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Heart Bark {recipe}

Photo of heart-shaped chocolate bark with heart sprinkles

 

I had some melting chocolate leftover from Christmas so I decided to purdy it up so I could give it away re-purpose it for Valentine’s Day. So I made some chocolate bark in a heart-shaped mold (specifically, this one from Wilton):

 Mini Heart Silicone Mold, large

Chocolate heart-shpaed candy in a red heart bowl

Heart Bark
by Renee’s Soirees

Ingredients:
8 oz milk or dark chocolate
8 oz white chocolate
2 tsp vegetable oil, divided
any pink, red, or heart-shaped sprinkles

Directions:
Melt the brown chocolate and 1 tsp vegetable oil in the microwave on 50% power in 30-45 second intervals, stirring in between. Do this until it is melted but not necessarily in a liquid state.  Drop by spoonfuls into heart mold. (You can also use a bar pan lined with waxed paper, or heart-shaped cookie cutters on a piece of waxed paper).  Carefully push chocolate around mold or cookie cutter until it covers the whole bottom, but try not to splash it onto the sides too much. Put pan in freezer for 5-10 minutes (or refrigerator for 15 minutes), until firm.

While you are waiting for that to firm up, melt white chocolate and 1 tsp vegetable oil in the same fashion.  Once the brown chocolate layer is firm and cold, spoon the white chocolate on top and even it out with a toothpick or small spoon. Sprinkle heart-shaped sprinkles on top and put pan in fridge or freezer until chocolate is cold and solid.  Gently push bottom of  silicone mold inside out to ease the candy out.

Unless you have 2 heart molds, you will have to reheat the remaining chocolate and repeat entire process again, as this recipe makes about 12 hearts, and the pan only has 6 heart molds.  But these are still surprisingly quick to make.

Yield: Approx. 12 chocolate hearts

Print version of recipe here.

Serve these at a party, or package them in a zip-top baggie with a Valentine topper, and hand out to classmates or coworkers!

 

Baggie of heart bark with a heart topper

Tip: Use a quality chocolate. I have also made these using a generic almond bark from a grocery store. It was AWFUL. I like the Wilton candy melts (available at craft stores), but you could also use Ghiradelli or Callebaut chips or bars.

Option: If you would like these to be a Peppermint Bark, add 1/4 tsp peppermint extract to each batch of chocolate. YUM!

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Valentine Pocket tutorial

{Tutorial} Valentine’s Day Heart Pockets

My mother, a retired teacher, used to make these with her students every year. She hung them on the bulletin board for February decor, plus during the Valentine’s party, classmates could add valentine cards to the pockets.

Here are some examples of the finished product. My mother, the most creative person I know, made all but one of these (you will note that I am missing part of that creativity gene). She challenged her students to incorporate hearts into everyday items (notice the butterfly and ship below).

2 decorated paper heart valentines day pockets

It’s going to be painfully obvious here, which one was made by me…

2 paper hearts used as pockets for valentines day at school

You can see better on the red heart above, how these open and act as a pocket.

Mom made hers more than 40 years ago, and after about 20 years she decided to extend their durability by  laminating them (then you need to use a craft  knife to cut the pocket open again).  Mom hangs these on the mantel every February even now, and they have held up just fine.

I have also done them with younger kids, too (first grade).  I just help them with the stapling, so they won’t staple in such a way that it prevents it from being used as a pocket.  And for any age group, you can use a salad plate or manila folder template to help them draw the half-circle that becomes the top of the hearts.  Use a toddler plate or something that is approximately the same distance across as the folded paper, otherwise your heart will look cut off.

Use reusable adhesive aka mounting putty to attach it to your walls, mantel, desks or chairs (Scotch and Elmer’s make the putty in the US, and it’s called Blu-Tack in Australia).  You could use tape in a pinch, but in a classroom setting, these pockets can get a little heavy for that.

Here is the tutorial. Click the photo to save or print a PDF version to use as a reference (but trust me, these are NOT hard to make).

Instructions on how to make a heart pocket

I think it’s the coolest thing ever, that I hang (on my bannister, with a heart garland) the very same pocket that my mom used to put my Valentine’s Day card in when I was a kid. And I intend to pass along the ones I made for my kids as well.

Hope you liked this Valentine’s Day craft, and I’d love to see your finished products! (Obviously I need serious help on the decorating portion.)

 

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