New This Month

Simple, Chocolatey Gifts for Valentine's Day

In past years, I’ve gone all out making chocolate treats for Valentine’s Day, usually gathering inspiration from the pages of Living (I’ve tried these chocolate truffles and, let's be honest, about half of the items on this site!). But this year, I wanted something very simple. I’ve been on a dark-chocolate-covered almond kick, so I played around and came up with an easy and festive Valentine's Day treat using just chocolate-covered almonds and a serrated knife. If you really want to show off, throw in a chocolate cake and festive packaging!

Food Contributor

Chocolate-Covered Almond Hearts 

1. Hold down an almond between your thumb and index finger on a tabletop and cut it diagonally by sawing back and forth with the knife. Alternate the direction of your cuts to make sure that you end up with equal amounts of each side. Put all the chocolate shavings into a bowl.

2. When you’re finished cutting and have lined up the heart halves to find matches, melt the shavings over simmering water or in the microwave. It doesn’t matter that there will be pieces of almond mixed throughout the melted chocolate, because you only need a tiny bit to adhere the two halves of the heart together. 

3. Let set, and use a dry paper towel or piece of cheesecloth to brush off any excess chocolate.


Cake Topper


I really like making these Flourless Chocolate Cakes so I think I'll add them to my packages. To make them extra festive, put hearts on them!


In a small food processor, blend 1/2 cup freeze-dried strawberries and 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar. Use to dust over your cake. If you want to get fancier, try adding edible glitter into the mix (available at baking supply stores).

For the sweetest homemade valentine, spoon pink powder into a clear, shallow box (the ones in the below photo are from the Container Store), putting a few chocolate almond hearts on top, then covering and tying with butcher's twine.


Wrap It Inside a Heart

Using red or patterned paper, cut out a heart about 10 inches wide by 10 inches tall. Punch three small holes about 1/4 inch from the edge -- one at the bottom and the other two centered within the curves (see below photo for reference). For added detail, you can also add eyelets to the holes.


Placing some chocolate almond hearts or a small flourless chocolate cake or both in the center of the heart, string a separate piece of butcher's twine through each of the three holes. Take all six string ends and pull them together to create a pyramidish box. Depending on the size and proportions of your heart, there may be some gaps, but you can test beforehand using scrap paper until you get it to the size and shape of your liking.


You can also try writing a message on the inside of the heart so that when your valentine opens the package, they will see a heart with a loving note.


I hope these little touches add something special to your Valentine’s Day!