Chocolate Conversation Heart Footballs

chocolate football conversation hearts

I learned on Friday night (or, more rather, on Saturday) that I am too old to stay up until midnight.

Also, I may be too old to play the drinking game Kings. You know the one you played in college? I didn’t know, because I lived at home during college. My biggest foray into college life was when I would go and visit my boyfriend at UC Davis and stay with him in the frat house for the weekend.

People: have you ever stayed overnight in a frat house? One word: don’t.

Frat houses are made for boys. Messy, dirty, disgusting boys who do nasty, dirty, disgusting things to everything. There wasn’t even a girls bathroom on the sleeping floor. There was one on the main floor, but I never went in there for fear of never coming out. No, I used the bathroom on the sleeping floor, the joint bathroom that I can still smell. When I’d get up to go during the night I would hold my pajama pants up at the knees so they wouldn’t drag on the floor.

But I digress. I never played the drinking game Kings before Friday night. And, us being middle-aged moms, we changed it up a bit. No gross center glass. And “waterfall” was done with water. (Actually, was most of my game was with water  – I’m not stupid. Remember, I’m a one drink kind of girl.)

The problem with playing that game with water and staying up until midnight and being middle-aged is that I couldn’t sleep for more than an hour at a time without the consequences of drinking 671 sips of water over a 4 hour period.

That and that I really do need 8 hours of sleep to be a nice good mom happy person.

So, because I’m old at heart, I need things to keep me young in life. Which is why I love kid food and kid candy, like homemade candy buttons, and these homemade conversation hearts that don’t look like hearts.

chocolate football conversation hearts

I found the copy cat recipe for Conversation Hearts in Food Network Magazine last month. The second I saw it I thought about making footballs instead of hearts. And, by making them footballs, I could make them chocolate, which would make them infinitely more edible. Because no one in my family likes conversation hearts, and I was determined to make some that I liked. And I succeeded with these!

Really, all conversation hearts are are pure sugar. Corn syrup, powdered sugar, and gelatin mix to become a soft and sticky dough, perfect for rolling and cutting. I added vanilla for flavoring, and subbed out some of the powdered sugar for cocoa to make them brown. These hardened up to a softer texture than the originals, which is fine by me. The ones you buy in the store are too hard for my taste. These hold their shape but dissolve nicely in your mouth and, well, they taste good. They actually taste like something instead of nothing.

I love this recipe because, as I was making them, I realized the possibilities are endless. Shapes, flavors, really there is no boundary. I already have a few more flavors and ideas I want to try. Change up the extract or add some flavor oil, and you have a totally new candy!

Since there is a big game coming up, I figured I needed a cutesy football treat. These are those, totally. They were super simple, mixed up and cut out in just a few minutes. I didn’t even need to add food coloring to the dough because they are brown from the cocoa. I made the laces with a toothpick dipped in white food coloring (Wilton sells it at craft stores in a huge bottle). I don’t know if they have food writers in white, but if they did that would be even easier. I had the white food coloring, so that’s what I used.

These are a perfect snack for the football game next weekend, or the perfect addition to any football themed party. They’ll make you feel young again!

chocolate football conversation hearts

You know, to counterbalance that feeling y’all are going to have next Monday, the day after the Super Bowl. 😉

Did you make this recipe?

Chocolate Conversation Heart Footballs


  • 1 1/8 teaspoon (half a 1/4 ounce packet) unflavored gelatin powder

  • 1/4 cup boiling water

  • 1/2 tablespoon light corn syrup

  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • pinch salt

  • 1/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 3 3/4 cups powdered sugar, plus more for rolling if needed

  • White food coloring


  1. Whisk gelatin, corn syrup, vanilla, and boiling water in the bowl of a stand mixer until the gelatin dissolves. Using the paddle attachment, beat in the cocoa and powdered sugar on medium speed, 1 cup at a time, until the dough comes together. It will be soft and sticky.

  2. Transfer dough to a work surface and knead, adding more powdered sugar as necessary until the dough is smooth and pliable and slightly tacky (and able to be rolled out). I only needed about 1/4 cup of extra powdered sugar, but you may need up to 1 cup.

  3. Divide the dough in half. Wrap one half in plastic wrap. Roll out the other half to between 1/8-1/4 inch thick. Use a small football shaped cookie cutter (mine was an oval fondant cutter) to cut out shapes. You can also use a heart cutter, perfect for Valentine’s Day!

  4. Place shapes on a wax paper lined cookie sheet. Repeat with second half of dough.

  5. Using a toothpick and a bit of white food coloring, make the laces on top of each football. Do not use too much, the food coloring will not dry unless it is very light.

    Let the candies dry at room temperature, uncovered for about 24 hours, or until hard.


You're not limited to footballs! Make them into hearts for Valentine's Day!

Recipe adapted from Food Network Magazine.

All images and text ©. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

Like these Chocolate Conversation Heart Footballs? Check these out:

Nutella Brownie Footballs with Peanut Butter Shortbread Crust

Nutella PB Crust footballs featured

Mountain Bars

mountain bars 2 words

Fun stuff from friends:
Football Field Fudge by Something Swanky
Sweet Guacamole & Chips Cupcakes by Sweet Simple Stuff
Chocolate Oatmeal Cream Pie Footballs by Shugary Sweets


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  2. Your frat house stories are going to give me nightmares. I was still in high school when I started dating my husband, but he and his cousin shared an apartment. It was disgusting. If I showered there I would dry off with paper towels because their towels were so crusty. Barrrrrrf.

