Mary Beth Johnson is a photographer, blogger, and journalist with a passion for finding beauty in unexpected places and celebrating the everyday. Originally from the east coast, she now lives in Oklahoma with her husband and three children (dubbed “schooners”). From an office full of fingerprints and walls scattered with imperfect artwork, she’s writing her first book, a memoir of her parents’ journey in raising 14 children, and her own lifestyle blog, Annapolis & Company.
I’ve always been a hopeless romantic. I don’t need much of an excuse to set aside a whole day for the ones I love, but Valentine’s Day is a good one. We never do anything over-the-top, and I can’t remember us ever buying each other much more than a necklace or a coffee mug, but some of my favorite memories are wrapped up in February…proof that just taking the time to make someone feel special is enough.
I have had a box of leftover mini candy canes sitting in my cupboard forever and I couldn’t wait to try my hand at these hearts I had seen on Fly Through My Window so long ago. This is a really fun project to do with your kids, or for a Valentine’s Day party, and you can use them in a variety of ways but I chose to add mine to some basic chocolate cupcakes.
If you didn’t happen to save your candy canes through February, you can order some on Amazon here. 😉
//CANDY CANE VALENTINE’S
Start with small candy canes. Preheat your oven to 240-245. Place unwrapped candy canes in heart shapes on parchment lined cookie sheets. Bake for 2 to 5 minutes watching closely. When they come out touch them and see if they are pliable. If they are, pinch the tops and bottoms together, if they aren’t, return them to the oven for a couple minutes until they’re ready. Let cool.
1 box of yellow cake mix
1 (3.5 oz.) package instant vanilla pudding mix
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place parchment liners in two muffin tins (total of 24).
Combine the cake mix, instant vanilla pudding, cocoa, buttermilk, vegetable oil, and the 3 whole eggs. Mix until blended well (about 2 minutes) and pour the batter into the prepared pans.
Bake in preheated oven for 15 – 18 minutes, or until set.
Let cool and then frost with your favorite icing.
Poke candy cane hearts on top and enjoy!!!