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Renee Comet / USA Weekend
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Click here to enter for a chance to win a copy of The Liddabit Sweets Candy Cookbook by Liz Gutman and Jen King.

In the States, it’s men who usually gift V-Day chocolates. In Japan, it’s the ladies. The gesture is reciprocated exactly a month later on White Day, when women receive all types of goodies — white (and dark) chocolate, cookies, even marshmallows.

No one is really sure why these chocolate disks are called nonpareils. The word in both French and English means “having no equal” — in other words, these candies are pretty darned good.

A Valentine’s Day gift is of course about the chocolate, but it’s also about the presentation. Gutman and King like the huge selection of packaging sold at

CORRECTION: In the Jan. 6 issue, we incorrectly stated the number of books in our cookbook sweepstakes. We will be giving away 2 copies of the featured book each week.


As fun as candy is to eat, it’s often a bit scary to make at home. But if Cupid’s in your kitchen — with Liz Gutman and Jen King, the confectionery wunderkinds behind this beginner-friendly DIY-candy book — you’ll be fine.

The ladies offer innovative twists on classic caramels, lollipops, gummies and chocolates. “As cheesy as it may sound, cooking at its core is about love,” Gutman says. “And giving candy you made just brings that many more warm-fuzzies.”

Recipe: Nonpareils

• Piping bag or plastic zip-top bag
• Tape (optional)
• Scissors
• Large (13" x 18") rimmed baking sheet, lined with parchment or wax paper
• 3 cups chopped milk chocolate or dark chocolate
• ½ cup neutral-flavored vegetable oil, such as sunflower or safflower (Note: This is the easy method; visit for the tempered chocolate recipe.)
• 2 Tbs. nonpareil sprinkles (pink/red/white for a Valentinesy touch)

Fill a small (2-quart) saucepan about one-third full with hot water, and place it over medium-low heat. When the water simmers, place the chocolate in a slightly larger metal bowl and set it over the simmering water (make sure the bowl is large enough for you to easily grasp it for removal). Allow the chocolate to melt, stirring it occasionally, until it’s completely liquid and there are no lumps left, 15 to 20 minutes.

Remove it from the heat.

Slowly stir the oil into the melted chocolate until it is completely incorporated.

Keep the coating warm by setting the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water until you’re ready to use it; remove it from the heat and allow it to cool until it has the consistency of warm fudge sauce, 15 to 20 minutes. (If piping into hearts, let cool to touch, 5 to 7 minutes more.)

Place a piping bag or plastic zip-top bag in a 2-cup measuring cup or coffee mug, and fold the top edge down over the rim of the cup. Pour the chocolate into the piping bag, twist the top, and secure it with tape.

Cut off the tip of the bag, about ¼ inch from the end, and pipe 1-inch disks (or hearts) onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle the nonpareil sprinkles over the tops of the disks; allow to set, about 15 minutes. Store in an airtight container at cool room temperature.

Per serving (1 CANDY): 44 calories, 4g carbohydrates, 0g protein,
3g fat (1g saturated), 0g fiber, 1mg cholesterol, 5mg sodium

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