Valentine's Day

Conversation Hearts

January 25, 2016
4 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin
  • Makes about 5 dozen pieces
Author Notes

Making your own conversation hearts from scratch is the ultimate (and super fun) Valentine's DIY. Aside from being easy to make, homemade conversation hearts also give you the ability to write your own messages (or let your Valentine write his or her own!). That makes these candies as fun as they are tasty. —Erin Jeanne McDowell

What You'll Need
  • 2/3 cup cool water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons powdered gelatin
  • 3 pounds confectioners' sugar
  • few drops flavoring or extract (you can use multiple flavors, if you wish; I like to use food coloring to demarcate the various flavors)
  • few drops food coloring (optional, and you can use multiple colors, if you wish)
  • edible ink pens (available online, or wherever cake decorating supplies are sold)
  1. In a heat-safe liquid measuring cup, measure the water and sprinkle the gelatin evenly over the surface. Let bloom for 5 minutes, then melt in the microwave in 10-second bursts until fluid and fully dissolved.
  2. Transfer the melted gelatin to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the confectioners' sugar 1 cup at a time and mix on low speed until fully incorporated.
  3. Continue adding confectioners' sugar and mixing until the mixture is smooth and resembles a white dough. The dough shouldn’t be sticky and it should be firm to the touch.
  4. Divide the dough into even pieces, depending how many flavors and colors you’re planning to make (I did four). Wrap each piece tightly in plastic wrap: It’s important that the dough stays tightly wrapped until you’re ready to use it, as extended exposure to air will cause it to form a skin.
  5. Line your work surface with parchment or wax paper. Working with one piece of dough at a time, drop a few drops of flavor and/or color, if using, onto the dough. Knead by hand until the color is uniform and the dough is even (if you’re using a bright color, you may want to wear gloves at first to avoid staining your hands with the color). Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough, wrapping each tightly when finished.
  6. On a clean, dry surface, roll out one piece of dough to 1/4-inch thick. Every few rolls, pick up the dough and turn it 45 degrees in either direction. If you work quickly and keep rotating the dough, it shouldn’t stick to the surface. (Note: If you’re having trouble, you can roll the dough between two sheets of parchment, wax paper, or Silicone baking mats. Or, use a light dusting of confectioners' sugar on the surface and on the dough.)
  7. When the dough is the proper thickness, pick it up and rotate it once more, then use a small heart cutter (or another small sharp cutter) to stamp out individual candies out. Transfer each piece to a parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving a small bit of space between each candy.
  8. Repeat with the remaining candies, then let them all dry, uncovered, for 2 days.
  9. When the candies are dry, use edible ink pens to write messages on each piece. The finished candies can be stored in airtight containers for up to 3 weeks.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Shelley  Tucker
    Shelley Tucker
  • Kathleen
  • Laura415
  • Dina Moore-Tzouris
    Dina Moore-Tzouris
  • 702551
I always have three kinds of hot sauce in my purse. I have a soft spot for making people their favorite dessert, especially if it's wrapped in a pastry crust. My newest cookbook, Savory Baking, came out in Fall of 2022 - is full of recipes to translate a love of baking into recipes for breakfast, dinner, and everything in between!

5 Reviews

Shelley T. February 2, 2019
I don’t own a microwave so how would you suggest I melt the gelatin?
Kathleen February 11, 2016
Tried this recipe and it worked beautifully - and it made double the 5 dozen pieces I was expecting! Can't wait to share them on Valentine's Day.
Laura415 February 7, 2016
Who would have guessed these were so easy! Hope to have a reason to try them sometime. Very cute:)
Dina M. February 5, 2016
I am so excited about making these! I found a set of heart shaped cutters at Williams-Sonoma that has an its bitsy heart(none on amazon)...can't wait to make them!
702551 February 8, 2016
The small heart-shaped cutter is usually included in a set of other assorted shapes (clover, diamond, crescent moon, star, etc.). They typically aren't sold separately.

I bought my set at a local professional restaurant supply store over twenty years ago.