Homemade Marshmallow Conversation Hearts

Our kitchen comes alive when homemade marshmallows are mentioned. We’re talking singing and dancing and smiles so wide they threaten to swallow us whole. (Well, from us girls, that is!)

Where I was once intimidated by the whole process, making marshmallows at home is nothing short of pure joy for me now. It is super easy. Super fun. And the delicious chewy sweetness is better than any you could bring home from the store. We make them plain and simple, cut like bunnies and dipped in chocolate, and now…these fun and fabulous Marshmallow Conversation Hearts!

It was fun to read up on the history of Sweethearts Conversation Hearts, and how the sayings have changed over the past century. Such an icon of Valentine’s Day, over 8 billion of these little candies are created annually. Production starts just after Valentine’s Day each year and runs to mid-January of the following year. Then they completely sell out in just 6 short weeks…that’s about 100,000 pounds of little colored hearts every day! 

Even if you don’t want to take the time to produce a batch of your very own marshmallow conversation hearts, I would love to encourage you to at least give homemade marshmallows a shot. Just take a look at my first plain and simple marshmallow post from one year ago. And if you want to indulge a bit more in this Valentine’s season, you could take it one step further with a heart-shaped cookie cutter, creating a feast of marshmallow hearts. They’re pretty darn cute floating in a mug of hot chocolate. I’m certain your friends and family would say, “U ROCK“.

Homemade Marshmallow Conversation Hearts

Ingredients

    for the marshmallows:
  • powdered sugar, for coating pan
  • 2/3 c. water, divided
  • 3 (1/4 oz.) envelopes unflavored gelatin (found by the Jell-O at the grocery store)
  • 1 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 c. light corn syrup
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • for the candy coating:
  • 2 12-oz. bags white Wilton candy melts
  • candy coloring - I used Wilton yellow, red, and blue candy (not icing) coloring
  • for the glaze icing for the letters:
  • Please visit my very talented friend - Amanda from i am baker - for her glaze icing recipe and tutorial. She’s just so great at using this stuff, and really is your best teacher. Just read my notes specific to this Marshmallow Conversation Hearts recipe in the Preparation section below.
  • Wilton "no taste" red icing color (Don't use liquid food coloring.)

Preparation

Lightly spray the inside of an 9'' x 13'' pan with cooking spray. Generously coat with powdered sugar and set aside.

Pour 1/3 cup of the water into the bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle the gelatin over the water and stir briefly to incorporate. Let stand for about 10 minutes, or until the gelatin has softened.

In a saucepan, off the heat, combine the remaining 1/3 cup of water and the granulated sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Place the pan over medium-high heat. Clip a candy thermometer on the inside of the pan, making sure it doesn’t touch the bottom. Cook the mixture without stirring until it reaches 240°. Brush down the sides of the pan with a pastry brush, dipped in water, to gently wipe away any sugar crystals.

With your mixer on low speed, very carefully add the hot syrup to the softened gelatin. Add the vanilla and increase the speed to medium-high. The mixture will start out clear, but quickly turns very white. Beat for about 8 minutes, or until the marshmallow gets very thick and sticky, and starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl, in string-like pieces. This will really give your mixer a workout.

Spread the mixture into the prepared pan using a lightly oiled spatula. With wet hands, press the batter evenly into the corners of the pan. Just keep rewetting your hands to help with the stickiness. Set aside for at least 1 hour, or until the mixture is firm and cool.

Run a wet knife around the edge of the cooled pan to loosen the marshmallow. Remove the marshmallow from the pan, onto a sheet of parchment paper.

Dip your small heart-shaped cookie cutter (mine measures 1-3/8" wide by 1-3/8" tall) into a shallow bowl of water and then cut the slab of marshmallow into heart shapes. This is a sticky job, but just have patience. It’s worth it! It helps to dip the heart cutter into the water in between cuts. Repeat this process until the whole slab of marshmallow is cut.

for the candy coating:

Divide the candy melts between 3 glasses. In the microwave, carefully melt the candy melts, taking special care to not let them scorch. It's best to get the candy melts partially melted and then just stir them until they are completely melted. Then color each separate glass to your liking.

Drop a marshmallow heart into the colored melted candy and dunk with a fork to completely coat. Pick the marshmallow up with the fork, allowing excess candy coating to drip off while lightly tapping the fork to coax more of the excess off. Then slide the fork out of the glass, scraping the underside of the tongs along the rim of the glass. This will scrape off any remaining excess candy coating, so you don’t have a pool of it form around your heart as it cools.

Set the candy coated heart on parchment paper to cool and completely set up on your kitchen counter. After they are dry to the touch, they are ready to decorate.

for the glaze icing for the letters:

Again, here's the link to Amanda's recipe and tutorial for her glaze icing. I only have a couple things to add, how I did things a little differently for these hearts...

