Valentine's Day is a great occasion for showing your loved ones how much they mean to you and one of the best ways to do this is to make some homemade chocolate hearts. Of course you can get them in the store but nothing says, "I love you" quite like presenting your own homemade treats.
The following recipe dates from 1910, so it is more than a hundred years old. You will need sugar, water, condensed milk, butter, and cooking chocolate.
A little vanilla extract adds a nice flavor to the hearts as well, although you could experiment with almond extract or another flavor if you wanted to. Condensed milk is a mixture of milk and sugar; it is really sweet and used in various dessert recipes.
Heat two cups of sugar with one third of a cup of water and one third of a cup of condensed milk, stirring gently every few minutes. When the mixture reaches 236 degrees F, add quarter of a cup of butter and allow the mixture to boil. Take it off the heat and stir in one and a half squares of cooking chocolate.
Let the mixture stand until it is cool, then stir in a teaspoon of vanilla extract. Beat the mixture until it is thick. Pour it into a paper-lined pan, then turn it out and use a heart-shaped cookie cutter to make individual shapes. You can use any shape you like but a heart-shaped one is especially nice for Valentine's Day.
You can either pack the chocolates in little gift boxes or use them to decorate a homemade dessert such as a no bake cheesecake or a fruit cake.
You can make plenty at once if you are using a small cookie cutter or use a bigger cookie cutter to make larger ones but not so many. Everyone is sure to be thrilled with your little homemade treats and they will keep for a few weeks in an airtight container.
More Sweet Ideas For Valentine's Day
Chocolate hearts are not the only thing you can make if you want to delight your family this Valentine's Day. You can also make a homemade dessert to thrill them after dinner. What about making a cake or a no bake cheesecake? You can make this hours beforehand and just let it chill in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve it.
One of the best ingredients to use on a no bake cheesecake recipe has to be jello because you can use it to add flavor, color and a wonderful texture.
Jello comes in many different flavors and you can either add it to the cream cheese layer, to add flavor, or pour it over the top of the cheesecake when it has thickened up, so it sets attractively and holds the fruit or other toppings in place.