Perfectly Pinterest: Jewels, Hearts, and Vodka…Oh my!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I have important Valentine’s Day stuff to talk about today.

It’s all about the red and hearts and love.

Okay. Not really.

Well…maybe the love part, actually.

You might have noticed (if you follow me on Facebook or Twitter) that I didn’t socialize much this weekend. That’s because I was taking it easy and geeking it up all weekend.

With The Big Move coming up, I’m trying not to stress too much, so I took it easy this weekend. Friday I was doing two of my favorite I’m-not-working-at-all-today things: watching a movie and talking to my sister.

Eventually the loud bangs and screams got the better of her and she was all like, “What on earth are you watching?!”

“Pitch Black.”

“What is that??”

I was like, “It’s a sci-fi, killer alien, action movie.”

And then she was all weird and said, “WHY are you watching that?!”

And it was like SHE DOESN’T EVEN KNOW ME!

Actually. Not really. She did ask me why, but it was more of a I-know-you-like-these-movies-and-TV-shows-but-I-don’t-think-I’ll-ever-understand-it kind of ‘why.’

Which is when I proceeded to tell her the story of the first time I watched Pitch Black.

I was 20 years old and I was going to the movies with a whole gaggle of girls that were a couple of years younger than me. They couldn’t decide on a movie so I suggested Pitch Black. To be perfectly honest, I had no idea what it was, but figured it was some kind of dark suspense movie or something.

We all get in the theater, spread along the row, giggling, munching sweets and popcorn, when the theater went dark, the previews played, and all the schmancy studio logos flashed on the screen before a pan along the top of a ship floating through space scrolls by.

I was instantly hooked, but I sensed that my friends weren’t yet convinced.

I sat with my eyes glued to the screen throughout the entire movie and when it was over, I thought it was pretty good. I mean, it was no Oscar winner, but it was a fun, edge-of-your-seat, the scary-carnivorous-alien-bat-things-are-gonna-get-you kind of flick.

None of the other girls seemed to concur. It was at that moment that I realized I wasn’t like other girls (clearly, I was a self awareness, geekery late bloomer).

I mean, I like all the glitter and girliness that comes with a movie like Moulin Rouge, but I also love to watch the action and imagination that you see in Star Trek.

And since starting my blog, I know now that I’m not alone. And I LOVE IT! 🙂

So this Valentine’s Day, I’m loving you guys because whether you’re of the geekier persuasion, or more of the glittery kind, I’m glad you’re here. And I’m glad you’re cool with my split personality. 🙂 Thank you and happy Valentine’s Day! I got you jewels. Made out of chocolate. Because I know what I’m doing here. 😉

I was first inspired to make these chocolate jewels after seeing this on Pinterest:

It’s just a simple red velvet cupcake with a large chocolate nonpareil on top, but as soon as I saw it, the nonpareil looked like a little jewel to me, and that was it. I knew I needed to make a simple, gorgeous, last-minute Valentine’s Day cupcakes.

Alright, so first thing’s first; I had a lot of trouble finding large chocolate nonpareils for my little project today, and I was pretty sure that I was going to have to make my own. In the end, I found some, but I decided that it would be beneficial to show you guys how to make them yourself, just in case.

Then I made them heart-shaped…cause it’s Valentine’s Day. See how I did that?

All you need is some bitter or semi-sweet chocolate in a decorating bag fitted with a large writing tip (I prefer a Wilton #7), some nonpareil sprinkles, and parchment paper. You can also use a zip top baggie with the corner snipped off, but to be honest, I’ve had way too many equipment failures there, so I don’t like to recommend it unless you’re desperate.

Anyway. To make homemade nonpareils, just pipe a circle mound (about an inch across) of chocolate onto parchment paper, cover it with nonpareil sprinkles, and chill until set. Easy peasy.

If you want to make sweet heart shaped ones, then pipe a teardrop shaped blob of chocolate on the parchment paper and pipe a second one right next to it. Viola! Chocolate heart. Cover with sprinkles and chill.

TADA!!! Homemade heart-shaped chocolate nonpareils. Yay! And they look SERIOUSLY cute on cupcakes.

