This year, we’re all about chocolate for Valentine’s Day.
Gourmet chocolate bar greeting card
We received a bar of sea-salt-caramel dark chocolate as a gift. The delicious treat came in a fun package by Sweeter Cards that doubled as a greeting card. Stacy Stahl created St. Louis-based Sweeter Cards in 2019 to offer ethically sourced chocolate in recyclable card packaging. The chocolate bars are made with fair-trade chocolate, vanilla caramel, cream, butter and Madagascar vanilla, and are sprinkled with sea salt. The result is unbelievably creamy, and there’s none of that bitterness that sometimes comes along with dark chocolate. Staff designers create cards for occasions such as birthdays, holidays and just general gratitude. For Valentine’s Day, there are six cards in the “love” category, with fun sayings like, “You make my heart melt,” as well as sweet illustrations. Send this as a gift to your friend or sweetheart, and it not only will be delicious, but it will do some good, because the company employs adults with disabilities.
$9.99 per 3.5-ounce bar. Available at sweetercards.com.
Bonbons and chocolate bars
Anna Caraballo opened Atlanta-based Flaky Not Flaky in 2021. The name is a bit of wordplay, reflecting the flaky (pastry side) and the not flaky (chocolate) side of the business, and, indeed, her staff includes both bakers and chocolatiers. For Valentine’s Day, she has designed six bonbons, including smoky Old-Fashioned, aperitivo with prosecco and Aperol filling and, our favorite, the adorable strawberry bonbon, which has dark chocolate strawberry ganache filling, a chocolate shell dotted with white “seeds” and a little green fondant strawberry “leaf” topper. You can order just one flavor, or a combination. We also decided to indulge in the smoked chocolate bar, with roasted hazelnuts. And, there is a cookies and cream bar, as well as one with strawberries and coconut. You can browse the chocolate selection for other options, including monogrammed bonbons on which you can spell out a message for your sweetheart.
$4 per bonbon, $10 per 4-ounce bar. Order at flakynotflaky.com for pickup at 1080 Peachtree St. NE in Midtown Atlanta; delivery is available in a 20-mile radius of the store.
Hot cocoa bombs
Hot cocoa bombs may be a thing on TikTok, but Toni Norton of Cumming-based Hot Bomb Mom has taken them to a whole new level. A classically trained pastry chef, Norton wasn’t that crazy about her classes in working with chocolate. And, she never anticipated building a business in which she fills 3-inch chocolate shells with everything you need to turn a 12-ounce mug of hot milk or water into a decadent treat. We sampled the seasonal strawberry-covered chocolate bomb, and laughed out loud when a strawberry marshmallow popped up as the chocolate shell melted away. Her regular offerings are classic, peppermint, cookies ’n’ cream, salted caramel, s’mores and the most adorable unicorns. Seasonal flavors, besides strawberry, include king cake and thin mint. In the summer, Norton turns her creative energy to cold beverage bombs — sugar shells that hold the ingredients of lemonade, margaritas with lime and salt inside, or her most popular flavor, piña colada. For Valentine’s Day, she also is offering kits, so you can customize your own hot cocoa bombs.
$6 per bomb. Available at hotbombmom.com for pickup at 2952 Greyhawk Lane in Cumming.
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