Vol.1, No.3

Make your own valentine's day candy recipes

Valentine's day is the most romantic holiday around, and as a result, tends to be the 'sweetest'. Here you'll find suggestions on making your own candy for this holiday--a slight switch from the tradtional box of chocolates that come your way every year.

Valentine's day chocolate
Photo Credit: Jaimie D. Travis
If you're looking for a unique gift to give to your loved ones this Valentine's day, making your own candy is a wonderful way to both save money and show the special people in your life that you cared enough to make their gifts yourself. But of course, for your recipients to appreciate your gift of candy even more, it has to taste great as well as be original.

While chocolates are always given on Valentine's Day, no one ever gets tired of this treat. The trick is to make something slightly different than the standard chocolate varieties you'll find in the heart-shaped box. There are usually chocolates filled with caramel or creams, cherries covered in chocolate, or chocolate-covered nuts, like peanuts or almonds. You can make some original variations of these, and they may even taste better. To make your own box of chocolates, you'll need semi-sweet chocolate chips, milk, sugar, and powdered sugar for garnish (optional). Melt the chocolate, milk, and sugar together (this can even be done in the microwave) and allow to cool for a few minutes. You can use the chocolate to cover almonds, strawberries, or even pretzels; you can also add extra items to the chocolate coating, such as coconut or cinnamon for extra flavor. Then, allow the treats some time to cool (you can refrigerate them) and cover with wax paper. Use a decorative box to place the treats in, and present them to your sweetheart (with flowers, a card, and reservations to a nice restaurant, of course).

Candies like caramel apples and brittle can make good Valentine's Day presents as well. These recipes are easy to follow, too, and most people who like chocolate will enjoy these as well. You can find a mix for caramel apples in the grocery store if you're pressed for time, or you can use melted caramel squares, butter, and extra garnishes (i.e. sprinkles, raisins, coconuts, powdered sugar) to make these tasty apples on your own. You can use a whole apple to coat with caramel and refrigerate for firmness, or you can add extra flavorings to the caramel (i.e. vanilla, almond, or even coffee) to use as a dip for fresh apple slices. Brittle, which is made from molasses, sugar, butter, flavoring, and nuts (usually peanuts) can be wrapped in decorative paper and presented with a nice bouquet of flowers for a sweet Valentine's Day surprise.

And, keep in mind that candy isn't the only edible gift you can give for Valentine's Day that will give your loved ones something to remember for the rest of the year. Chocolate baked goods, like brownies or chocolate wafers, are great for Valentine's Day. Adding a little something extra to brownies like white chocolate chips, peanut butter, or special flavorings is ideal, and cakes and cookies are a great addition to any Valentines' Day gift (especially if you don't bake often, or are particularly good at it). To find more recipe suggestions for Valentine's Day candy, you can purchase dessert or candy-making cookbooks from a local bookstore, or check a few out from the library. Recipe ideas can also be found online. And, it doesn't hurt to practice your candy-making skills throughout the year; next Valentine's Day may be the perfect time to show off what you know!