Can I just tell you what a colossal pain this supposedly simple, classic valentine craft was?
The only part that was no problem was collecting orphaned and broken crayons. After that:
1. Peeling that paper off was hard, yo. The Crayola brand, especially, seems to use a lot of glue. I finally hit on the idea of soaking the crayons in a hot water bath before trying to peel their wrappers, that that was probably what saved my thumbnails.
2. I could not break the crayons into small enough pieces, so I resorted to chopping them with my mezzaluna, which caused the brittle sticks to jump all over the kitchen.
3. I baked them at 250 in a silicone mold, then let them cool on our freezer-like back porch. Feeling optimistic that they had turned out OK and planning to make a second batch, I told the kids they could each have two for themselves.
4. But they were really hard to get out. And they left a residue of color behind in the mold which I was afraid would mar the next batch. So...
4. I popped the mold in the toaster oven, hoping to melt off the residue. Instead, the mold itself melted.
5. Now how was I going to make a second batch in order to have enough for Kai's class? I was forced to repossess the ones I have given the kids, promising them new ones at a later date. They were not pleased. I was not pleased. Valentine's Day was seeming less lovely-dovey by the minute.
6. Miraculously, my husband ran into a friend the next day who was on her way to Ikea, and she picked up a new heart-shaped mold for us. Now that's love!
7. For round two, I sprayed cooking spray in the new mold before putting in the chopped-up crayons, hoping it would help them slide out better and keep them from leaving any of their color behind.
8. This batch cooled with a coating of congealed cooking fat on top which I had to scrape off, heart by heart, with a scissors blade. And no, it didn't keep a residue from being left behind in the mold.
9. I hope Kai's class liked these because I'm never making them again. My own kids have lost interest.