Claudia has been writing recipes online for many years. She enjoys coming up with unique and tasty dishes, especially sweet treats.
Customized Treats for Valentine's Day
You can't help but love conversation hearts, those sweet, crunchy candies that hit store shelves every winter after Christmas. When I was in grade school, I would anxiously open up a box and read the messages printed on each one. And, boy, was it a treat when someone gave me one. I, and probably most other kids, would privately hope that the giver of the candy really meant what that candy heart said.
I'm in my fifties now, and these candies are still fun to eat. I read them one by one, and if I find a fitting one, I give it to my husband. Unfortunately, they aren't his favorite, so he sets them aside—and because of that, I thought it would be fun to make a conversation heart he actually would eat.
So I came up with this sweet treat. These petit fours are cute, colorful, and delicious. They make a special homemade gift for loved ones, and they're perfect for Valentine's Day parties. The best part about them is that they can be personalized any way you want.
- 1 (16-oz) box pound cake loaf mix
- 1 can of frosting or jam of your choice (for the filling)
- Candy melts for the coating
- Shortening, if desired, to thin out the candy melt coating
- Edible ink pens
Step 1: Prepare the Pound Cake
- Prepare one (16-oz) box of vanilla pound cake as directed on the box.
- Bake in a 13x9 pan. Really watch the bake time here because this size pan is larger than the ones suggested on the box and it will probably cook more quickly.
- Set aside to cool, removing from the pan after about 15 minutes and continue cooling on a wire rack.
Step 2: Smooth Out the Cake
- Make sure the cake is completely cooled.
- Take a large serrated knife, like a bread knife, and carefully smooth out the top of the cake. I run the knife along the top, using the edges as a guide.
Step 3: Trim the Edges
My cake pan's edges aren't straight up and down so I trim all four sides of the cake to square it up. I cut off about 1/4".
Step 4: Split the Cake in Half
I'll admit that this is my least favorite part of this project.
- Use a long serrated knife and carefully split the cake in half, making two thinner 13x9 pieces. Estimate the center, keep the knife parallel to the cutting board and slowly cut. It never turns out perfectly, but it works.
- Gently move the top to a flat surface. I use my hand and a large spatula to help with this process.
Step 5: Spread the Filling
- Using the filling of your choice, cover the bottom layer completely. Don't make the layer too thick.
- For a 13x9 size, I use about 3/4 of a can of frosting. I've also used jam for this step and it took about 1 cup.
Step 6: Make the Cake Sandwich
- Carefully put the top of the cake that was set aside earlier back on top of the filling, making a big 13x9 cake sandwich of sorts.
- Being very gentle, press down to join the layers.
Step 7: Cut Out the Hearts
I have this great heart-shaped cookie cutter from my mother that is about 2 inches high, so it works perfectly for this project. If you can find one like that, it's worth it.
- Cut out as many hearts as you can. I try to leave as little left over as possible, but those leftover bits are a great treat after making these.
- I got about 18 heart cakes out of one 13x9 pan.
Step 8: Coat With Candy Melts
- Melt the candy melts in the microwave as directed. I add about a tablespoon of shortening to the melts before I microwave them. I find that it thins out the coating and makes it much easier to work with.
- Pour over the top and tap off any excess.
- Set aside on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper to cool.
- Once the coating is completely cooled and hard, use the edible ink marking pens and write out your fun messages.
I Luv U
U R Fun
U R Sweet
You & Me
U R Cool
Q T Pie
Happy Valentine's Day!
You can see that I split the cake a little unevenly but it certainly didn't detract from the taste.
These conversation heart petit fours were a great little Valentine's Day treat that my whole family loved.
© 2018 Claudia Porter