Make an impression, exotic chocolates and more
Make an impression (Bill Hogan/Chicago Tribune)
Say it with a cookie imprinted with, perhaps, "Hugs" or "Be Mine" or "Kiss Me" or any of the other five sayings on these Conversation Heart Cookie Cutters from Chicago Metallic. One side of each cutter cuts out a heart-shaped cookie from a basic dough (such as sugar cookie), while the other side makes the impression. You get to decorate with icings. A set of eight plastic cutters costs $20. For a store locater or to buy, go to surlatable.com.
Got a Valetine's crush?
Expect nothing less than exotic from Vosges Haut-Chocolat's Valentine-themed Crush Collection. The aphrodisiac-inspired truffles boast spices, crushed flowers, spirits (Swiss absinthe, Dominican rum) and a few outrageous items (edible pearl dust, kumamoto oyster-infused cream, etc.) Two favorites: Edith (champagne, rose water, crushed rose bud poudre) and Funk & Disco (banana puree, vanilla powder). A 16-piece, eight-flavor box is $55. For a store locater or to buy, go to vosgeschocolate.com.
Sweet ideas for baking
Let Florida pastry chef-TV celeb Hedy Goldsmith ("Desserts make everything seem right in the world …") help you bake something sweet for loved ones with her "Baking Out Loud: Fun Desserts with Big Flavors" (Clarkson Potter, $27.50). Perhaps you'll make mochaccino whoopie pies or red velvet twinks or giant sesame fortune cookies (with your own love fortunes tucked inside). At amazon.com.