Homemade Candy for Valentines | Peppermint Hearts

homemade candy recipe

I used to share office space with a woman who decorated her desk for the seasons. In the springtime, there were lots of stuffed white bears clutching colorful hard plastic eggs. At Thanksgiving, there was always a smattering of multi-colored leaves tucked into between tiny stuffed animals adorned in pilgrim attire. During the December holiday season, you would find the typical santas and elves along with much tinsel. There was always lots of tinsel.

My colleague didn’t discriminate. She seemed to appreciate all the holidays equally. It didn’t matter whether the holiday was religious or one created by a greeting card company.  I suppose this egalitarian approach is sort of admirable, but I imagine most people are not at all like this. Am I silly to think nearly everyone picks and choses their favorite holidays? It seems more realistic. I know folks who just adore Christmas and can’t wait for Thanksgiving to end so they can light up their houses like the Las Vegas strip. I have neighbors who blow up an enormous leprechaun for their lawn every St. Patrick’s Day. There are also a surprising number of people in Seattle who celebrate the summer solstice by cycling naked through the streets of Seattle.

homemade peppermint candy

If you think I’m kidding about that last one, I am not. I was once accidentally caught up in the parade while riding my bike to the farmer’s market. I was entirely clothed, but taunted for appearing so. It was horrible. I like summer, but I don’t celebrate the solstice and I don’t ride my bike or go out in public without clothing. Quite honestly, I am a Thanksgiving girl. I love food and I can’t imagine anything better than cooking and eating with friends all day long. Oh, well, I suppose an entire week of cooking and eating might be better if one could somehow avoid the inevitable tummy trouble, which results from such indulgence.

homemade peppermint candy

The point I am making concerns the holiday that is rapidly approaching. It’s Valentine’s Day. And, for some of you, Valentine’s Day is your day. It’s Thanksgiving for lovers. I get it and I think it’s wonderful. Love is certainly a good thing to celebrate.

homemade peppermint candy

I didn’t decorate my house in hearts or wear a appliqued cupid sweatshirt this week, but I didn’t forget you lovebirds. I made something special for you and the rest of your Valentine’s Day gang. I really hope you like them. They’re pretty. They’re pink and, of course, they are shaped like lovely little hearts. These candy peppermint hearts are sure to induce warm feelings in even the biggest Valentine’s Day crumudgeons. I just know it. They’re smooth and utterly sweet. If you are a candy addict like me, I know you’ll appreciate them.

If Valentines Day isn’t your thing, I understand. You will still enjoy these candies. You can make them for any holiday. Cut them into triangles, shamrocks or stars. They will be delicious any day of the week.

homemade candy recipe

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Peppermint Candy Hearts

2 tblsp. salted butter

2 tblsp. vegetable shortening

3 tblsp. warm water

5 cups sifted confectioners sugar

2 drops of red food color

1/4 tsp. oil of peppermint

Combine butter, shortening, 2 tblsp. warm water and 2 cups of the confectioners sugar in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Add the remaining sugar and 1 tablespoon warm water. Mix. (You might need to add 1 tablespoon more confectioners sugar if the mixture is not stiff enough to roll out.

Dilute the 2 drops of food coloring in teaspoon of water. Pour the coloring into the sugar mixture and mix until the batter is pink. Add the oil of peppermint. Mix again.

Roll out the dough onto a surface lightly dusted with the confectioners sugar. It should be rolled until it is about 1/8 inch thick. Cut it into shapes and lay them flat for about 2 hours to dry and form.

Store in an airtight container. The recipe makes about 42 hearts.

Adapted from Homemade Candy

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25 Comments

  • February 9, 2012 - | Permalink

    Love these! I am one who gets excited about Valentine’s Day, whether it’s a ‘greeting card holiday’ or not, I’m a hopeless romantic and I just can’t help it! I think these just may be the perfect thing to make this year! I am trying to figure out the texture though…do they dry hard or do they stay soft and melty?