    Anyway, the husband has since (somewhat) cleaned up his act and he would totally love it if I made these.

  3. These are so adorable! I seriously LOVE conversation hearts. Like, LOVE LOVE them. Cute that you made them footballs too!!

  4. I realized this weekend that when I am happy (and well rested) so is the rest of my family. The only saying, “If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy,” is totally true. Although, your post totally made me want to stay up late playing drinking games. 🙂

    These footballs are so cute!! You might be a genius for creating them. Have you tried Wilton’s squeezable fondant? It would be perfect for the laces and a billion other things 🙂

  5. How funny! I saw the recipe for the conversation hearts in the Food Network mag and have been dying to make them (that, and the 12 cakes… But I digress). Yours look amazing tho! They remind me of chocolate Neccos which is like, my all time fave! And cute footballs too? Love Love Love it!

  6. You have super steady hands! Wow…they are so precise and perfect. Very impressed!

  7. I had recently read a story about the NECCO candy company who originated the conversation heart. They used to make and sell shapes other than hearts. I thought it would be great fun to try making homemade candies in other shapes. I was excited to see you had! Your footballs are perfect. The laces look amazing. What a fun treat to serve at a Super Bowl Party. Pinning!

  8. These are adorable! I must make these for superbowl Sunday! We usually don’t watch, but since San Francisco is playing and we live in SF, I feel like we MUST! 🙂

  9. Hi, I found your blog through Mealtime Monday Recipe on Couponing and Cooking. I am your newest follower. A follow back to Carole’s Chatter would be fantastic. Hope you are having a good week.

  10. I saw that conversation heart recipe in my Food Network magazine too…how genius of you to make them into footballs right during Superbowl season! Awesome!

  11. Yes. Yes, I have stayed overnight in a frat house, and it’s amazing I’m still alive. Grossest thing EVER. But Dorothy–I’m loving these conversation heart/footballs. My son and I both eat conversation hearts like there’s no tomorrow, so I know he’d love to make some of our own for the game on Sunday. How awesome are these?!?!

  12. You are so smart … advice about frat houses and making chocolate footballs! I read that recipe … my mind never went any further than conversation hearts!

  13. I learned something new…there’s white food coloring!!! I’ve got to get out more, tee hee! These look great and if I was so inclined to watch football, I’d make them:-D

  14. Eek, how come boys are so gross and crusty? I swear, it’s like in their DNA to freak girls out with their germs. I am in love with these footballs. I am that girl who loves those wafery Conversation hearts. They’re the best and I couldn’t find them at target yesterday which was kind of like, illegal I think. Anyways, these footballs are awesome. And so are you.

  15. Um, I could never stay in a frat house. You are brave, lol! These are craze cute! Love them and love that you made them chocolate!

  16. Those are so stinking adorable!! I’m not a fan of how hard those conversation hearts are…so I know I will like your version so much more And they are chocolate, that makes it so much better!! And sleeping in a dirty boys frat house? What were you thinking? No boy is worth that grossness 🙂

  17. I can’t believe you made conversation hearts dorothy!! I love convo hearts/ 🙂 and in the cute little football shapes. I am LOVING it so much. And yes — pure sugar. Buttttttt I’m not complaining!!!!

  18. hehe, I thought once we were moms, we wouldn’t talk about those all night parties at frat houses and such. I’m so glad I have those memories and even gladder that I got it all out of my system at that early age and survived to tell about it years later.
    We’re not big fans of the conversation hearts either, I sometimes wonder if candy makers even taste the product before bagging it up. You know I’m all about some chocolate so I’ll have to give this a try.

  19. Dorothy these are SOOOOO cute! I love them! Great idea for the Superbowl. You made me laugh at the Kings game. I have never played that one, but I do remember Quarters and those dirty frat houses (ugh!) too!

  20. Oh Dorothy! So cute I love them! I wish I had to order some from you for Super Bowl! And that is too gross about boys! I have them here in the house and they gag me out sometimes! = ) Thanks for sharing at Show Me Your Plaid Monday’s!

  21. This is genius! I love how you made them into tiny footballs!

  22. I love conversation hearts and I love chocolate so this is a win-win situation here!

  23. LOL…I’m laughing hard at the 671 sips of water in the drinking game!! Hilarious. And these footballs look sooooo fun!! Love ’em! 🙂

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  25. Love these!! How did I not see these sooner?!

  26. awww these are so adorable. love me some convo hearts!

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  28. Oh my gosh! Those are too, too cool! I love them, and my son would totally flip out! I would be thrilled if you’d share them here:

  29. I love those little conversation hearts. They’re called “Love Hearts” in the UK and have silly phases on them that, as an adult, makes you either puke with corniness or raise an eyebrow at thinking ‘whhaaaat?’

    But little footballs that take of those hearts + chocolate flavoured too? I’m game! Pun intended. 😉
    I’ve also featured these on Sugar & Slice Sunday too. 🙂

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