Hi I’m Kelli. You might know me as the owner of Sweet Love, but in my previous life, I had a love affair with words. I was a writer. And as most writers will tell you, it’s a passion that doesn’t die out, so I asked Greg if he would give me a platform to talk about food. My hope is to shine a light on things from the inside, if you will. From time to time, I will talk about what I’m offering at the bakery, but for the most part, I’d love to just share my views on all things food.
Valentine’s day is one of the biggest days for us in the sweet world. It’s that time of year to tell those you love just how much they mean to you. Whether your scale is based on roses, balloons or – a favorite around here- food. The typical go to is of course, chocolates. And you’d be hard pressed to find better local chocolates than Cocoa Rouge.
But, I’ve found (gasp) not everyone likes chocolates! So, I’ve compiled a list of my personal recommendations for local sweets for your sweetie that don’t rely just on chocolate (or at least, not in it’s most basic form).
Purely out of research, and not because I have an unhealthy love affair with all things ice cream, I headed over to Loblolly and tried out a few scoops of their newest flavors- rosy strawberry and roasted chocolate cherry.
Roasted Cherry Chocolate: A concentrated milk chocolate with pockets of tart and tangy roasted cherries. A lovely combination to share with a sweet heart.
Rosy Strawberry Sorbet: This juicy strawberry sorbet isn’t merely rose-colored. It also has a rose-infusion, which combines so beautifully with strawberries that its flavor seems like an extension of the fruit. If you’ve never had rose-flavored desserts, they are unique and worth the taste. Rose as a flavor can be overpowering if not done right, but this sorbet hits it nicely.
They also have a very intriguing 8-layer ice cream bar that I must get back to try. They describe the bar as: “Double Vanilla ice cream with cherries, candied pecans, marshmallows, coconut, oats, chocolate chips, and that last layer? Sweet bliss of course.”
I recommend making a date of it (literally) or go grab a pint and snuggle up on the couch. (pints: $7, quarts: $12, or a slice of the 8-layer bar: $5)
Tip from Sally: Make your own warm brownie at home and top with the roasted cherry chocolate or turn your favorite Loblolly flavor into a boozy milkshake.
We will be featuring our French macarons, iced sugar cookies and chocolate covered strawberries.
Sugar cookies: Who doesn’t love a soft baked cookie topped from edge to edge with a thick layer of royal icing? We will be selling them individually ($2 each) as well as packaged in bags that represent some of the best puns from those cards of our childhood ($5/bag).
French Macarons: These delicate sandwich cookies are a crowd favorite. We’re working with all the best flavors and colors to have a beautiful box of deliciousness for your sweetheart. Birthday cake, strawberry, lavender honey, pink champagne, grape, and chocolate hazelnut will all be making an appearance. There will also be heart-shaped macarons available to really up the romantic impact! ($1.50 each/ $15.00 dozen)
Tip from Kelli: Look for Sweet Love puny cookie bags at Tanarah Luxe Floral and Good Food by Ferneau.
Reminscent of my childhood, I cant get over food on a stick. And with local produce and delicious vibrant flavors, LePops has quickly become my lunch time addiction. For Valentine’s day they are selling four packs of pops including two strawberry and two strawberry vanilla pops hand dipped and drizzled in chocolate. Preorder until the 12 for pick up from the 12-14. The strawberry tastes like whole frozen berries and is such a bright and delicious flavor. (4-pack of pops: $20)
You can also pick up bags of house made marshmallows and hand dipped house made waffle pieces to round out your sweet gift giving.
Tip from Laurie: My all-time favorite is salted caramel dipped in dark chocolate and rolled in candied almonds.
This year, I encourage you, skip the dollar store balloons and cheesy card, or the box of pre-wrapped chocolates that were probably made well before Christmas. Give a sweet gift from the heart made by some of the most passionate local sweet artisans. Eat local, give local, love local. It just makes sense.