Love at First Bite

Buddha Cups courtesy of Buddha Chocolates

Buddha Cups courtesy of Buddha Chocolates

contributed by Katy Morris

Charlie Brown’s creator, Charles Schulz may have said it best: “All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” Are you giddily excited about the upcoming love celebration? Or is the overrated, fabricated and slightly saccharin holiday not even on your radar? Perhaps you are subconsciously planning on Facebook-stalking your ex whilst listening to love songs on Pandora all day?

Regardless of which category you fit into or maybe even none of the above, this post is for you. We loved your response to our previous post about our local chocolate makers so we thought we would expand our reach and share some more chocolatey treats with you for this occasion. Who doesn’t need a good sweet fix once in a while, especially in the dead of winter?

Here are nine tantalizing treats we highly recommend.

Courtesy of Buddha Chocolates

Courtesy of Buddha Chocolates

Send your lovey dovey (or just yourself) to chocolaty Nirvana with Brooklyn’s own Budda Chocolates. Their hand crafted sweets are raw, organic, vegan, gluten free, dairy free, soy free, fair trade, kosher friendly, and above all, scrumptious. The Valentine’s Daydream, made up of four Buddha Cups filled with raw almond butter and sandwiched between smooth dark chocolate, plus one Buddha Smooch, a raw organic bite-sized dark chocolate treat, is particularly enlightening. You can find them in various stores throughout NYC or order from them directly online.

Buddha Chocolate, Brooklyn, NY; Valentine’s Daydream is Vegan, Organic, Gluten Free, Raw, Dairy Free, Soy Free, Fair Trade & Kosher Friendly.

 

We are crushin’ on JCoco this year for oh so many reasons: with every purchase of their chocolates, they will donate a portion to New York or Northern California Food Banks; each treat comes wrapped in 100% recycled paper; and oh, they are certified kosher and completely GMO free. Sweet, succulent and a bit nutty, (sound like your significant other?) their Black Fig Pistachio Dark Chocolate bar offers a unique and balanced flavor profile and would be a perfect gift this V-day. Luckily, they sell at locations nationwide – check out stores near you on their website (lots of stores in CT and NY).

JCoco, Seattle, WA; The Black Fig Pistachio Dark Chocolate bar is All Natural, Non-GMO & Certified Kosher.

Tumbador Chocolates - Courtesy of Executive Chef Jean Francois Bonnet

Another great Brooklyn based chocolate maker to check out is Tumbador. They make delicious, handcrafted certified kosher distinctive treats, including dark chocolate covered corn nuts, chocolate pretzel poppers, key lime pie caramel, and even a vanilla snicker doodle spread. Their Mint Crunch chocolate bar, made with dark chocolate, toasted cacao nibs, and peppermint is a perfect pre-smooch treat – refreshing and delightful! Check out their website to order some sweet goodness today.

Tumbador Hand Crafted Chocolate, Brooklyn, NY; All chocolates are Certified Kosher.

 

courtesy of Nothin' But

courtesy of Nothin’ But

Our love affair with Nothin’ But is still going strong. Although we still date their original granola all the time, their egg free, wheat free, butter free and kosher certified Peanut Butter Chocolate Snack Bar has caught our eye and just might be the perfectly balanced indulgence for your own mid winter chocolate fix or a sweet, nothin-but-love gift for your sweetheart. You can find them in various stores throughout NYC and CT, including Westport’s Steam Coffee Bar, or you can order directly from them online.

Nothin’ But Premium Foods, Westport, CT; The Peanut Butter Chocolate Snack Bar is Wheat Free, Egg Free, Dairy Free & Certified Kosher.

 

Cacao Prieto’s chocolate is so good, they don’t have any left for V-Day! Don’t worry – once a fresh shipment of organic, kosher cacao gets into Brooklyn from the owner’s farm in Dominican Republic (in March) there will be plenty for all to enjoy. Try their famous bark bars either in Hazelnut & Raisin or Pecan & Sour Cherry, and you’ll understand what all the fuss is about. Find them in local stores or order straight from their online store.

Cacao Prieto, Brooklyn, NY; The bark bars are Organic & Certified Kosher.

 

courtesy of TCHO

courtesy of TCHO

Mokaccino SeriousMilk & Blue Bottle Coffee Bars are sure to give you a jolt of warm, nutty sweetness. This certified organic and kosher treat, made with freshly roasted coffee, gooey caramel, cocoa and milk chocolate, is available at TCHO in San Francisco, but don’t worry, you can order them easily via their website. Oh, and they generously offer some fantastic dessert recipes on their website, so be sure to click here for great ideas.

TCHO, San Francisco, CA; All products are Organic, Certified Kosher & Fair Trade.

 

courtesy of Patric Chocolates

courtesy of Patric Chocolates

How about adding a little spice to your day of love? With Patric Chocolate’s Red Coconut Curry Chocolate Bar things are sure to get hot. An intricate blend of Thai coconut chips, cocoa beans, ginger sugar, smoked Spanish paprika, arbor chiles, and pure lemongrass and lime oils, this exotic treat seems bizarre, yet the ingredients complement one another and result in an exhilarating experience (perhaps like your love life?). Check out their online store to get some and look into their other interesting flavors as well.

Patric Chocolate, Columbia, MO; The Red Coconut Curry Chocolate Bar is Vegan & Soy free.

 

Courtesy of Bixby Bar and Co.

Courtesy of Bixby Bar and Co.

Bixby Bar offers a bar that you can eat to your Heart’s Delight. This appropriately pink-wrapped dark chocolate bar is made with crunchy Californian almonds, sweet strawberries, and a hint of Ceylon cinnamon. All of their goodies are all natural, gluten free, non-GMO, handmade and certified kosher – we love that. Visit their online store to get some of these yummy, artfully constructed bars.

Bixby Bar, Belfast, ME; The Heart’s Delight bar is Non-GMO, All Natural, Gluten Free, Handmade & Certified Kosher.

 

The unprocessed, tasty, deceivingly healthy chocolate goodness happening at New York’s Hu Kitchen is something you should know about. Their Almond Butter & Quinoa Chocolate, made with literally just cacao, almonds, organic puffed quinoa and organic coconut sugar, is but one of their delicious culinary offerings. Head down to their 5th Avenue restaurant, which also contains a great assortment of vegetarian and vegan options.

Hu Kitchen, New York, NY; The Almond Butter & Quinoa Chocolate is Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Vegan, Soy Free & Non-GMO.

 

How are you and your taste buds celebrating this Valentine’s Day? Do tell!

 

 

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