Justin Fox Burks
If you’re anything like us, you may be feeling way behind when it comes to dealing with Valentine’s Day this year. Love the hearts, love the explosion of pink and red everywhere, love all of the focus on love, but don’t we all sort of hate the expectations?
Still, now’s the time to scramble for something interesting, original, and fun to get your significant other or to get yourself if it’s a cynical, relationship-averse situation this week.
With these impending purchases in mind, we turn to food. Here are five impressive options:
1. Muddy’s Bake Shop (5101 Sanderlin) divides their offerings into pro- and anti-Valentine’s Day treats with quite a range, from their True Love Cupcake, a strawberry cupcake with raspberry icing and red heart sprinkles, to the Bitter with Baggage Cupcake, a chocolate cupcake with coffee icing and dark chocolate drizzle. They also offer voodoo doll cookies if you’re really in need of catharsis this year, or you can just go traditional with a conversation heart cake.
2. The Whimsy Cookie Company (4704 Poplar) is all hearts, hearts, and more hearts: candy cane and white chocolate hearts on a stick; chocolate-covered Oreos with hearts; heart cookies with angel wings, arrow cookies, and the like. They also have a few spots open
for their Daddy & Daughter Valentine’s Day Party on Saturday at 9:30 and 11 a.m. For $30 a duo (and $25 per additional daughter), they serve a pancake, bacon, milk, and OJ breakfast plus the opportunity to decorate two cookies and a card for mom.
3. Dinstuhl’s (Laurelwood Shopping Center) plans to kick off their strawberry season and dip a whole bunch of berries in chocolate nonstop on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. They also will have chocolate-covered grapes (which we can vouch for being particularly amazing) and pineapple. A Dinstuhl’s heart-shaped box of chocolate is always a good choice, and this week, we spotted a giant one that will overwhelm and leave recipients happily speechless. It’s like a $300-plus box of chocolate. Wow.
4. Frost Bake Shop (Laurelwood Shopping Center) has a pretty 6-inch cake completely covered in pink icing roses, conversation heart cookies, strawberry-shaped cookies dipped in chocolate, and a bouquet of butter cookie roses. The bakery also offers Frost Bites, little cake bites with frosting in Valentine colors.
5. Phillip Ashley Chocolates (798 S. Cooper) has a Valentine’s collection with some new flavors this year. It’s a heart-shaped, 12-piece box of chocolate hearts, including a Cointreau caramel with fleur de sel, a four-chocolate cake truffle, the Red Hot, a passion fruit and habanero combo, and also the Phillip Ashley take on a cherry cordial: sour cherry jam with B & B liqueur. The Valentine’s collection goes for $44, or put together your own box of chocolate for $49.
Photographer Justin Fox Burks and food writer Amy Lawrence live in Memphis, where they publish a popular blog called The Chubby Vegetarian. The couple, both enthusiastic home cooks, also are the authors of The Southern Vegetarian Cookbook, published in 2013 by Thomas Nelson.
Justin Fox Burks and Amy Lawrence