Bad Wolf Coffee's Valentine's Day gift box features macarons,…
If actions speak more loudly than words, then a hastily picked-up box of drugstore candy for Valentine's Day says, "I care enough to buy you cheap chocolate." To really raise the bar this year, surprise your valentine with one of these locally crafted sweets sets, prettily packaged and ripe for the giving.
Valentine's Day Box at Katherine Anne Confections
2745 W. Armitage Ave. 773-245-1630
Chocolatier Katherine Duncan has always made her chocolates from scratch, but this year, she and her staff are making the boxes for their Valentine's Day collection ($60) by hand, too. "My front-of-house manager is an artist, and he does some really beautiful work and had mentioned the thought of doing a box," said Duncan. Each box is hand-cut and folded together before being wrapped in gold twine and secured with a heart-shaped wax seal. "We're making between 30 and 50 boxes, depending on when our hands give out." Inside, treat your sweet to a strawberry-mint s'more, 12 caramels in flavors such as blood orange-sesame-caramel and 12 truffles in flavors such as strawberry-rose and passionfruit-ginger. Order online at katherine-anne.com and pick up at the Logan Square store or have it delivered anywhere in the U.S.
Valentine's Day Gift Box at Bad Wolf Coffee
3422 N. Lincoln Ave. 773-969-2346
Jonathan Ory has been baking up creative treats—think mango-goat cheese tarts and blueberry-lime muffins—at his Roscoe Village coffee shop since opening last July. "We thought we were in a good position to give people something cool for Valentine's Day," he said. He'll be stocking Bad Wolf's Valentine's Day gift box ($65) with a chocolate-raspberry cake for two, chocolate-covered marshmallows, chocolate and raspberry macarons, chocolate caneles and truffles in flavors such as dark chocolate-brandy and milk chocolate with sea salt. Ory will stock a limited number of boxes for walk-ins, but the best way to snag one is to place an order by phone before Feb. 11 for pick-up between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Feb. 13 or 14.
Macarons and sugar cookies at Vanille Patisserie
2108 N. Clark St.; 2229 N. Clybourn Ave.; 131 N. Clinton St.; 773-868-4574
This classic French bakery is breaking the mold with its traditional macarons by making them heart-shaped for V-Day. Eight- and 18-piece boxes ($15 and $32, respectively) feature chocolate, vanilla and raspberry flavors. Order by phone or stop by Vanille's West Loop location (in the Chicago French Market) or either of its two Lincoln Park shops. For a cheekier treat, pick up sugar cookies ($3) iced with cute French phrases such as "Je t'aime" and "Mon cheri."
Caramels at Veruca Chocolates
2408 N. Western Ave. 773-998-2462
This recently debuted local sweets company is opening its production studio for a pre-Valentine's Day open house on Feb. 9 (11 a.m.-2 p.m.; RSVP by email to email@example.com). Browse options such as Kiss Me Caramels (chocolate-covered sea-salt caramels emblazoned with red lips) packaged in a 9-piece box with a custom portrait Valentine made with Doodlebooth, a seriously adorable portraiture service ($35). Can't come to the event? Order online at verucachocolates.com and arrange for pick-up or delivery service.