Each year I try to find something different for my kids to bring to school for Valentine’s Day besides the tiny, convenient, and inexpensive cards you find at all the stores. (Hmm, they sound really good putting it that way!) I was inspired by a post I saw a while ago on Nest of Posies’ blog but she used popsicle sticks with the candy hearts. I knew that wouldn’t transport well in a backpack to school so I just made little hearts to pass out to classmates.
I knew I wanted to make these for Valentine’s Day even before Christmas, so when I saw the mini candy canes for sale, I bought a couple of boxes back in December. If you don’t have any leftover mini candy canes, keep this in mind for next year!
All you need are mini candy canes, candy melts, sprinkles, waxed paper, and a baking sheet. A disposable decorating/piping bag or two is optional, but I highly recommended them. You can use a spoon, but they just might look a little messier that’s all. I wouldn’t recommend using a resealable bag as a piping bag because the melted chocolate will make the bag too floppy and hard to manage.
The candy melts and disposable (decorating) bags are both from Wilton and can be found at most craft stores like Michael’s or at Wal-Mart. I also purchased goody bags that were the perfect size at Michael’s.
The candy melts get melted inside a decorating bag in the microwave. There are instructions on the back of the bag, but basically you want to melt them slowly on 50% power. Put about half the candy in the bag, twist to close somewhat and tuck the end under the bag, heat for 1 minute on medium/50% power. Then heat at 30 second intervals on 50% power until it is melted – kneading the candy after each time. When it’s melted it should be thin and flow smoothly out of the bag.
First step is to lay out your mini candy canes on a waxed paper lined baking sheet. You can do this while you are melting the candy melts.
When your candy melts are ready, cut off the tip of your decorating bag. (Do this only when you have your candy canes ready!) Squeeze out the melted candy, filling each heart, making sure to get where the ends meet and along the edge of the candy cane. You don’t want to overfill, but you do want to cover the whole inside.
You will want to add some sprinkles after each time you fill a heart, or if you get good at filling you can do it every 2 or 3 hearts. The candy will start to set up so you want to make sure the sprinkles will stick.
After my baking sheet was done, I stuck it in the freezer for about 5 minutes to set up. It will set up on its own without that step, but it helps to speed up the process. If you need more, you can melt the other half of the candy melts and do another tray. I made 2 trays, used one bag of candy melts, and got about 36 mini hearts.
Notes: You can use a second decorating bag for your second batch of candy melts to make it less messy. I used just one, but I put a paper plate under the bag in the microwave to catch any drips. Make sure not to overheat the candy melts. If you do it slowly, on medium power, and kneading it at each time interval, you will be okay. If you overheat it, it may lose it’s ability to set up/harden.