As has become tradition, we’ve sorted through the tsunami of Valentine’s Day gifts and found a sweets for anyone and everyone. If you’re bored of sending a box of chocolates, you might consider sending a box of burgers or cookies instead. From body frosting for the bedroom to exotic truffles to classic chocolates…
Essex Street Market
120 Essex St., at Delancey St.Stall #11/12
you thought you couldn’t stomach one more rose, you’ll happily submit
to just one more. Tucked into Essex Street Market is a gem of a shop
that sells one white and one “red” rose chocolate truffle just for
Valentine’s Day for $3 a piece. Both fragrant chocolates are filled
with ganache, rose petal jam, rose liqueur and powdered rose petals.
More importantly, you’re doing something good. For every dozen rose
truffles purchased, Roni-Sue’s donates $5 to the Coalition Against
Domestic Violence for phone cards that women can use to call the
Ruby et Violette
457 W. 50th St. (nr. 10th Ave.)
Bored of chocolates, how about a box of
fresh-baked cookies? Now, we’re talking. Buy something different this
year crazy this year. Hell, buy it for yourself. The
“Le Trianon” box is only $15.25, for four cookies in two different
flavors. Ooh, there’s a bunch to choose from. Do try the “Primal
Seduction” cookie — an all-chocolate cookie baked with bananas, peanut
butter and toffee – original sin at its best. Have you ever tasted a
cookie made with champagne? Me neither. But the “Champagne
Strawberry” variety is a chocolate chip cookie filled with
chocolate-covered strawberries and lightened with a bit of bubbly.
Dylan’s Candy Bar
1011 3rd Ave. @ 60th St.
When we looked through Dylan’s Valentine’s selection, it was hard to pick just one gift we really liked. For the ladies, we suggest The Chocolate Lover Boy ($9.) He’s small but made entirely of semi-sweet chocolate, so it’s hard to turn him down. For the men, gifts range from a dark chocolate “Be Mine” bear ($18) to a whole paint can filled with Jelly Belly jelly beans ($15). Chocolate Body Frosting ($9) and “Strip” chocolate board game ($17.50) make things even more interesting this Valentine’s Day.
Jacques Torres Chocolate Haven
350 Hudson St. @ King St.
Jacques Torres is always comes up with something unique for Valentine’s Day, but I’m stuck on his trademark chocolate — The Kiss. This dark chocolate truffle comes filled with Tattinger Rose champagne. To finish, he playfully crowns it with a pair of ruby red lips. If you’re looking for a more whimsical gift, there’s “The Spanker.” It’s a six-inch wide chocolate heart on a stick.
In this case, delicious things come in deliciously tiny packages. Knipschildt has made top-notch chocolate for years and their “Valentine Delight” is no exception. The Delight comes with two delicate, gold-dusted white chocolates filled with passion fruit ganache. The third is the clencher — a red heart with rosewater ganache — roses and chocolates in one precious truffle.
Vosges Haut Chocolat
132 Spring St. (btwn. Greene & Wooster Sts.)
Three words: Red. Fire. Toffee. Talk about exotic chocolates, but I don’t expect anything less from this Soho chocolatier. If you’re in the Each piece is covered in dark chocolate spiced with Ceylon cinnamon and ancho and chipotle chile powder. The whole thing is then rolled in their chopped spiced pecans. At $20 for half a pound, it’s truly worth, and hot enough to raise temperatures for Valentine’s Day.
841 Broadway (btwn. 13th & 14th Sts.)
Sometimes, gooey and sticky tastes much better than a delicate truffle. If you like to get messy, chocolate fondue should right up your alley. What’s great about this gift is you don’t have to leave your apartment. Max Brenner makes fondue sets to-go. Max Brenner’s Chocolate Fondue Tower for Two $15.50 includes a fondue tower, candle holder base, two fondue forks, bowls, and a recipe card. Now, all you need is to pick a chocolate (the darker, the better) for a delicious night in.
Sugar Sweet Sunshine
126 Rivington St. (btwn. Essex & Norfolk St.)
If you’re someone you love celebrates every holiday with cupcakes, Sugar Sweet Sunshine has got your back on Valentine’s Day. Anyone with a cupcake fetish should make a visit to this Lower East Side bakery for some of the best the city has to offer. For February 14th, they’re offering a “Sassy” and “Sexy” red velvet cupcakes. They’re very different, so do pay attention. The “Sexy” is frosted with a silky white buttercream, called “The Moose.” I’m partial to the “Sassy,” cupcake frosted with a sublime chocolate almond buttercream.
Charles Chocolates delivers from their California shop to your door.
Browse their boxed collections online. I like the $20 box of ten,
heart-shaped chocolates filled with raspberry, passion fruit, and
mojito. But the real reason I have my chocolates shipped across the
country is the peanut butter fly. There’s ten in each box, each filled
with this wonderfully addictive peanut butter praline. Sure, it’s great
for Valentine’s Day, but I make a habit all year round.
Oliver Kita Chocolates
I fell for this local chocolatier from Rhinebeck, New York at
last year’s Chocolate Show. This Valentine’s Day, they’re debuting
Love Letter truffles for $20. The “Interactive” Love Letter comes
with four chocolate truffle hearts inscribed with romantic terms like
kiss, love and laughter as well as 4 blank ones to eat right away.
Then, you choose a chocolate term of endearment to go with each card.