Noting that Valentine’s Day is the sweetest day of the year, my first thought is: chocolate. To find the best and most unusual—but oh so decadent—chocolates in town, head to Max’s in St. Louis Park. Owner Ellen Hertz’s collection of internationally sourced chocolates is as magnificent as the artisan jewelry in her gorgeous shop. A box of Chocolat Moderne’s dark-chocolate covered cherries infused with vodka accompanied with a diamond bracelet would make anyone’s sweetheart swoon. Choose a French Banana Milk Bar for the adventurous, or a box of chocolate covered caramels for the traditionalists.
If you gave chocolate last year, switch it up by giving (and sharing) cheesecake from Muddy Paws Cheesecake, also in St. Louis Park, where creative genius Tami Cabrera creates cheesecakes in more than 220 flavors. You can even get cheesecake in the shape of a heart to celebrate the holiday. My favorites for this time of year are the raspberry dark chocolate truffle, tunnel of fudge, and mint chocolate chip. You can also combine your favorite three flavors to make your own cheesecake. Gluten free and vegan options are also available. Look for her cheesecake truck once the snow melts.
Sue Zelickson is the founder and director of Women Who Really Cook and Perspectives Family Center’s Kids Cafe. She is the former host of WCCO radio’s Food for Thought.
ILLUSTRATION BY JAMES KLOIBERâ€‹