Now, as for making them into jewels, it couldn’t be easier. All you need are large and small (Sno Caps) chocolate nonpareils. Actually, you don’t need both, but I think they’re a lot more fun with both.

Next up, a little lemon extract (or any clear extract), luster dust (I prefer silver, but any will do), a paint brush and a little bowl.

You can also use vodka in place of the luster dust. Even if you’re serving these to kiddos, it’s okay, because the alcohol will evaporate, leaving behind only luster. I promise.

Finally, you can also use disco dust. I went with red, silver, and hot pink, but pretty much any color looks gorgeous.

Line your nonpareils up on parchment. Or don’t. It doesn’t matter, I just prefer to do it this way.

Mix a tiny bit of vodka or extract with the luster dust and paint each candy with it.

Now, you can totally stop right there, because these are shimmery and pretty and jewel-like as-is.

Or you can go ahead and bury them in glittery disco dust. Make sure that you add the disco dust while the candies are still wet from being painted, or it won’t stick.

You could skip the luster dust step and just coat these in a little vodka or extract before disco dusting them, but I found that the coating of luster dust underneath the glitter helped keep the white of the nonpareils from showing through at all.

It’s important to note that disco dust is a decorative item, although it is non-toxic. If you don’t feel comfortable consuming it, then these are great just as decoration. 😉

Now, all you have to do is bedazzle your cupcakes! 🙂 I love adding the mini Sno Cap jewels with the larger ones; they look so festive and pretty. These are perfect for Valentine’s Day because you’re really killing two scary-carnivorous-alien-bat-things with one stone…you’re getting your Valentine chocolate and your jewels all in one. 🙂 But these chocolate jewels would be gorgeous at Christmas or New Year’s, as well.

I jeweled pretty pink, red, and white marble cupcakes for my Valentine’s Day, and then I got all experimental with that yummy cake vodka that you saw up above and made the most delicious frosting in the entire world. If, understandably, you would rather not feed your children hard alcohol on Valentine’s Day, then I recommend my favorite buttercream. Either way, you’ll have some seriously delicious frosting to go with your seriously pretty chocolate bling. 🙂 Enjoy!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Cake Vodka Buttercream
Makes about 24 ounces


1 cup (2 sticks or 226 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 lb. (about 4 cups or 500 grams) confectioners’ sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons (30 ml) Cake Vodka
1 to 2 tablespoons (30 to 45 ml) heavy cream (if needed)
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
Food coloring (optional)

In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, beat the butter for 3 minutes. Beat in the sugar and salt until combined. Add the vodka and whisk on high for 4 minutes, until light and fluffy. If the frosting is too thick, add the cream, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached.

Stir in the vanilla and food coloring.

Recipe by Darla

Be sure to check out my other Valentine’s Day posts for more fun, easy, and festive ideas! 🙂

Cake-filled Valentine Cookies

Sweet Cherry Chip Cupcakes

Malted Milk Chocolate Pots de Crème

Homemade Candy Necklaces

Bee My Valentine Cupcakes (Fondant Lady Bug and Bee Tutorial)

Sweet Chocolate Filled Raspberry Meringue Kisses

Sweet and Easy Valentines – Chocolate Dipped Oreos

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cake

Sweet Valentine Petit Fours

Leave a comment


  1. says

    THE PRETTIES! *dies* Ohmigoodness, I want! These would be good for a fancy-schmancy party, too. I want some for my birthday tomorrow! Which is not fancy-schmancy. But it could be if I had these cupcakes.

  2. Joanna says

    I love Pitch Black! I just saw it last year and it actually converted me to Vin Diesel, something I never expected to happen. I’m assuming you’ve seen the sequel, Chronicles of Riddick too? Honestly, it’s your nerdiness that keeps me coming back 🙂 One of my favorite posts you’ve done was a pumpkin bread, I believe, that you prefaced with zombies eating brains and if they ran out of brains maybe pumpkin bread could be a substitute. Genius. I love it! I still need to make myself a Tardis apron and my sister a HP one

  3. says

    Honestly, if you read these comments you’re probably sick of me posting, because the only thing I say is “that is too cute!” or “I have to try this!” or “Sooo Adorable!” But I just can’t help it, because everything you make is indeed cute and adorable…. and delicious looking. As always, thank you for the post!

