DIY Your Own Candy Hearts by Killing These Majestic Sugar Elves
If you’re like most Americans, you’re probably devastated by the news that Necco, the company that brings us little candy hearts with messages like “Be Mine” and “I’m Yours,” won’t be making their signature product this year for the first time since 1886. Fortunately for the part of you that loves the taste of things like sand and sawdust, we here at Bunny Ears know the closely-guarded secret that has propped up the industry for decades: They’re actually the dehydrated hearts of the Sugar Elf people, a race of tiny saccharine fey living right under our noses. Corporate America has been mercilessly slaughtering their people for decades, and now, you can too!
Step One: Lure The Elves
Everyone knows that Sugar Elves find salt irresistible. So throw a little over your shoulder near the closest sugar plum grove and wait for those whimsical little elves to start a-comin’. (Note: If the salt lure method doesn’t work for you, we recommend some of the other hunting techniques described in treatises like Carbohydrate Critters: Sugar Elves, Syrup Sprites, and Brownies or Sweethearts of Darkness: My Year Hunting Sugar Elves in the Deep Floorboards.) Once you’ve trapped your sugar elf (or elves, depending on how many Sweethearts you want—a good estimate is one elf per heart) you’re ready to begin.
What You’ll Need
- small metal pins
- sugar elf, sedated*
- hair dryer
- fountain pen, freshly sharpened
*Sweethearts can only be successfully extracted from live sugar elves, as death ruins the crystal structure of their organ tissue.
With the scalpel, make a long incision on the ventral side of the sugar elf, followed by two horizontal incisions near either end of the first cut. (Take care not to accidentally slice open any of the digestive organs, as this will spill salt over everything and contaminate the final product.) Peel back skin and muscle layers, using pins to hold each layer in place. Make several horizontal cuts through the sternum and remove each strip of bone with forceps to expose the thoracic cavity.
Carefully cut away the pericardium membrane surrounding the heart. If necessary, use the eyedropper to suction away blood. (Blood will be clear and, if sampled, will have a taste reminiscent of maple syrup.) Cut through the arteries connected to the top of the heart and lift the heart out with forceps. Place heart on an absorbent cloth and discard the rest of the elf.
Gently dry out the heart with an electric hair dryer set on low. Heart coloration will vary based on the sugar elf’s hopes and dreams while they were still living. When the heart is completely dried (about 15 minutes), etch the desired message on one side with your fountain pen. Give to your best beloved or eat alone at your kitchen table.
Happy Valentine’s Day!