Of all the Valentine’s Day imagery — hearts, Cupid, flowers — chocolate is the one we can best get behind. Hand-dipped strawberries, gooey truffles and boxes of assorted chocolates? Now that says love.
Here are a few of our favorite places for handmade chocolates for gifting on Valentine’s Day.
1. Chocolatier, New City
An easy stop for last-minute Romeos. Owner Sheryl Lorber is well-stocked with freshly made chocolates for an assorted box — tailored to your taste, so every piece is something you like ($23 per one pound box of chocolates). And don’t miss the most popular item in the sweet shop: chocolate-covered pretzels. Salted desserts are all the rage and Chocolatier is ahead of the trend with more than 20 different pretzel toppings, everything from peanut brittle to cotton candy.
Go: 63 S. Main St., New City, 845-638-3322, nychocolatier.com. Hours: 10:30-6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, closed Sunday. Chocolatier will stay open late on Thursday and Friday for the holiday.
The area’s newest specialty chocolate shop opened in the fall, and owner and chocolatier Diane Holland makes a variety of artisanal goodies in many nontraditional shapes and colors. We love the chocolate lips and hearts, which are splattered in bright candy paint. Looking for something extra special this year? Holland makes custom treats for Valentine’s Day, but the last day to place custom orders is Tuesday.
Go: 137 Purchase St., Rye, 914-481-4840, www.bluetulip chocolates.com. Hours: 10-5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
3. La Renaissance, Scarsdale
Short on time? Located next door to Scarsdale Village Flower Shop, this is our pick for the Valentine’s present express. Pick up handmade heart-shaped chocolate ganache cake for two, decorated with sweet buttercream flowers ($6.50). Or try one of the many other handmade confections, like a box of Parisian macaroons or the popular truffles. Not a chocolate lover? Pick up a fresh fruit tart.
Go: 9 Harwood Court, Scarsdale, 914-472-0702, lrbakery.com. Hours: 9-4 p.m. Monday, 8-6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 8-1 p.m. Sunday.
4. The Chocolate Chalet, Briarcliff Manor
A shop for valentines young and old. The tiny place is packed with everything from a traditional heart-shaped box of chocolates to solid chocolate roses to individually wrapped chocolate-dipped strawberries. Plus some fun incentives: at 3 p.m. on Feb. 14, the shop is raffling off a giant teddy bear and one-pound box of assorted chocolates worth $60.
Go: 74 North State Road, Briarcliff Manor, 914-941-4607, thechocolatechalet.com. Hours: 11-6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10-5 p.m. Saturday, closed Sunday.
5. Cocoa Chocolate Shop, Larchmont
Think outside the box (of chocolates) and go for one of the specialty barks. There are clever combinations like white chocolate with strawberry marshmallows and vanilla cookies or Belgian dark chocolate with cayenne, alaea salt, cinnamon and chipotle. We also like the oversize Belgian chocolate conversation hearts.
Go: 2107A Boston Post Road, Larchmont, 914-834-6464,www.cocoa chocolateshop.com. Hours: 11-5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday with extended holiday hours around Valentine’s Day. Owner Angela Ingrao recommends calling ahead.