FOODIE: Handmade Valentine Goodies

My dear friend Kristyn invited the girls and I to join in on her tradition of making homemade chocolate candies for Valentines Day treats. I was thrilled, as I don't have a lot of experience with making candy and was excited about the possibilities. She bought the ingredients and provided the expertise and the kitchen, and I brought my girls and some crafty supplies for making cute recycled containers for the candies to go in.

Being a southern belle herself, Kristyn has grown up eating and making Food Network chef Paula Deen's goodies. On the menu were Deen's Almond Chocolate Balls, her peanut butter Buckeye Balls, and some mini red velvet cupcakes (these were from the box because, seriously, we're amateur chefs and mothers, not crazy).

Unfortunately, I didn't get any pics of the candy creating process, as it was a bit chaotic in Kristyn's kitchen with two demanding babies under our feet and two kindergartners asking for more glitter and sprinkles. Also, candy making is a bit of a time consuming process, especially melting the chocolate in a double boiler and dipping each one quickly. Anyhow, when you click on the above links for the recipes and tutorials, you'll notice immediately that my Buckeyes look not near as nice and polished as hers. Clearly, my Almond Chocolate Balls above, which basically taste just like Almond Joy bars, are not ball-y at all. Have you been reading this blog a while? I'm CLEARLY not a perfectionist.

I was surprised how easy the candies were to make, and how few ingredients they required. Additionally, we came up with some really darling containers, handmade by our children, to box up the candies in. The silver painted container is a baby formula can with the label stripped off (the lid is also cute with pink paint and tons of glitter, but is currently lost somewhere in my girls' playroom). The red containers formerly held sliced deli meat and are decorated with felt, glitter and stickers. A cream cheese container is covered with Contac paper, gingham fabric hearts and glitter (in the foreground).

We lined all the containers with valentine themed cupcake papers and stacked the candies inside. Here you can see we used individual apple sauce containers covered with plastic wrap and ties with pretty satin bows. These sweet little packages were valentines for Lucy's three teachers.
Valentines Day can be a sweet holiday when filled with heart-felt lovely surprises. All our candies are accompanied by hand-colored cards that Lucy made for our family members. I have to say, it is way less stressful to make homemade candy on a holiday other than Christmas. It's made these gifts much more special to make, give, and receive thus far. And my two little cupids have a few more deliveries to go.