DIY conversation hearts

February 10 • 2012

Send the right message<br><a href=http://www.emilieink.com target=_blank>Alina McGinty</a>

Still searching for a last-minute Valentine’s Day gift? Before you rush out to buy the last lonely box of conversation hearts at the grocery store, consider DIYing those tiny iconic candies.

This fun recipe shows you how to create the candy hearts with the sweet sayings right in your own kitchen. All you’ll need is some powdered sugar, gelatin and a few other ingredients, plus some romantic catchphrases. Borrow one or two of the most popular sayings, like “Be Mine” and “Sweet Talk,” or make up your own.

A heads up: the homemade hearts need 36 hours to dry, so get started well before February 14.

NECCO’s recipe for its Sweethearts conversation hearts has remained largely unchanged since the candies’ inception in the early 1900s. Originally cut in a variety of shapes, such as postcards and horseshoes, the hearts used to be large enough to accommodate longer sayings, allowing would-be lovers to communicate.

Some of the original sayings are still used, including “Kiss Me” and “My Man,” but NECCO now adds new ones each year. The late 90s brought the cutting edge “Fax me” and “Email Me” sayings, and more modern times saw the introduction of “Tweet Me” and “Me + You.”

NECCO makes 8 billion of the candies throughout the year, then sells out of them in the six weeks from January 1 to Valentine’s Day.

You can have the candy hearts custom-made, but you’ll have to pay for a full production run of 2 million. For a low-budget alternative, scratch off the original words and write in your own.

We’re still waiting to hear which sweet sayings NECCO will announce for 2012. Our suggestions: “Marry Me” and “I Do.”

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