Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Every gas station and drug store is full of plastic roses and boxes of cheap candy.Children every where are filling out Hello Kitty Valentine Cards to give to everyone in their home room class. Some love sick little boy is buying his girlfriend of 3 whole months a cheesy gold plated bracelet that says “Be Mine” on it. Husbands everywhere are reminding themselves not to forget to buy their wives something this year. Wives everywhere are dreaming of a surprise vacation to the beach where sleek, tanned cabana boys bring you fruity drinks with little pink umbrellas.
The reality is though that cabana boys are totally out of the picture and now I have several preschool teachers to make little gifts for. I also have to tape a Dum-Dum to 30 Tinkerbell and Cars Valentine’s cards before Friday. Oh, and several loads of laundry.
Today I decided to move the laundry to the very bottom of the priority list and spent most of the day making homemade candy with the kids. Ok, well, I made and they ate it. They were hopped up on chocolate all day.
These are my favorite candies. My mother would literally make thousands of these candies a year back when they still ran a supply company for factories. We would spend hours in the kitchen making candies, cookies and cakes from November to the end of December. These candies though were always a huge hit.
Now, don’t freak out. This is not rocket science. Candy making is not difficult. Time consuming ? Yes. Difficult? No. You can even stretch this whole process out over 2-3 days.
Now, someone out there is asking if this is really cheaper than just buying the cute little boxes of candy at the drug store. The answer is: Maybe. If you have a lot of gifts to give to a lot of people then this is the way to go. If you are buying just one gift, then, probably not. But homemade is so much more heartfelt than just buying something and that’s what it’s all about right? And look at it as an opportunity to bond with your kids. This is a great project for you to do together
All right. I’m gonna quit jibber-jabbering and get to it already.
Chocolate Covered Cherries
makes about 4 dozen
1 large jar of Marashino cherries with stems
1/4 cup softened butter
2/3 cup Sweetened Condensed Milk
16 oz. Confectioners Sugar
pinch of salt
1 c. flaked coconut
Dipping chocolate ( at least a couple bags, maybe more)
Cream together the butter, sugar, milk and salt. Fold in the coconut. Chill for 1 hour ( or overnight)
Drain cherries. Line a baking sheet with wax paper.
Pat out a small amount of coconut mixture in your hand until it’s about the size of a silver dollar and about 1/8 – 1/4 inch thick.
Place a cherry in the middle and gently wrap coconut patty around it. Make sure the filling wraps tightly around the base of the stem.
Contine with the rest.
Chill for a couple hours or overnight in the freezer.
Melt chocolate in the microwave. 1 minute at a time, stirring in between cycles.
Holding cherry by the stem dip the cherry in the chocolate letting any excess drain off.
Place on a wax paper lined baking sheet to set.
Follow directions as above except omit the cherries. Roll coconut mixture into 1/2 inch balls and dip in chocolate.
makes about 9 dozen
1 – 7oz jar of Marshmallow Cream
2/3 c. softened butter
1 t. vanilla extract
3/4 t. peppermint extract
6 cups sifted Confectioners sugar
1/2 cup peppermint candies or candy canes
Dipping Chocolate ( at least a couple of bags, maybe more)
Beat cream, butter and extracts well. Gradually add in sugar until well mixed.
Pulvarize candy canes in a food processor or in a plastic bag with a rolling pin.
Fold candy into cream mixture.
Chill for a couple hours.
Roll mixture into balls or shape into molds and place on a wax paper lined baking sheet.
Chill again for a couple hours ( or overnight)
Melt chocolate using 1 minute intervals in the microwave. Then dip candies into chocolate.
Place on a wax paper lined baking sheet to set.( not on a wire rack like I did. Unless of course you want to pry all of your candies off with a butter knife)
Fell free to drizzle white chocolate on your candies!