Use only a 1/2 tablespoon of milk, as little as possible. You want the glaze icing to be stiff, so the letters won't spread too much. And do not add any lemon or other flavoring to the glaze icing. Color with the red icing color to your liking and then pipe on the letters with a tiny round Wilton #1 tip. I will admit that the lettering was a little tedious, and that I did have a bit of an issue with the glaze icing still wanting to spread, but I really like its finished glossy look. If you're not up for working with this for the lettering, you might wish to consider a stiffer frosting.

Source

Marshmallow recipe adapted from jam it, pickle it, cure it by Karen Solomon (I love, love, LOVE this book!). Glaze icing from i am baker. Marshmallow Conversation Hearts concept from a farmgirl's dabbles.

 I’m linking up with the following:

  • Cheryl at TidyMom for I’m Lovin’ It (The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe) I need to try this out! 
  • Allison at Alli ‘n Son for Sweet Tooth Friday (Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Filling & Whipped Buttercream)

   

70 Responses to “Homemade Marshmallow Conversation Hearts”

  1. #
    1
    Maria — January 27, 2012 at 8:07 am

    These are so cute and fun! Love them!

    • Brenda replied on January 27th, 2012 at 8:50 am

      Thanks, Maria! :)

  2. #
    2
    Amanda KP — January 27, 2012 at 8:17 am

    When you say brush the sides with a wet pastry brush, do you have to be careful to not get any water in the mixture? That’s the only part of this recipe that seems hard. Any thoughts?

    • Brenda replied on January 27th, 2012 at 8:52 am

      Hi Amanda! It’s just fine to get some water in there. I usually only do that once or twice while it’s cooking.

  3. #
    3
    Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen — January 27, 2012 at 8:50 am

    I love them!!

  4. #
    4
    Blog is the New Black — January 27, 2012 at 8:52 am

    Love it! :)

  5. #
    5
    TidyMom — January 27, 2012 at 8:59 am

    so cute!!! I’m doing something similar with brownies this week, but I love the marshmallow!!!!

  6. #
    6
    Lora — January 27, 2012 at 9:42 am

    Wow. These are fantastic. So creative. Love them.

    • Brenda replied on January 29th, 2012 at 7:23 pm

      Thank you so much, Lora! :)

  7. #
    7
    Haylee — January 27, 2012 at 11:28 am

    This is the cutest idea ever. Love it!

    • Brenda replied on January 29th, 2012 at 7:21 pm

      Thanks, Haylee! :)

  8. #
    8
    Shane R. — January 27, 2012 at 11:50 am

    These look so good! I’ve been wanting to make some marshmallows for a while now, I might just have to do this with them.

    • Brenda replied on January 29th, 2012 at 7:23 pm

      Hi, Shane! If you like marshmallow, you really do owe it to yourself to try them homemade. ;)

  9. #
    9
    Paula — January 27, 2012 at 11:54 am

    I’m honestly blown away by the fact that 8 billion conversation hearts are made each year and sold out every year! These marshmallow ones of yours are really cute, love this idea!

    • Brenda replied on January 29th, 2012 at 7:20 pm

      I know…crazy! That’s ALOT of Conversation Hearts!! ;)

  10. #
    10
    Apfelkern — January 27, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    They look very cute but I’d never colour my food voluntarily. Especially a bright blue causes me revulsion just because a natural product would never ever be THIS blue.
    Probably I’ll do some marshmallows and coat them with some nice bitter chocolate. ^^

  11. #
    11
    Harriet — January 27, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    They look amazing! Very cute and colourful!

    • Brenda replied on January 29th, 2012 at 7:15 pm

      Thanks, Harriet – have a great week! :)

  12. #
    12
    Becca-cookie jar treats — January 27, 2012 at 9:21 pm

    I don’t like the taste of conversation hearts. Never have and I don’t think I ever will, but I like the little sayings on them; most of them are cute :3. I like the idea of conversation marshmallows. Marshmallows are much tastier than chalk hearts.

    • Brenda replied on January 29th, 2012 at 7:15 pm

      I’m with you, Becca. I’m not a fan of the taste of Conversation Hearts. But I’ve always loved the sentiment, and never minded receiving them in my school Valentine box, just because I liked to read the sayings. ;)

  13. #
    13
    Mom — January 27, 2012 at 11:14 pm

    Oh, Brenda, you know my love affair with anything marshmallow! These are to cute to eat. No, on second thought I guess not.

    • Brenda replied on January 29th, 2012 at 7:13 pm

      Thanks, Mom. :) xoxo

  14. #
    14
    Anna — January 28, 2012 at 1:49 am

    Perfect for heart’s month. I love cute and adorable mallows! I can’t believe we are already almost on the 2nd month of the year. Thanks for the post.

    • Brenda replied on January 29th, 2012 at 7:13 pm

      I know! Where did January go?! On the bright side…it makes spring roll around faster. :) Thanks, Anna.

  15. #
    15
    Sally @ Spontaneous Hausfrau — January 28, 2012 at 6:24 am

    LOVE THESE! What a fun idea!

    • Brenda replied on January 29th, 2012 at 7:11 pm

      Thank you so much, Sally. :)

  16. #
    16
    denise burton — January 28, 2012 at 7:58 am

    I have wanted to try this for a while and thanks to this post I will!!!! Thanks!!!