  4. says

    Love the bling thing-I do have lots of luster dust waiting to be used! Also, the white cake vodka does sound like something I may like-in a drink form as well as this frosting. Happy Valentine’s and thanks for this inspiring post!

  5. Sarah says

    I can’t wait to try your frosting. Also, I’m a big fan of the Chronicles of Riddick.

    I understand your story very well though. I’m an avid reader, but the books I read generally fall into the sci-fi or fantasy genre. Sadly, even when I meet another female with my lust for books, our tastes in literature tend to fall at polar opposites. I’ve been in that same situation so many times…but hooray for connecting with other geek girls on line at least 🙂

  6. says

    Oh my goodness gracious! I love those sno-cap candies! I love the creamyness ofthe chocolate and the crunch of the nonpeirls. Am I the only one that tries to crunch down on each individual nonpeirl? I don’t know, but these are gorgeous and so pretty and sparkley. You have the most creative and sparkley mind ever 🙂
    Happy Valenitne’s Day

  7. says

    This is artistically amazing! I love the hearts, the jewels and goodness this is such a wonderful Valentines Treat! I’m always amazed with your baking craft. It’s not only the taste that matters, everything is being pushed to the highest level and really great job.

  8. Sugargirl says

    This might be a stupid question but, do you eat the disco dust? I had seen it used by you and several other food bloggers and was all kinds of excited and bought some, but it’s just glitter, it is non-toxic, but it isn’t actually eatable. Do you decorate with it and pick it off, or do you eat it? (I will go with whatever you do:).)

    I love how you geek out! But I will be honest and say that I come from a small town where the comic shop has girls night and is known as the place the “cool people” hang out and jocks in high school defensibly mumbled obscure facts about star trek to keep from being picked on. I didn’t know the geeks had not inherited the earth until I started reading blogs.

    • Rae says

      It’s not a stupid question.

      Disco dust is PLASTIC CRAFT GLITTER. No one wants to eat that, nor should they. Doesn’t matter that it’s non toxic–it’s still plastic.

      If you want to keep something edible, then edible glitter should be used. It’s made from gum arabic, sanding sugar, or gelatin.

        • Rae says

          Hello, Darla.
          I did read the post. I felt that since Sugargirl asked the question, the point had not been made strongly enough. I just elaborated on the product she was questioning. She did ask it 3 years ago.

          Sadly, people see disco dust used on edibles and either don’t read disclaimers, or don’t know which to believe more: what they’ve seen done or what they’ve now been told maybe they shouldn’t do………….

    • says

      Hi Sugargirl, as noted in the post, Disco Dust is a decorative its. Although it is non-toxic, you should be aware it isn’t made for consumption. Some people don’t mind eating it, but no, it isn’t designed to be consumed.

      Personally, I usually use it so lightly, I don’t mind if there’s a small amount on my food.

  9. Jackie says

    I really don’t understand your non-geeky friends. Even if they weren’t into the sci-fi awesomeness that is Pitch Black (one of my favorite movies, btw), couldn’t they at least salivate over Vin Diesel?

    It’s so nice to follow a geeky baking blogger; it lets me know I’m not alone in the world. 😀

    And ooooh the sparkly jewel nonpareils… I should try that. They’re preeeeeetty…

  10. Nichole says

    I know I’m a little late to the party but I just found you! I’m so loving the sweet ideas I’m seeing. =) I mostly just wanted to say that anything one can sprinkle with DISCO DUST and eat has got to be fabulous! Cute cute ideas!

  11. says

    hello there! I wanted to let you know that disco dust, while non toxic, is not safe to eat. It is essentially crushed up plastic particles in a jar. If you look on the jars themselves, they all say, ” “For decorative arts and crafts.” So, just like crayons and Sharpies are non toxic, but not safe to eat, so is Disco Dust. MAJOR BUMMER I know, but there are ways to make your own Disco Dust that is food safe and you can catch the tutorial on CAKEFU or I just did a posting on my website as well. Hope this info helps. I just started doing the research and was surprised to realize that the makers of Disco Dust never intended for it to be consumed, but to have the element with Disco Dust be removed before eaten. Crazy! Hope this helps again!