Homemade VALENTINE Heart PEPPERMINT PATTY Candy
4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2/3 cups sweetened, condensed milk (NOT evaporated)
few drops food coloring (red)
1/2 tsp peppermint extract
1/2 cup granulated sugar (for dipping)
chocolate for dipping (bark ~ melting wafers ~ chocolate chips)
tiny heart sprinkles
Put condensed milk, food coloring and extract in electric mixer bowl. Beat in sugar gradually. (You might think you don’t need all the sugar, but add it anyways. It will work in after a while). When it starts to come together around the paddle, take it out and knead a few times with your hands until it's smooth.
Flatten it down ~ Using small cookie scoop (or melon baller ~ see photo), make about 2 dozen balls and set them on a piece of waxed paper. (TIP: If the balls crumble, dip just the tip of your finger into water and touch the ball; then roll in the palm of your hand.) Flatten with the bottom of a glass. (Smooth out any rough edges with your finger dipped lightly in water) Push in the top of each small disk with a chopstick, while you lightly pinch together the bottom ~ to form a HEART shape. Let them rest for an hour or so (or even overnight, if it's really humid).
Put a rack over a piece of waxed paper. Melt whatever chocolate you're using (usually 1 minute in microwave ~ stir well with a small spoon until smooth). Dip each heart into the melted chocolate ~ then set it onto the rack. Put the sprinkles on after every 2 or 3 hearts (before the chocolate hardens).
Everyone has their own way of dipping into chocolate. I use a small salad fork to gently put the candy into the chocolate ~ pull out the fork, and spoon the chocolate over the heart. Then slide the fork back underneath and let most of the chocolate drip off. Transfer to the rack and slide off the fork with a butter knife.
I like to put these into little bon bon papers. Pretty in candy dishes or as a Valentine's gift. Store covered (Tupperware or Rubbermaid containers) at room temperature.
Peppermint extract ~ red food color
Mint extract ~ green food color
Orange extract ~ 2 drops each red and yellow food color
Lemon extract ~ yellow food color
Try adding orange extract with appropriate coloring and shaping pumpkins or carrots to decorate your cakes and pies!