    • redmenace
      February 9, 2012 - | Permalink

      Hi Allison,
      Happy Valentine’s Day to you then, my friend. These are for you! These are relatively soft. They stiffen as they dry, but remain a tad crumbly if that makes sense. Also, use the smallest cutter you can find. They are super sugary so small bites are best! Oh, and if you are in the market, the candy book that I used is really cool :)
      xo
      Robin

  • February 9, 2012 - | Permalink

    Oh my goodness! I can’t imagine getting caught in a naked cycling tradition on my way to the farmer’s market! That’s hilarious. These candies are so pretty. Love that pale shade of pink.

  • February 9, 2012 - | Permalink

    Sweet! I am about to attempt the DIY conversation hearts from the CakeSpy (I never know which letters to capitalize there) cookbook. Somehow I don’t think they’ll turn out quite so elegant. :)

  • February 9, 2012 - | Permalink

    These look lovely! And simple too!
    PS. I love the cycling story – poor you!

  • February 9, 2012 - | Permalink

    Lovely! I love their old-fashioned looks.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  • February 9, 2012 - | Permalink

    I am not a Valentine’s person in the least, but these are too adorable not to love. I’m with you on Turkey day-best holiday there is!

  • February 9, 2012 - | Permalink

    Your posts make me feel like I am home <3 And this one is so sweet, my teeth are hurting!

  • February 9, 2012 - | Permalink

    i too, being from the seattle area, have been horrified at the thought of getting caught up in that parade…he he….i am so sorry to hear that you had the pleasure??

    beautiful and yummy looking cookies.

    ~simply~

  • Sarah Rose
    February 10, 2012 - | Permalink

    I’m not much into Valentines Day either, but my six year-old daughter would love these! Thanks for the idea. I have to say, just love your blog. I haven’t been able to do much cooking lately b/c I injured my back while pregnant last year and the healing process has been a long one. However, I’m enjoying the cooking process vicariously every time I read one of your wonderful blog posts, and I’m also storing up a lot of great looking recipes for the hopefully-near future! :)

  • February 10, 2012 - | Permalink

    These are adorable. I think they might make me feel a little bit better at been miles and miles apart from my Valentine this Valentine’s day.

  • February 12, 2012 - | Permalink

    They do a similar naked-bike-summer-solstice-thing in Vancouver, and I got caught up in a storm of naked cyclists once in the middle of a crosswalk with my 4 year old daughter clutching my hand tightly. You can imagine the discussion that ensued after!

    • redmenace
      February 12, 2012 - | Permalink

      Rochelle,
      That is absolutely hilarious! Probably a bit uncomfortable too. What in the world are the chances?!

      Ha. Thanks for your comment and making my Sunday morning.
      xo
      Robin

  • gabbi
    February 13, 2012 - | Permalink

    can i replace the peppermint oil with essence or flavouring instead? O: not quite sure if i can find that sort of stuff at the supermarkets here.

    • redmenace
      February 13, 2012 - | Permalink

      Hi Gabbi,
      Thanks so much for your question! The answer is . . . maybe? If you could find a flavored extract, that would be best. You could likely use vanilla extract instead of peppermint. Or, possibly cinnamon? I think both would work. I haven’t tried them though. I wish I could be more certain, but I encourage you to try.
      Best of luck and happy Valentine’s Day!
      xo
      Robin

  • February 13, 2012 - | Permalink

    They are very cute. I hate to say it but I still have not decided what my favorite holiday is. I just dont like decorating the house for only a couple of days and have all the decorations sit in the attic for 11 months. I like cooking and eating so Thanksgiving sounds more like it but no turkey decorations :)

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  • Kristal
    October 18, 2012 - | Permalink

    Do these turn into hard candies or are they still soft when they set?

    THEY LOOK SO ADORABLE!

    Kristal

    • redmenace
      October 18, 2012 - | Permalink

      Kristal,
      Thanks for your comment. The candies grow harder, but never hard like hard candies. Enjoy!
      xo
      Robin

  • February 13, 2013 - | Permalink

    I just love these, the color, the fluted outline, they are perfect!

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  • Elke
    July 8, 2013 - | Permalink

    Hi!

    I wondered how long do they last? Like… if you put them in an airtight container (say a glass jar) and want to get them out only 9 days later? >< And would they last longer in the fridge (probably)?

    • redmenace
      July 8, 2013 - | Permalink

      I think they would be fine in an airtight container for that long. Good luck!

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