Conversation Hearts

I've always loved those chalky candies. Those small heart-shaped sugar candies sold around Valentine's Day. I love their pastel colors and small messages printed with affectionate notes.
Unfortunately, it is not easy to find conversation hearts in my country so, last year, an American friend sent me a small pack of these candies.
I used some of them to decorate my sweets and the remaining is kept in a glass jar, in plain sight.
To profess my love for these colorful little candies, I want to share with you a fun Valentines-inspired tutorial.
Start to finish: about 30 min, plus 48 hours drying
Makes about 100 hearts

- 200 g granulated sugar
- 30 ml heavy whipping cream
- 30/40 mini mints

- coffee grinder
- tiny stamps
- licorice edible paste
- red food coloring, optional
- small heart cutter
- waxed paper
- toothpick

In a coffee grinder or a blender, start grinding mini mints then add 180 g of granulated sugar and continue grind until it reaches a powdery consistency. Your flavored powdered sugar is ready to use, keep it in a bowl.
Grind the remaining 20 g of sugar. You will use this powdered sugar on your work surface and to dust the hearts so they won't stick together.
In a small bowl, beat the sifted powdered sugar and the heavy whipping cream until smooth and the mixture resembles a white dough.

Divide the dough into 3 pieces and tint with food coloring (I made a white dough, a rose and a red).
Wrap each piece in plastic wrap as extended exposure to air will dry out the dough.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly powdered sugar surface and rolling each portion to ¼ inch thickness. Add powdered sugar on both surfaces of the dough so it doesn’t stick. Help yoursel with waxed paper if you prefer.
Cut the candies with a small heart cutter and dust with powdered sugar. Place them on waxed paper and allow to dry, uncovered for 48 hours.

Prepare your stamps. They must be clean, never used for any other project, except for food stamping purposes.
Wash them well, let dry. Using a toothpick, gently dab the licorice ink onto the stamp and transfer the image to your candies. If you haven’t stamps and ink, you can use an edible ink pen to write messages on each heart.
Let dry and store in airtight container for a month.
Don’t like hearts? Prepare these candies using a pastry bag fitted with a round tip! They will be perfect for any occasion.
What would your candy heart say? ;)

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