In A.D. 270, a Roman priest named Valentine enraged the Emperor, Claudius II, who had issued an edict forbidding Christian marriages. Claudius felt that married men made poor soldiers, and therefore abolished the practice. Valentine invited young lovers to come to him to be joined secretly in marriage. Claudius imprisoned Valentine who refused to renounce Christianity and the sacrament of matrimony and was subsequently beheaded for his defiance. Some historians claim that while Valentine was imprisoned he fell in love with the blind daughter of his jailer, Asterius. Valentine’s love restored her sight and his last message to her was signed: “From Your Valentine.” A phrase that would regrettably live longer than Valentine did. To honor the martyred champion of love, we celebrate St. Valentine’s Day each year on February 14th with roses, and chocolate and all things red.
However, if you are like us, you still have candy leftover from the other bastion of ‘all things red,’ Christmas. So instead of buying more sweet treats, I decided to “re-purpose” some we had on hand. And, who wouldn’t “love” to receive one of these adorable heart pops on Valentine’s special day?
- 20 candy canes (or any even number)
- 1 bag white or pink chocolate chips (I used Wilton Candy Melts®)
- Sprinkles and colored sanding sugar
- Ziploc bag
- Bamboo skewers
- Parchment paper or silicon mat
- Cellophane bags
Working in batches, place about one-quarter of the chocolate chips in a Ziploc bag, leaving the top unzipped, and heat in 30-second intervals. Massage the chips in the bag between intervals until the chocolate is fully melted and smooth. Then seal the top of the bag and cut one of the corner of the bag creating a make-shift pastry bag. Hint: make the hole in the bag pretty small, because unlike frosting, the chocolate will flow freely out of the tip!
Lay out parchment or silicon mat and place candy canes in opposing directions forming a heart shape. Place a bamboo skewer between the bottoms of each heart shape (as shown.) Fill the area between the candy canes with melted chocolate and smooth with the back of a spoon. Decorate with sprinkles and/or sanding sugar and allow to cool fully before moving.
Place pops in the cellophane bags and tie them with a pretty ribbon or string. Give to your favorite valentines and wait for the Ooooos and Ahhhhs!