The Super Bowl is this Sunday, and for the anxious holiday planner that can really only mean one thing: Valentine's Day is right around the corner.
Rather than half-assing it with some predictable drug store purchase of candy and a card, we suggest you show a little love to local business this year and give your sweetheart something his or her taste buds will truly remember. Here is Chow Bella's guide to five creative confections around Metro Phoenix.
Julia Baker Confections
Putting the class in classic, Julia Baker Confections is your home for high-end chocolates. Along with her national acclaim and growing celebrity client list including Oprah, Elton John, and U2's Bono, Executive Chef and CEO Julia Baker recently opened a flagship store at the Biltmore Fashion Park. There you can find boxed gifts of assorted luxury chocolates (18 pieces for $45 or 48 pieces for $120) and decadent cake truffles (box of 9 for $35) For more information or to order through the website, visit Julia Baker Confections online.
Super Chunk Sweets & Treats
If you're over the whole chocolate idea and looking to mix it up, Super Chunk Sweets & Treats might be your solution. Operated by Country and Sergio Velador, Super Chunk offers artisan confections such as: Duck Fat Toffee, Junk Food Caramel Corn (made with handcrafted potato chips, cornflakes and peanuts, $8); Cioccolato Pretzel-Roma Caramel Corn (made with homemade pretzel sticks, chocolate, and hazelnuts, $8); and Brown Butter Fleur de Sel Caramel Corn (pretty self-explanatory and delicious, $8).
You can pick up Super Chunk at a variety of restaurants and markets around the Valley including: Cowboy Ciao, Bodega, Urban Table, Pane Bianco, The Farm at South Mountain, Miller Market on 1st, and the Old Town Scottsdale Farmer's Market. For more information, visit Super Chunk on Facebook.
Whoopie Pie Baking Company
If you're looking to make whoopie this Valentine's day look no further than the Whoopie Baking Company located inside the UNION at Biltmore Fashion Park. This local bakery offers a variety of cake pies including: Red Hot Whoopie (chocolate or vanilla cake with red hot buttercream, available February 1), Chocolate or Vanilla Covered Strawberry Whoopie (chocolate or vanilla cake with strawberry buttercream), and Sweet and Salty Whoopie (chocolate cake with salted caramel buttercream).
Whoopie pies can be ordered online (must purchase a minimum of 1 dozen for $30) or purchased at the Phoenix retail store (ideal for smaller quantities and variety packs). For more information and a full listing of flavors, visit the Whoopie Baking company online.
Tammie Coe Cakes
Tammie Coe is making your Valentine's Day shopping a piece of cake (literally). Stop by either the Downtown or Central Phoenix location to order your choice of: Sinsational (flourless chocolate cake with hearts, $22), Itty Bitty Lovers (vanilla sponge cake with passion fruit custard and raspberries covered in red and pink fondant, $24) or Mini Ooey Gooeys (cupcakes made with pink buttercream and white chocolate sprinkles, box of 9 for $16). All orders placed by February 9 will be available for pick up on Valentine's Day. Visit Tammie Coe online for more information.
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If your beloved swoons for macarons, then Essence Bakery is the place to go. This Tempe bakery offers a variety of fresh made macarons such as: French Chocolate, Raspberry, and Espresso. Pick up a box of 12 small macarons for $16.80 or go all out with a box of 24 for $33.60. Essence will also be offering a special Valentine's Treat Box starting Ferbruary 1, giving you and your loved one a chance to sample some of the bakery's most prized pastries including macarons, cakes, cookies, and more. For more information or to place an order, visit Eseence Bakery online.