Chocolate Raspberry Hearts

I got the inspiration for these candies in three places: King Soopers where they had some artificially flavored pink centered chocolate covered hearts, the top of my roaster oven where a half-cup jar of raspberry jam  was sitting, and on the couch while watching Bedtime Stories.  I love the part when Adam Sandler is in his car and the gumballs start raining down on his head.  Proof that anything can happen . . .

Beat 1/2 stick of butter in mixer.

Strain (by heating first until softened) 1/2 cup of raspberry jam by coaxing through strainer.  If you’re lucky enough to have seedless jam, you can omit this step.  Make sure the jam you choose has plenty of flavor.  If you use our raspberry jam recipe, you just might want to leave out the hot pepperish aspect . . .

Beat jam into butter.

Add 1 cup powdered sugar to start.  Beat in well.

Add 2 “pinches” of citric acid (to improve tartness).  A pinch is approximately 1/16 of a teaspoon, so 2 is 1/8 of a teaspoon (or half a quarter teaspoon.  That does it for the fractions for today . . .)

Then add up to another cup of powdered sugar, beat until smooth, and put in refrigerator overnight or several hours.

When thoroughly cooled, you should have a soft dough.  Dust rolling pin and rolling surface with powdered sugar. Cut out hearts almost 1/2 an inch thick.

Place cut hearts in the fridge while you melt the chocolate for dipping. Here’s how they look in the early morning light, before anyone gets up . . . just so they can be a surprise!

Melt about 1 cup of chocolate (chocolate chips work) with 1 teaspoon of vegetable shortening.  Melt first for 90 seconds, then in 20-30 second increments until all are melted.

Drop hearts in chocolate, flip over, making sure sides are covered, and remove with a fork or chocolate fork.  I really need a chocolate fork — these hearts will lose their shape if they are prodded too much  . . .

 

Lay out to cool.  Now see what happens when you lay them on a solid surface — they grow at the bottom, and that “overflow” needs to be cut off with a knife when they are cool enough to handle.

Otherwise, a wire rack works well, but sometimes the chocolate glues itself to the rack so experiment here a bit — Pretty hearts all in a row . . .

This makes about 2 dozen hearts.  Their shelf life in the fridge is several weeks — with the citric acid, they would probably last even longer.  But you might need to hide them if you want them to last until Valentine’s Day . . .

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