There are plenty of ways to indulge your sweetie this Valentine’s Day weekend in NYC (and let’s not forget the uncoupled), but there are few better gifts than the ones that include a little sugar. Here are some delectables from local bakeries to please the sweet tooth in your life:
There are enough Magnolia Bakery outposts in the city (and beyond) these days that paying a visit to one of them should be quick and painless. Cupcake mania might very well be on the wane, but you have to admit that a personal-size cake is an intimate gift. This year, Magnolia’s festively decorated choices include devil’s food or fresh strawberry cakes topped with chocolate ganache, and chocolate, vanilla, or red velvet cakes lathered with a choice of chocolate or vanilla buttercream and scripted with a nostalgic sentiment ($3.75 each).
Over the past year, il Buco Alimentari (53 Great Jones Street; 212-837-2622) baker Kamel Saci has been busy building a serious bread program. For the February 14 weekend, Saci will be in a slightly more playful mood, baking heart-shaped baguettes, available in plain and Parmesan. But it’s the chocolate version we’re after, which Saci calls the “Mon Cheri,” studded with amaretto-soaked cherries. Each of the breads is five dollars and will be available at the shop Saturday and Sunday.
Breads Bakery (18 East 16th Street/1890 Broadway; 212-633-2253) makes more than a few of our favorite sweet things, and the holiday specials are just as tempting as their everyday fare. We like the charming simplicity of shortbread cookies with icing ($10.95 for an assortment), but head over to the bakery’s original Union Square location or the newly opened one in Lincoln Center and you’ll also find marzipan hearts filled with pastry cream and fresh raspberries, and chocolate bread with dark-chocolate chips.
Jennifer Yee Pastry, the jewel-box counter inside Lafayette (380 Lafayette Street; 212-533-3000), is worth frequenting any time of year for its array of gorgeous French pastries, cookies, and cakes. For V-Day, Yee will be tweaking her signature eclairs, which are filled with vanilla cream and raspberry jam, with strawberry glaze and conversation-heart candy decals (3 for $18). Also, look for her “Blue Valentine” eclairs (filled with chocolate) and a boxed assortment of six macarons decorated with holiday messages ($17). The collection is available for pre-order as well, at the bakery’s online shop.