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2021 is, for all intents and purposes, the year of homemade Valentine’s Day gifts.
The only problem? There are so many recipes to choose from. So, to figure out the best homemade Valentine’s Day gift, we tried making three of the internet’s most popular recipes: homemade “giant” Reese’s Cups, three-layer turtle fudge and soft caramels.
Then, we tested each recipe on three, all-important factors: taste, prettiness and, of course, how easy it is to make. To see how each candy fared, watch the video above or keep reading below.
How to make ‘giant’ homemade Reese’s Cups
This recipe, originally shared by TikToker Eitan Bernath, features just four ingredients — so it ranks way high on the easiness scale. And, it looks pretty nice in a heart-shaped box (if our editor, who spent way too long on this assortment photo, can say so himself).
You can even spruce up the recipe with some extra flair, by molding the peanut butter cups into a more romantic shape. These heart-shaped chocolate molds on Amazon are perfect for that.
Shop: Actvty 6-Cavity Heart Shaped Silicone Molds, $13
Mold (or not) what you’ll need to make the peanut butter cups, which one TikTok user called “the best recipe I’ve seen online.” Check out Bernath’s video for more info:
10 graham crackers
1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1 12-ounce bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips
How to make three-layer turtle fudge
The recipe, while resulting in some gorgeous layers, is relatively complicated. For that reason, we gave it high marks for taste and presentation, but a lower score for difficulty.
A big reason for that? The ingredients. You’ll need a lot to pull off this fudge:
1 1/2 cups butter
1 1/3 cup evaporated milk
6 cups of sugar
1 12-ounce bag of white chocolate chips
1 14-ounce bag of marshmallows
1 12-ounce bag of butterscotch chips
3-4 ounces of unsalted peanuts
6 ounces of milk chocolate chips
6 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chips
For the full process, check out @yzma1587’s video or watch our video above.
How to make homemade soft caramels
This soft caramel recipe, also from Eitan Bernath, was our lowest-scoring treat. The candies are a little tough to make, and yield a less flavorful and less appealing result than the other recipes. Here’s what you need to make them:
1 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 cup heavy cream
1 stick butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
So, what’s the best homemade Valentine’s Day gift?
Ultimately, the giant peanut butter cups proved to be our winner. These candies are big, beautiful and wrapped in chocolate — everything you’d want in a Valentine’s Day candy.
Also, they tasted insanely good. The cups were smoother and richer than a Reese’s, and on top of it all, they take just a few minutes to make. If you’re aiming for homemade Valentine’s Day gifts this year, you could do much, much worse.
Or, you could just cave and order some chocolates online.
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If you liked this story, check out our article where we tested out the internet’s favorite dish-cleaning gadgets.
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