We’ve all heard it before—the way to a man’s (or woman’s!) heart is through his or her stomach. If you’re stressing about finding that perfect Valentine’s Day gift, then look no further. Here are our favorite made-in-Westchester food finds, sure to please every palate—and belly!
by Emiko Shimojo
Almond Toffee from Chappaqua Toffee Co.
255 N Bedford Rd, Mount Kisco; (914) 218-8322; chappaquatoffee.com
Delight your friends and family with Chappaqua Toffee Co.’s uniquely delicious and nutty toffee. Simply made from natural ingredients—butter, sugar, almonds, and chocolate—this pick idyllically demonstrates the philosophy of “less is more.” Crunchy toffee, finely chopped almonds, and rich milk chocolate come together in perfect harmony to satisfy any sweet tooth. Toffee is sold by the pound ($6 for ¼ lb, $12 for ½ lb, $24 for 1 lb) and comes delicately wrapped in cellophane and tied with a bow. Order online and be sure to check out its Valentine’s Day-themed specials, or find the toffee in the following county stores:
Bedford Gourmet, Bedford Village
Chappaqua Village Market, Chappaqua
Dragonfly Café, Pleasantville
Drug Mart, Bedford Hills and Millwood
Flour & Sun Bakery, Pleasantville
Ladle of Love, Mount Kisco
Mount Kisco Frame Shop, Bedford Hills
Mt. Kisco Seafood, Mount Kisco
Myong, Mount Kisco
Pour Café & Wine Bar, Mount Kisco
Tazza Café, Armonk
Chocolate Truffles from Chocolations
(914) 777-3600; chocolations.com
Chocolatier Maria Valente truly has mastered the art of chocolate. Her top-rated chocolate truffles (Westchester Magazine’s 2008 Best of Westchester winner for truffles) are handmade daily with the finest and freshest ingredients. Valente has created an impressive list of these sweet delicacies including toasted coconut, caramel sea salt, milk and honey, pumpkin spice, Key lime pie, and jasmine tea ($22.50 for a box of 15; $35 for a box of 24).
Chocolations also offers special Valentine’s goodies like an edible chocolate box filled with truffles, chocolate-covered strawberries, a bouquet of chocolate roses, and custom baskets. Find all of these divine chocolate treats online or buy a box of truffles at the following stores:
Impressive Invites, Mamaroneck
Sweet Tees, Larchmont
The Iron Tomato, White Plains
Gourmet Cupcakes from Lulu Cake Boutique
40 Garth Rd Scarsdale (914) 722-8300; everythinglulu.com
In a society in which “bigger is better,” what’s with all the commotion over the miniature, undersized cake, most commonly known as the cupcake? Well, for starters, it packs a lot of flavor into a small package…except at Lulu Cake Boutique, where the moist, buttery, frosting-smothered, candy-sprinkled cakes are massive. Small-batch baking on premises combined with the use of organic ingredients (including the finest Valrhona chocolate) makes these cupcakes like no other. Daily flavors include chocolate, vanilla, and red velvet ($4 each), but Lulu’s is always experimenting and offers specialty cupcakes on weekends, as well as Valentine’s-themed cupcakes covered with fondant hearts, edible glitter, and red sprinkles.
Gourmet Chocolate Covered Pretzels from Pretzelicious
(914) 613-4894; pretzeliciouspretzels.com
Everything’s better when covered in a little (or a lot of) chocolate. That’s exactly what partners AnnMarie Savino and Nicole DeFelippis thought when they teamed up to open this online gourmet chocolate-dipped pretzel business. All Pretzelicious creations are hand-dunked, drizzled, and sprinkled and offered in nearly 15 irresistible flavors including cookies and cream, hazelnut, toasted coconut, creamsicle, and dark raspberry ($19 for a five-piece basket; $24 for a 9 pc). It also offers seasonal flavors like pumpkin spice and eggnog, as well as Oreos, Nutter Butter cookies, and Rice Krispie Treats, all smothered in—you guessed it—chocolate!
