WHAT ARE MATCHA SWEETHEART CANDIES?
Sweethearts (also known as Conversation Hearts): the quintessential Valentine’s Day icon!
If you’ve never had one, they’re a small heart-shaped hard candy, and each tiny heart has a message written on them. Cute, right?!
Well, matcha sweethearts are just like the ones you buy at the store, but better since they’re colored and flavored with matcha!
Let’s learn to make them at home!
INGREDIENTS FOR MATCHA SWEETHEARTS
Here’s what’s in matcha sweethearts:
- Light corn syrup
- Unflavored gelatin
- Powdered Sugar
- Jade Leaf Culinary Grade Matcha, or another grade of your choosing
- Food coloring, if making additional flavors/colors in addition to matcha
- Flavor extract of choice, if making additional flavors/colors in addition to matcha
TOOLS FOR MAKING MATCHA SWEETHEARTS
- Food coloring markers: For writing messages on the hearts.
- Bowls: Large and small, microwave safe.
- Stand mixer or hand mixer: For combining ingredients.
- Rolling pin: For rolling out the candy dough. Roll to your desired thickness.
- Heart-shaped cutter: The cutter can be as large or small as you like/have available.
- Baking sheet: Lay all the hearts on a parchment-lined baking sheet to dry- they need 24 hours before you can write on them.
TIPS AND TRICKS
- You can make as many different colors and flavors of conversation hearts as you want! Just divide the dough into separate portions, and color/flavor them accordingly. For example, we did three batches- two with matcha; one light green and one dark green- and a pink peppermint flavored batch as well, so we separated the dough into three portions.
- The dough can get dry as you work with it. If this happens, moisten your hands as you are kneading the dough or just add a few drops of water.
- If you want all the hearts to be the same, just add the matcha in with the powdered sugar, instead of kneading different amounts into separate portions of dough.
- 2 teaspoons light corn syrup
- 2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
- ½ cup water
- 2 pounds powdered sugar (plus more for dusting)
- 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons Jade Leaf Culinary Grade Matcha, divided and sifted
- 1 drop red food coloring
- ½ teaspoon flavoring extract, such as peppermint
- Food coloring markers
- Combine corn syrup, gelatin, and water in a small microwave-safe bowl. Stir to combine and microwave mixture for 30 seconds, until gelatin is dissolved. Pour the gelatin mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or a large bowl if using a hand mixer. Add 1 cup of powdered sugar and mix on low until sugar is incorporated.
- Continue to add powdered sugar, cup by cup, until the entire 2 pounds of powdered sugar is added. Stop periodically to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. The candy will become a very stiff dough.
- Once the candy dough has come together, dust your work surface with powdered sugar. Turn out the dough onto the counter and dust the top with additional powdered sugar. Knead the candy as you would a bread dough- fold the dough over on itself and use the heel of your hand to push it down again. Give the candy a quarter-turn and repeat. Continue kneading until the candy is satiny and not sticky.
- Divide the dough into three separate portions. Make them into balls, then flatten into a disc. To the first portion (light green), add 2 teaspoons of matcha and a few drops of water. Knead the candy until the matcha is evenly dispersed and no streaks remain. If the dough starts drying, continue adding a few drops of water as you knead to help the matcha incorporate and make the dough easier to knead. To the second portion (dark green), add 2 tablespoons of matcha and a few drops of water. Repeat the kneading process until the matcha is completely incorporated. To the third portion (pink), add one drop of red food coloring and ½ teaspoon of flavoring extract. Repeat the kneading process until color is incorporated.
- Dust your work surface and a rolling pin with powdered sugar. Roll out the candy balls to about ¼ inch thickness. Use heart-shaped cutters to cut out the hearts. Transfer the hearts to a parchment-lined baking sheet. You may re-roll the scraps left from cutting to make additional candy hearts. Repeat with remaining colors/flavors.
- Allow the hearts to air dry for at least 24 hours before writing on them with the food coloring markers.
- Once the hearts have dried, use the food coloring markers to write messages and gift to your valentine!