I realize that most people show their crafty projects after the intended recipients have received them, but does it make any sense for me to show you a valentine craft project 364 days before valentines day 2010? I think not.
After these Fred Flare valentine hot chocolate packets were featured on Weddingbee, I remembered that one of the cookbooks I received for Christmas had a recipe for homemade marshmallows that all of the women back home were raving about. I wasn’t going to pay the insanely high price of $8 for a packet of cocoa, so I decided to come up with my own version. I don’t usually do step-by-step photos, because the lighting in my apartment is so awful, but with a project like this I thought you all might like to see how to make your own.
Vegetable oil for brushing
4 pkgs unflavored gelatin
3 1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
Brush your jelly roll pan with vegetable oil. Cut a piece of wax paper and lay it on top of the oiled pan, and brush more vegetable oil on top. Set aside.
Pour 3/4 cup cold water in the bowl of an electric mixer and sprinkle gelatin on top. Let sit for at least 5 minutes.
Place 3 cups granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 3/4 cup water in a medium saucepan. Take a moment to soak in exactly how much sugar marshmallows really contain.
Insert a candy thermometer, and cook until mixture reaches soft-ball stage (238 degrees F), which will be after about 9 minutes of boiling.
Using the whisk attachment beat hot syrup into gelatin on a low speed.
Gradually increase speed to high, beat until mixture is very stiff, somewhere around 12 minutes. Ooooh and aaaah as it turns white like magic. Beat in vanilla.
What does very stiff mean exactly? I have no idea. I guessed it meant something like this.
Pour mixture into the jelly roll pan and let sit for 3 hours, or overnight. The picture below is of the marshmallows after sitting overnight.
Place 1 cup confectioners sugar in a fine strainer and sift onto a clean work surface. Invert large mashmallow onto the sugar-coated surface, and peel off the wax paper.
Take your heart shaped cookie cutter and dip it in vegetable oil.
Press down firmly, twisting a little at the bottom, to make sure you cut all the way through the ‘mallow.
Roll the marshmallow in the excess confectioners sugar.
Have a little fun playing with the leftover cutouts (please note, this step is unnecessary).
Call your husband in and while pointing to your hearts say “Look how pretty!” (This step is necessary).
Line up your hearts in neat little rows. Continue with the “Look how pretty!” statements.
Fill plastic baggies, one with hot cocoa mix, the other with marshmallows. Use your (new!) rotary paper cutter to cut out strips of red paper. Fold in half, and use hot glue gun to affix “i love you” ribbon to the front. Staple label to the top of the baggie.
If you are really crafty, you will make sure the personal instructions look at pretty as the rest of your packaging. If you are me, you break out the ball point pen and scrawl across the back of the labels with your unsightly handwriting.
Don’t the hearts look so cute all smooshed together like this?
I couldn’t resist doing a little test run for myself. Isn’t that one of the sweetest sights you have sever seen?
Actually, 3 marshmallow hearts floating together in my hot cocoa cup might be the sweetest sight.
No! No! No! The absolute sweetest is 5 marshmallow hearts, oooey and gooey and a little bit melty, floating together in my hot cocoa cup.
I’m so happy how this turned out, it’s definitely the cutest thing I’ve ever made. I’m going to keep the recipients of these valentines a secret so they can be surprised when they receive them.
What are you crafting for Valentines Day?