The duo plans to open a store in Westchester by the Summer, but until then, order these decadent, sweet and salty treats online (they can be shipped anywhere in the tri-state area) or find them at one of the following stores:
Stew Leonard’s, Yonkers
Homemade Jam from Blue Hill Café
630 Bedford Rd, Pocantico Hills (914) 366-9600 ext 200; bluehillfarm.com
Smear your morning toast, enhance a savory sauce, or even dress up your standard pb&j with Blue Hill Café’s array of homemade jams. Freshly picked fruit meets all-natural sugar in Pastry Chef Alex Grunert’s old family recipe for these traditional sweet spreads. The Café’s offerings are ever-changing, but they always comprise homegrown, humanely raised, and sustainably farmed organic products from Blue Hill Farm. Jam flavors change seasonally, as Blue Hill only usesfruits at their peak of freshness. Its current selection includes raspberry, apple butter, peach, and apricot ($10 per jar).
Lemon Meringue Tart from Patisserie Salzburg
77 Purchase St, Rye (914) 921-4458
Is your Valentine more of a sweet-tart than a chocoholic? Patisserie Salzburg of Rye specializes in authentic Austrian, German, and French-inspired pastries all baked on-site—resulting in intense flavors. Its lemon-meringue tart is sinfully delicious, a perfect balance between sweet and sour, with a light and silky consistency. The smooth, tangy, lemon-curd filling is complemented by fluffy dollops of not-too-sweet golden meringue, all embedded in a crisp butter-cookie crust. The patisserie offers bite-sized lemon tarts ($2.25) and individual tarts ($4.50), as well as seven-inch tarts ($24—serves 6 – 8), and also carries elegant heart-shaped tarts for Valentine’s Day.
Linzer Hearts from Connie’s Bakery & General Store
41 S Moger Ave, Mount Kisco (914) 242-2014; connies.org
Can’t tell that special someone how you feel in words? Show him or her with Connie’s charming Linzer heart cookies. These delicate, old-fashioned confections highlight the fresh and fruity flavor of Swiss raspberry jam, sandwiched between two heart-shaped Linzer cookies. They’re topped off with a dusting of confectioner’s sugar and are festively packaged in red tins, cellophane, and a bow ($18 for a 10-piece tin; $32 for a 20-piece; $45 for a 30-piece). The bakery also offers the following heart-shaped treats: fudgy brownies (also available in tins), conversational heart cookies, chocolate-chip cookie pies, and chocolate mousse cakes.
The bakery donates 100 percent of its profits to charitable causes throughout Westchester and Dutchess Counties.
Scones from Mrs. Larkin’s
(914) 764-7699; mrslarkins.com
You won’t find any artificial ingredients or preservatives in Mrs. Larkin’s full-of-butter and hot-out-of-the-oven scones. These puffy, crumbly, and downright delectable creations are made from simple, all-natural ingredients. Among the seven flavors are her best-selling wild Maine blueberry, plus lemon-ginger, chocolate-chip, and, exclusively for the month of February, white-chocolate-cherry. All scones are made fresh daily and are available for special order ($3 each, $18 for ½ dozen, $36 for one dozen). They’re also personally delivered by Mrs. Liz Larkin herself to the following county stores:
Near & Natural, Bedford Village
Pound Ridge Sunoco, Pound Ridge
Spicy Chutneys from Bombay Emerald Chutney Company
(800) 394-0983; bombayemeraldchutneyco.com
Wake up your senses with Bombay Emerald Chutney Company’s selection of fiery Indian chutneys, all homemade from locally produced ingredients. The husband-and-wife team share their secret family recipe, which has been passed down from generation to generation, in creating these all-natural, vegan, fat-free, and allergen-free condiments. The versatile chutneys come in five flavors, with spice levels increasing from mild spicy to extra-spicy: royal tomato, royal plum, royal cranberry, royal pomegranate, and royal mint ($7.99 each, or a gift sampler of four jars for $34.99 online). All of Bombay Emerald’s products can be found on the company website or at the following county farmers’ winter markets (schedules are online):
Boys & Girls Club, Mount Kisco
Christie Place Parking Garage, Scarsdale
Congregational Church, Briarcliff
James Harmon Community Center, Hastings
John Jay High School, Katonah
St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church, Mamaroneck
Westchester County Center, White Plains