    • Brenda replied on January 29th, 2012 at 7:10 pm

      Yay! So happy to hear that. Let me know how it goes for you. :)

  17. #
    17
    Mercedes — January 28, 2012 at 9:39 am

    I love Valentine’s Day simply because of all of the heart-shaped things! These are so adorable!

    • Brenda replied on January 29th, 2012 at 7:10 pm

      Thank you, Mercedes. I agree – it’s such a fun time of year for dessert!

  18. #
    18
    Angie @ Sweet Natured Treats — January 29, 2012 at 7:39 am

    These are the cutest! What a creative idea. Thanks for sharing!

    • Brenda replied on January 29th, 2012 at 7:05 pm

      Thank you, Angie! :)

  19. #
    19
    TidyMom — January 29, 2012 at 7:58 am

    Thanks for linking up this week Brenda! I featured you post in my wrap up http://tidymom.net/2012/valentines-day-crafts-food-decor/

    have a fabulous Sunday!

    • Brenda replied on January 29th, 2012 at 7:05 pm

      Awesome, Cheryl – thank you so much! Have a great week!

  20. #
    20
    Rachel @ Bakerita — January 29, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    These are so cute! I love making homemade marshmallows and these are a precious way to use them for V-day!

    • Brenda replied on January 29th, 2012 at 7:00 pm

      Thank you so much, Rachel! :)

  21. #
    21
    Lori @ RecipeGirl — January 30, 2012 at 9:15 am

    Cutest Valentine treats ever! Seriously cute!

    • Brenda replied on January 30th, 2012 at 5:52 pm

      Thanks, Lori! :)

  22. #
    22
    muddledmom — January 30, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    These are adorable and really make me want to give making marshmallows a go. Quick question though. The Wilton candy coating comes in different colors. Is there a reason to use the white and color it yourself? I’m just wondering of the colored coatings don’t work for this. Very inspiring. Glad I came across your blog! Fun!

    • Brenda replied on January 30th, 2012 at 5:49 pm

      Hello! Yes, you surely can use the precolored melts. I just knew I wanted to use yellow, blue, and pink…and the store was out of one of the colors. So it was more efficient for me to just buy 2 bags of white and color them myself. :)

  23. #
    23
    Amy — January 30, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    These are TREMENDOUSLY cool! My husband and I try and go homemade for Valentine’s Day and I think this just might be my gift this year. I love that you included a bit about heart candy history also!

  24. #
    24
    Amanda — January 31, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    These homemade marshmallow conversation hearts are so precious! And looks like they’re super easy to make! Can’t wait to try them out! Our food lovers would love to hear about this on our community page! Check it out! http://bit.ly/wlZhX4

  25. #
    25
    Lisa [With Style and Grace] — February 1, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    These are so stinkin’ adorable!!

  26. #
    26
    Sue — February 2, 2012 at 10:14 am

    My kids love marshmallows, what a great idea! I’d love for you to submit this to the M&T Spotlight http://www.makeandtakes.com/spotlight

    • Brenda replied on February 4th, 2012 at 4:49 pm

      Thanks, Sue! I just submitted to the Spotlight, thanks for the reminder!

  27. #
    27
    Vicki Bensinger — February 3, 2012 at 6:53 am

    OMG I am definitely trying these. Yours look so perfect. You really need a steady hand for the writing. I just love this. Did you use the beater bar or whisk attachment on your mixer? I can’t wait to make these. Thank you for sharing. You’ve inspired me.

    • Brenda replied on February 4th, 2012 at 12:19 pm

      Hi Vicki! I used the beater, not the whisk attachment. Have fun!!!!

  28. #
    28
    Vicki Bensinger — February 3, 2012 at 8:10 am

    It looks like the recipe that Amanda has is similar to a royal icing recipe. I make one that’s thick and uses meringue powder that can then be thinned. If you’d like that let me know and I’ll send it your way.

    • Brenda replied on February 4th, 2012 at 12:17 pm

      Sure, Vicki, I’d love to take a look at it. Please go to my “Contact” tab and send me a message. Thank you!!

  29. #
    29
    Emily — February 8, 2012 at 11:10 am

    this is the best thing ever

  30. #
    30
    muddledmom — February 14, 2012 at 6:37 am

    OK, I made them and they are great! They taste awesome. I’m not sure I can ever eat prepackaged marshmallows again. Then covering them with the coating…come on! It is pure goodness. At every step I kept saying I couldn’t do it, but it was actually very easy and worked just as you said. I’ll be making the chocolate ones for Easter. Thanks. I love it when a recipe turns out great. My kids will love them!

    • Brenda replied on February 14th, 2012 at 11:26 am

      Yay! Thank you so much for letting me know…I’m so happy you liked them AND it sounds like you had fun doing it!! Warning, though…those chocolate dipped Easter ones are my absolute favorite. ;)

  31. #
    31
    Amanda — January 28, 2013 at 7:32 am

    Those could not be any cuter!!! You have out done yourself my friend! :)

  32. #
    32
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