Gettin' Crafty: Conversation hearts that say what you really mean

For all those who give pom-pom critters for birthdays, feel an urge to stick googly eyes on everything or just occasionally get a twitch to fold some origami, we bring you "Gettin' Crafty," where we feature a craft you can easily make with minimal supplies and limited finances. Here at Gettin' Crafty, we reject the notion that a commercially driven and soulless holiday should be the only reason you should express your love through the miracle of candy -- and even though you can go out today and pick up a twelve-pound sack of candy hearts at a deeply discounted rate, we're not a big fan of the sayings they come with, either. That's why, today, we're making our own. Supplies

  • 1 pack gelatin
  • 1 teaspoon corn syrup
  • 1 pound (yes, pound) of powdered sugar
  • Food coloring
  • Flavored extracts (like vanilla, orange or mint)
  • Hand mixer or stand mixer
  • Heart-shaped cookie cutter or knife
  • Patience
  • Plastic gloves are recommended, though not necessary. Edible food markers are also extremely handy, and available where cake decorating stuff is sold. I swear they exist.

Instructions 1. Mix ½ pack of gelatin (1 teaspoon) with corn syrup and ¼ cup water. Microwave for 30 seconds or until the mixture is incorporated.

2. Put the mixture in a bowl, and begin mixing with a hand mixer or in a stand mixer. Slowly add the powdered sugar in batches. Keep mixing until all the powdered sugar is mixed into the liquid mixture.

3. Take the mixture out of the bowl and add about two tablespoons of the flavored extract. Knead the dough so that the extract gets distributed throughout.

4. Divide the dough into equal pieces for each color of food dye that you plan on using.

5. Drop three or four drops of food coloring into the dough. Knead the dough until the color in equally distributed. Repeat with each color. This is where you may want to break out the plastic gloves, or risk Technicolor hands.

6. Roll out the dough into ¼" thick disks. Either using a knife or a heart-shaped cookie cutter, begin cutting our hearts. Keep rolling and cutting and re-rolling and repeating until all the dough is gone and your kitchen counter is covered in hearts. Or until you can't stand it anymore.

7. Let the hearts dry overnight.

8. In the morning, let the candy hearts say what you can't bear to. Conversation hearts, in theory, have the conversations that you, the giver, cannot. But instead of saying "UR HOTT" or "TEXT ME," you can use them for your own purposes. Like "DO UR DISHES" or "UR BAND SUX" or "GET TESTED." You can write your message with toothpicks and food dye, or the edible markers.

9. Wrap 'em up real nice: Here at Gettin' Crafty, we like to let the passive aggression last all year long.

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