingly, Target had everything that I needed for this project. I already had the cellophane bags, construction paper and ribbon for the wrappers, as well as waxed paper and about 4 gallons of sprinkles. Target had the marshmallow peep hearts, chocolate candy coating, and pop sticks. I did buy the last bag of pop sticks, so if you went by my Target looking for them, sorry about that.
Karly does a terrific job of explaining how to make these at Buns in My Oven, and I wouldn’t miss the pics of her little one for anything (simply adorable). But this post is more about how my experience differed somewhat…
I could not find the strawberry peep hearts. My store had vanilla hearts, so that is what I purchased to use. There were still 9 in the package, so I assumed they were comparable.
The strawberry Peeps on Karly’s site look more, well, dense than mine did. The vanilla ones were very flimsy. Its possible this is just the photography (hers=good, mine=crappy), I can’t really tell. I had to cut them apart.
I followed the instructions on Karly’s site exactly, with the exception of the vanilla/strawberry flavor issue. My hearts were quite flimsy, so I found it helpful to have a fork ready when I pulled it out of the chocolate, because it bent under the weight of the melted chocolate when it warmed. I used the fork to hold the tip, and turned it a few times after I pulled it out of the chocolate. After I laid it on the waxed paper, HRH Eleanor put on the sprinkles.
Mine are nowhere near as nice and neat as Karly’s. It is obvious where I cut them apart, and how mildly deformed the cutting as well as the toll of the softening in the warm chocolate. I had a terrible time keeping Eleanor from sticking the top of the sprinkles directly onto the chocolate. I also helped her in having a gentle touch, but unfortunately, some did come out with about 1/4 inch of sprinkles on them, so I won’t be entirely surprised if I get a dental bill from another parent.
Speaking of neatness, after they harden, you can trim them down in the places where they are uneven or too thick with a paring knife. After you trim them, if you dip that same knife in a little hot water and then dry it off (leaving it mildly warm) you can draw the flat of the blade across the area that you shaved, and no one can tell that you trimmed it. Very helpful for those “oops” places. We had a lot of those.
I printed heart shaped valentine messages for us (read: me) to cut out. Did you know that you could run construction paper through your inkjet? I did not. It was a nail-biting moment, but I had little choice as hubby had used all of the printer paper printing images of Civil War battles. Even though I asked him not to. True story.
We bagged them upside-down in those little cellophane treat bags, and tied the heart tags on with ribbon. All-in-all they came out very well, I think.
I topped her off with a little red jumper and a sparkle bow in her hair and sent her to school. She came home with a ridiculous amount of candy, and when I told her that she could have just one thing, she chose this chocolate pop. I had underestimated how large it was to a four year old. As I watched in the rear view mirror of the car as she devoured it on the way home, I realized we were in for one hell of a sugar rush. It made my teeth hurt to watch.
P.S. I am still finding random sprinkles.