We've got you covered this Valentine's Day with our local buyer's guide.
There are countless ways to say “I love you,” and there is one unanimous day upon which we can all agree that you ought to say it to the person you love: Valentine’s Day.
It’s a holiday that, for some, can be more stressful and panic-inducing than being in charge of cooking the Thanksgiving turkey or spending an entire Christmas with the in-laws — partly because, no matter what your partner has been telling you, Valentine’s Day does matter. Whether your relationship is in its sparkling infancy or you’ve seen your soulmate every day for the last 30 years, you’ve got to have some kind of gesture up your sleeve.
Here’s the good news: No one expects you to pull a Kanye West and fill your darling’s home with thousands of white roses. All you need to do is get your sweetie something sweet and say that magical three-word phrase as you hand it over.
This Valentine’s Day, we’ve already done the legwork for you. We’ve assembled some of Kansas City’s tastiest — and perhaps under-the-radar — chocolate and sweet-treats makers. For this talented group, Valentine’s Day is like an Olympic sport — and they’re all tying for the gold.
Sweet Kiss Brigadeiro
Jessica Antunes’ brigadeiro recipe has been in her family for generations. The bon bon-sized confection is Brazil’s most beloved sweet, and thanks to Antunes’ company, Sweet Kiss Brigadeiro, Kansas City gets to share in the love. Antunes launched Sweet Kiss Brigadeiro in 2015 with her mother, Regina; both are São Paulo natives who relocated to the Midwest in the late ’90s.
“A brigadeiro is similar to a truffle, but creamier and softer,” Antunes says. “Our brigadeiros are slowly cooked with condensed milk and premium chocolate. Each one of them is individually handcrafted.”
There are 12 different flavors at Sweet Kiss Brigadeiro, ranging from Brazil's signature cocktail, the caipirinha, to seasonal flavors like pumpkin spice and peppermint. (There might be a seasonal Valentine’s Day flavor, Antunes adds, though she hasn’t settled on it yet.)
The 24-piece brigadeiro box is $42. Sweet Kiss Brigadeiro has no brick-and-mortar location, but you can order your box online at sweetkissbrigadeiro.com.
For local customers who wish to pick up their box in person, Sweet Kiss Brigadeiro has partnered with Hand and Land as its official pickup location. Hand and Land is at 11527 Ash St. at Park Place in Leawood.
Bizz & Weezy Confections
Bizz and Weezy were the nicknames husband-and-wife team Jonathan and Amy Pitcher had for each other back in their fanatical World of Warcraft days. When the two opened up their chocolate shop in the Crossroads a year and a half ago, Bizz & Weezy was the natural name for their business — even if the whirlwind careers of successful chocolatiers means that their video game days are all but bygone. Still, their love story should help reinforce your own narrative this Valentine’s Day — and if that doesn’t help, well, their treats should do the trick.
“On Valentine’s Day, we release these beautiful rose caramels topped with candied rose petals,” Jonathan says. “We take the rose-flavored caramel, cut it and dip it into chocolate, and then we take real rose petals and dip them in sugar and candy them and place them on top. It’s floral, and it looks really special.”
Also in the cases at Bizz & Weezy for the holiday: mini heart-shaped pound cakes dipped in dark chocolate, strawberry shortcake, and chocolate-dipped strawberries. All Bizz & Weezy products are available for pre-order, so don’t be afraid to call ahead.
Rose caramels $2.75 a piece or two for $5; they are also available at different price breaks for assortments of six, 12 and 25. The chocolate-covered heart-shaped pound cakes are $3.50. The strawberries vary in price depending on the size and range from $1 to $3.50 a piece, with price breaks at assortments of six and 12.
Swoon Cookie Crafters
If you haven’t experienced the perfection that is a Swoon sugar cookie, let this Valentine’s Day be the excuse you — and your sweetheart — need. Swoon cookies are no ordinary cookies; co-founder Sofia Varanka Hudson uses a family recipe that is generations old, and the cookies are truly original treats that tend to look more like fine art than edible delights. Hudson and her business partner, Lauren Wendlandt, design everything from elaborate storks-carrying-babies for baby showers to company logo-shaped cookies for business gatherings.
“We work with buttercream rather than royal icing, so it’s a more flavorful cookie,” Hudson says. “We can completely customize, so if anyone has something they want for their Valentine, we’ll be happy to do it.”
Wendlandt and Hudson started Swoon in 2010 as a custom-order-only business. Now, seven years later, they are finally on the verge of opening their own brick-and-mortar store in the Westside. Their opening date? Why, Feb. 14, of course.
“We might be crazy,” Hudson says with a laugh. “We’re still doing the pre-orders, of course, and for Valentine’s Day, anyone wanting a customized cookie message should get the order in by Feb. 10. We’ll also have some assortments that people can walk in and pick up on Valentine’s Day.”
Swoon’s Valentine’s Day cookie assortments will be offered as three for $10, six for $20 and 12 for $40.
1668 Jefferson St., Kansas City, Mo., (913) 687-6233, justswoon.com