Surprise your lover for Valentine's Day with these Homemade Valentine's Chocolates. Filled with candy and made whichever way you and your partner prefer, they are a sure-fire winner this holiday.
I feel like crazy December with all its holidays (and birthdays and anniversaries in our family) is only just behind us, and the next one is already looming. Only three more weeks until Valentine's Day!
Well, I am not trying to even compare Christmas to Valentine's Day. But here is one thing they have in common for me: a perfect opportunity for homemade gifts. I am a sucker for everything that is thoughtful and comes from the heart instead of from the mall. You could see this from my homemade gifts for Christmas, such as my Christmas spice mix that I give to my mom and my sister each year. It's an opportunity to be a little more genuine than your average store-bought present.
Valentine's Day Chocolates - Timeless, Eternal, Delicious
Is there any Valentine's Day gift more popular than chocolates? Well, flowers maybe, or diamonds. We're not breaking the bank here. We're just breaking a sweat 😉 Here is an idea for easy homemade chocolates. Change up the recipe to make it perfect for your sweetheart.
We start by making the filling. It is a simple mixture of dates and nuts with vanilla - for natural sweetness and crunch.
First, whirl the pitted dates in a food processor until they form into a smooth ball. Then add the nuts and flavorings and process again until evenly combined.
Use whichever nuts your special someone likes best. And there are no limitations to your creativity with the flavoring extract. Love a coffee lover? Add some instant coffee or espresso to the mix. Rum or coconut extract would also make delicious flavor combinations. Tailor it to whatever your dearest loves.
Use Any Chocolate You Want, Melt, Mold, Then Chill
Then we move on to the chocolate. What kind of chocolate do they like best? Dark, semi-sweet, white, vegan, organic? Or healthy? Yes, you can even use this homemade chocolate recipe.
Melt the chocolate in the microwave (in 20 second bursts; stirring in between) or on top of a double boiler. Use a brush or skewer (I used a cake pop stick) to spread it around the outside of a mold. I used only the heart cavities of this multi-shape silicone mold. You could also use an ice cube tray (around Valentine's Day you can find heart-shaped ones in dollar stores).
The amount of chocolate you need and your final candy yield will depend on the mold you use. Then, once you have spread the chocolate around the bottom and walls, give the mold a few good taps to smooth out the chocolate. After that's finished, place your creation in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes to allow to set.
Retrieve Your Valentine's Day Chocolates and Enjoy
Press a little of the filling mixture into each cavity, but don't fill to the top.
Spread a little more melted chocolate over the filling, tap down again. Then, scrape of any excess with a knife or spatula.
Return the mold to the fridge or freezer, to let the chocolate set fully.
Once hardened, pop out the chocolates. Place into mini muffin liners for presentation.
If you are feeling especially creative, you can use colored candy melts (or white chocolate with a touch of gel food coloring) for a set of chocolates that kind of reminds me of pastel-colored conversation hearts.
(I added a little silver sparkle dust - left over from my cake decorating days - at the bottom of the mold before adding the pink chocolate; call me old-fashioned, but it just looks so good)
Cook Like a Pro
In order to make sure you have an awesome Valentine's Day treat, be sure to remember a couple of things. Firstly, when you add the chocolate to the molds, remember that the goal is to coat the entire outside of the treat evenly and to have the filling inside. Thus, the first step here is to fill the molds with a decent layer of chocolate so as to create your outside coating. Then, after placing the filling in but not to the top, you will finish off the outside layer with the last coating of chocolate on top. And boom. Chocolate shell.
Secondly, remember to be creative with this one. I suggested rum and coconut or espresso. You could even add a little bit of honey (but not too much because the dates are already sweet), ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper if you like spice, or ⅛ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice or more to taste. Do what you want. These are meant to be fun and light and easy; an opportunity to experiment. It's Valentine's Day. Whether you have a loved one or not, you ought to enjoy these to your heart's content!
Homemade Valentine's Chocolates
- 4 ounces chocolate ~½ cup in chips; any kind - dark, semi-sweet, vegan, organic etc.
- 2 ounces dates pitted; ~½ cup before pitting
- 2 ounces nuts I used equal parts almonds and pecans
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract or other flavoring, e.g. coffee, rum, coconut, etc.
- Place pitted dates in a food processor and whirl until a smooth ball forms. Add nuts and vanilla extract and process until combined.
- Melt chocolate in the microwave (in 20 second bursts; stirring in between) or on top of a double boiler. If needed, you can add a little vegetable or coconut oil (1 teaspoon at a time) to make it even smoother.
- Use a brush or stick to spread chocolate around the bottom and walls of a heart mold and tap mold down to smooth out chocolate. Place in the fridge or freezer (faster) to set.
- Press a little of the filling mixture into each chocolate cavity, but not to the very top. Spread more melted chocolate over the filling and tap again to smooth out. Using a knife or spatula scrape off excess chocolate.
- Let the chocolates set up fully in the fridge or freezer, before popping them out of the mold.
- Place in mini paper liners for presentation.
Products used for this recipe:
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Suzy @ The Mediterranean Dish
These are perfect Regina! I am sooo behind with my Valentine day plans. I gotta get on making my chocolates!!!
This is there first year I made homemade chocolates for Valentine's Day but it turned out so easy with a mold 😉
Robin @ thebakingexchange
Hi regina! I've never made chocolates before but have the molds to do it. Can you really use any chocolate, even chocolate chips, or is there a special one?
Hi Robin. I am sure gourmet chocolatiers will have a different opinion, but since these are just simple homemade candies any chocolate will work. Any chocolate will melt when heated properly. Because of the stabilizers in chocolate chips they need to be stirred to actually melt and spread out. If needed, a little vegetable or coconut oil can be added (1 teaspoon at a time) to make them even smoother (will make a note of that in the recipe). I used chocolate chips and candy melts for these. Candy melts melt smoother but I feel they are not 'real' chocolate 😉
You make this look so easy! I love that you used dates in the filling. Maybe they can even be considered a little healthy. Either way, I bet the taste amazing!
Haha... I considered putting 'healthy' in the title since I made the majority of them with healthy homemade chocolate. But I don't think there is anything healthy about white chocolate or candy melts 😉
Jacquee | I Sugar Coat It!
These are cute, Regina and the filling sounds YUM!
Thank you Jacquee!I had some filling left over after all the test batches.Now I pop the occasional ball of filling straight up 😉