Monday, February 13, 2012

Conversation Heart Cheesecakes for Valentine's Day




  Do school kids today still exchange valentines? I sure hope so. If they do, they probably don't cover shoeboxes in construction paper and cut slits in the top like we used to do. They probably have some fancy plastic cases purchased just for the occasion. Or maybe they just send electronic valentines these days. If so, too bad. The fun was coming home from school and poring over colorful cards and reading all the corny messages.



The candy was nice too but I don't remember the enormous selection that you see now. We either got red hots -- tiny, deep red hearts that tasted like cinnamon -- or we got these little sugary conversation hearts with silly little sayings on them. The only people who got chocolates were adults, and heart-shaped boxes in red and pink satin were as popular back in the dinosaur ages as they are now - maybe even more so back then.



When I saw these cheesecakes  on the blog "Hungry Happenings," made to look like those little conversation heart candies from my youth, I knew I would have to make them. 
  The timing was perfect too, since my Italian chit-chat group is scheduled at my house today. Naturally, I had to write the sayings in Italian, rather than English.

  In case you don't speak Italian, and want to whisper some sweet nothings into your loved one's ear this Valentine's Day, I'm including the translations below. 


      Italian sweet sayings for Valentine's Day
  •   Per Sempre - for always
  •   6 Bella - (A play on the word "sei" which in Italian means "You are." It's also the same word for   the number 6. Both are pronounced the same way - namely like the English word "say." Hence "6 Bella" translates to "You are beautiful."
  •   Baci - kisses
  •  Mi manchi - I miss you.
  •  Ti adoro - I adore you.
  •  Dolce amore - sweet love
  •  Pazza di te - crazy for you
  •  Tesoro mio - my treasure
  •  Solo tu - only you
  •  Primo bacio - first kiss
  •  Ti amo - I love you


Join me for a week in Italy at the end of May and live like an Italian - sightseeing, cooking and eating in a villa located in the Alban Hills near Rome. There's still time to enroll. For details go to:



 Basic Cheesecake Recipe


 For full directions on how to make the heart cheesecakes, go to Hungry Happenings website here.

printable recipe here

Conversation Heart Cheesecakes (makes 12-18)
          recipe adapted from Tyler Florence's Ultimate Cheesecake recipe


Ingredients:

1 cup graham cracker crumbs (15 squares)
pinch of cinnamon
1/2 stick butter (melted)
16 ounces (2 blocks) cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
2 cups sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
food coloring - pink, purple, blue, green, yellow, and red

Mix graham cracker crumbs, cinnamon and butter and place a tablespoon full on the bottom of each heart of a silicon heart-shaped mold. Pat down and refrigerate. Mix the remainder of the ingredients (except food coloring). Divide into equal portions and tint each portion a different color, mixing well. Pour over the graham cracker crumbs and place the molds in a hot water bath in a baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees about 25 minutes. Cool completely in refrigerator. I found it easiest to remove the cheesecakes from the mold if I freezed the cheesecakes overnight. Paint the sayings using a paintbrush and food coloring.

For more complete directions and photos, go to Hungry Happenings website here.
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21 comments:

Fleur said...

Oh...how unbelievably cute!!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Oh, what a great idea! Those look so cute.

Cheers,

Rosa

bellini said...

These alone are a reason to celebrate. These are a great reminder of our childhood and Sweet Tarts.

Beth @ Hungry Happenings said...

Your cheesecakes turned out great. I love the Italian sayings on them! If you don't mind, I'd like to add one of your pictures to the Hungry Happenings Reader's Gallery with a link to your site. Have a sweet Valentine's Day.

Claudia said...

You have me wondering if I should dash out in my pajamas and find those molds. I never loved the taste of the little conversation hearts - but I still love the fact of them. Now I can have them and good taste!

Matt @ RecipeLion said...

This dessert looks great! I would love it if you linked up this recipe to my blog hop for a chance to win a cookbook prize package: http://bit.ly/wJSl1h

grace said...

i was recently wondering myself if the kiddies still made little receptacles out of cereal boxes like we did when i was in school. :)
i love these cheesecakes--marvelous idea and execution!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

They are adorable! You really captured the pastel colors and red writing of the candy conversation hearts so well, Linda! I know your chit chat group will love them!

black eyed susans kitchen said...

What a lucky group the chit chats will be when they see these! Cute and delicious...how wonderful!
♥, Susan

Proud Italian Cook said...

Those are the cutest! and I love the Italian words, I wish I could buy a dozen!

Linda said...

These are just the most adorable little things I ever seen...
So cute....i wish i had one right now!
Happy Valentines Day!

A Feast for the Eyes said...

What a wonderful friend you are! I'd be honored to receive one of these. They look like a lot of work, but you pulled them off beautifully!

Rosemary said...

I'd have no trouble at all learning Italian this way! What a delightful idea -- and such great pictures. Your friends will be delighted!

An Everyday Cook said...

What a clever idea! And, oh so cute!

Joanne said...

It's so comforting that even though I haven't REALLY spoken Italian in years, I still knew what all those meant. Phew! Everything sounds better in Italian, especially sweet nothings. These are so cute!

janie said...

How adorable!

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

Those are adorable! That's when you want to say they almost look too pretty to eat - but they also look too tasty not to eat! They also helped me remember my Italian (I was pleased I could translate them all! :-)).

You brought back some memories. I was the most unpopular kid in school, but I always gave a valentine in that slitted box to every kid in the class. It was nice getting that grudging thank you knowing I was the bigger person.

Heather Zysk said...

Love it!!!!

Cathy at Wives with Knives said...

I would give anything to join your group in Italy. It sounds like the most wonderful time. I'm looking forward to reading all about it. Happy Valentine's Day to you, Linda.

Heather Hands said...

These are so absolutely perfect. I just love your photos. What a great idea for cheesecake.

emiglia said...

I love this idea! I liked the conversation hearts back in the day, but the last time I tasted them, they were a little chalky. Cheesecakes are a million times better.