Valentine's Day just isn't the same without Sweethearts candies, the heart-shaped confections printed with messages like "Cutie Pie" and "Kiss Me." If you're a fan of the conversation hearts, then you'll go gaga over these cake pops that are formed to look just like giant versions of Sweethearts. Not only do they taste divine, you can write different sayings on each one to whisper sweet nothings to all the valentines in your life.
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Bake a sheet cake either from scratch or from a box mix. For convenience, I used a strawberry box mix. The cake's pink color is perfect for Valentine's Day.
Using a butter knife, scrape the top and sides of the cake to remove the browned edges. This way, we'll only be working with the interior portion of the cake, which will have a consistent texture.
Don't let the scraped edges go to waste. They're great for snacking while you prepare the cake pops.
In a large bowl, crumble the cake between the palms of your hands until it has the consistency of damp breadcrumbs.
To the bowl of cake crumbs, add about two tablespoons of frosting and stir the mixture with your hands. I used a tub of store-bought strawberry frosting. I'll admit, I'm a chocolate cake lover. But the mixture of the strawberry cake and strawberry frosting is simply amazing.
Continue adding frosting one tablespoon at a time until the mixture looks and feels like cookie dough.
Press the cake pop mixture into a silicone heart mold. Using a mold takes out all the guesswork, and all your hearts will be the same size. Press down firmly with your fingertips to make sure the cake is very compacted in the mold. I used a silicone mold that had 24 hearts, each about 1.75 inches in width.
Place in the freezer for about 30 minutes to allow the hearts to set. Then pop them right out and fix any edges that are uneven.
Pour a package of candy melts into a microwave-safe bowl. Zap it at 30-second intervals, stirring frequently until the candies are melted.
Add two tablespoons of vegetable shortening and heat the bowl for another 30 seconds to thin out the candy melts mixture. To properly coat the cake pops, the candy melts should have the consistency of a milk shake.
Dip about a half inch of a treat stick into the melted candy. Then insert the stick into the base of the heart, going about a third of the way into the cake mixture. Allow the melted candy to harden for a few minutes.
Holding the cake pop by the stick, dip the heart in the melted candy. I dipped one side at a time until the the entire cake pop was coated. You can use a spoon to fill in any gaps that you may have missed.
After you've dipped each cake pop in the melted candy, insert the stick into a piece of styrofoam to allow the coating to harden.
Use various colors of candy coating for the true Sweethearts experience. The coating will dry completely in about an hour, depending on temperature and humidity. I actually let them harden overnight just to be sure.
Write messages on one side of the cake pops using a candy decorating pen. Because Sweethearts typically have red writing, I used a red pen. However, the red edible ink did not show up well on my pink hearts, so I used a blue candy decorating pen on them instead. Keep the sayings to two words. For ideas on what to write, look at a box of actual Sweethearts. Or use your imagination and be as humorous as you want.
These cake pops are a great way to have a heart to heart with your valentine.
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