There’s a lot to be said for Valentine’s Day: it’s a celebration of the spirit of love, and there are so many ways to recognize that sentiment, especially if you’ve ever navigated by the compass of your sweet tooth (which, let’s be honest, some of us [ahem] do on a regular basis).
I like to think of Valentine’s Day as less of a huge bonanza for romantic love, and more of a time to show appreciation for the love of (and for) friends, family, community, and ourselves. It’s a perfect time—during the short, wintery days of February—to brighten the lives of all the people who bring sunshine into our own days, and one of the sweetest and prettiest ways to do that is with a little handmade I-Love-You.
As a craft publisher, we think, talk, and blog about handmade all the time, and there are countless ways to create a love-inspired special something for a lovely special someone. With that in mind, allow me to suggest a simple, delicious, and beautiful option: handmade vanilla caramels. Golden, soft strips of chewy caramel mellowed with the flavor of vanilla bean, rich cream and butter, and all the love you can pour into it.
This recipe for Vanilla Caramels comes from Sweet Confections: Beautiful Candy to Make at Home by Nina Wanat. It makes 64 pieces of caramel, and we’ve included instructions for not just this recipe, but also for the basics of caramelizing sugar with some handy step-by-step photos. (Also: not only will you and your Valentine pals swoon over the decadent taste of these treats, but your kitchen will smell heavenly while you’re making them. Win, win, win, I say.)
So whether you’re sharing appreciation for your family and friends, your next-door neighbor, your dog’s best vet tech, or your hard-working classmates, Valentine’s Day is always sweet with a little bit of handmade, homemade love.