Love or hate Valentine's Day, it's hard to deny the prime excuse to consume sugar that is February 14. From special edition ice cream flavors to truffles to smoked chocolate cake, if romance = sugar, we've got you covered.
Catentine's Day from Fat Cat Creamery: If you've never had a sundae from Fat Cat Creamery, now is the time to start. The creamery is releasing a new flavor at the start of February just in time for Valentine's Day— Catentine's Day is sweet cream ice cream swirled with rum-soaked strawberries and milk chocolate chips. Bring your favorite person in with you to try it in a cone or on top of a warm, house-baked brownie or cookie, or make your own sundae (pictured with house-made whipped cream and house-candied cherries). Sundaes start at $5.75 and include a scoop of your choice of ice cream, three toppings, whipped cream and a cherry. Each additional scoop is $1 more.
Liege waffles from Seabrook Waffle Company: If you can't quite handle a romantic breakfast in bed, making the trek over to Seabrook for a hot, caramelized liege waffle from the Seabrook Waffle Company may be even better. The waffles, made with brioche dough and studded with thick pearls of pearl sugar, are yeasty, crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. The shop offers both sweet (think Nutella, ice cream and sprinkles) and savory (think Eggs Benedict, Monte Cristo and more) waffles for romance on both sides of the sweet and salty spectrum.
Lovebird macarons from Monchou Sweets: Home baker Nicole Kannenberg is known for her elegant, pastel-forward baked goods. For Valentine's Day, she's running a special-edition macaron package. The "How Tweet It Is to Be Loved by You" special features chocolate ganache-filled cherry vanilla macarons. A gift box of two oversized lovebird macarons along with three mini macaron hearts is $16. You can place an order with Nicole via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via the website: www.monchousweets.com.
Valentine's Day treats from Crave Cupcakes: Trust the Houston-founded cupcake empire to take the (cup)cake with the most adorable Valentine's Day treats. Special edition treats include frosted sugar cookies and white chocolate-dipped marshmallow treats and cupcakes topped with frosting rosettes or fondant designs. Fondant options include handcrafted love birds in the shape of a heart, "LOVE," and the heart eyes or kiss-blowing emoji. To sweeten the deal, the Uptown Park location will have a pop-up drive-through on Valentine's Day so you won't even have to get out of your car! You can place pre-orders starting 1/31 through 2/13, or bakeshop treats will be available 2/1 through 2/14 in-store while supplies last.
Allergen-free cookie cakes from Awesome Bites Co.: Got a loved one in your life with a pesky food intolerance? The folks behind the allergy-friendly treats at Awesome Bites Co. have you covered with muffins, blondies and more that are all vegan and made without refined sugar, GMO ingredients, preservatives or artificial ingredients. Just in time for Valentine's Day, Awesome Bites is rolling out two brand-new 9" cookie cakes: beanie brownie (with chocolate ganache and naturally colored sprinkles) and chocolate chip blondie (topped with beet juice-tinted pink buttercream frosting). Both cakes are gluten-free, vegan, and high in fiber and protein thanks to a bean base (trust me, you'd never guess they're made out of beans). Cakes serve ten people, run $30 and can be ordered for local pickup at www.awesomebitesco.com.
Valentine's Day truffles from Niko Niko's: Kill two birds with one stone by picking up a delicious meal AND dessert at Niko Niko's. The relatively new location on Katy Freeway features a huge display case of house-made desserts, with the dessert program directed by a pastry chef straight from Greece. Post-Super Bowl, special Valentine's Day treats will be made available at all locations. Purchase truffles by the box at the Montrose location or from a pop-up dessert stand at the Katy Freeway location. For special occasions, you can special order a beautiful Valentine's Day cake from any of the locations. Savory-inclined people can also take advantage of their Valentine's Day meal special: two gyros and two drinks for $20.
Dark Chocolate Truffle Vino gelato from SweetCup: Get your spoon ready: SweetCup is debuting two fresh flavors in time for Valentine's Day. For a more floral, delicate palate, the Rose Milk is made with Chantilly cream and rose water. Those who love chocolate and wine (um, who doesn't) will love the Dark Chocolate Truffle Vino, which has a Valrhona chocolate base infused with butter, cream and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Valentine's Day cookies from Sweet: Besides the usual array of Instagram-worthy treats, the City Centre-based sister bakery to Tout Suit will be offering a special variety of treats for Valentine's Day. Vanilla, strawberry and red velvet heart-shaped macarons ($3), heart-shaped marshmallow treats ($3.50), packages of iced mini cookies (12 for $7) and Texas-shaped iced cookies ($3.50) will all be available to purchase alongside the usual cakes, cupcakes and house-made signature drinks. All macarons are gluten-free.
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Vegan strawberry chocolate doughnuts from Ripe Cuisine: Like many of the dishes that emerge from the Ripe Cuisine food truck, you'd never know these perfectly soft and sweet baked doughnuts are vegan. For Valentine's Day, Ripe Cuisine will bring back the chocolate strawberry doughnuts from last year, garnished with fresh strawberries. Doughnuts will be available the Saturday before Valentine's Day, when the Ripe truck resides at the Eastside Farmers Market.
Bonus: For a non-vegan option, Hugs and Donuts is offering a berries and cream doughnut for Valentine's Day. It will also host a kid's Valentine's Day-themed party the afternoon before; kids can decorate their own doughnuts and valentines.
Smoked chocolate cake from Killen's STQ: If you've scored a reservation at Ronnie Killen's newest restaurant, you're probably going for more than dessert...but make sure to save room because Killen's take on chocolate cake transcends the average cake. The moist, cherry-infused creation is smoked under a cloche; once the cloche is removed, smoke plumes out at the table. It's like a smoky taste of the outdoors captured in the sweetest of ways, and Valentine's Day is the perfect excuse to indulge.