Nothing says I LOVE YOU like chocolate.
What chocolates do I want from my Valentine? Dear Coco Chocolates, without a doubt!
Valentine’s Day is around the corner…”tis the season for gifts of chocolate and sweets! There are a myriad of choices when it comes to eating chocolate, but I demand the best!
Forget about the pink & red M&M’s or the Godiva chocolate-dipped strawberries. There are foil-wrapped Dove chocolate hearts and eco-friendly raw chocolate bars, too. But none of these are options that appeal to me – both as a gift giver and a recipient.
If I’m going to eat chocolate, it must be good chocolate. From a nutritional standpoint, chocolate, or more specifically cacao (the precursor of chocolate) is an excellent source of magnesium. Our bodies rely on this mineral for calmness and relaxation, it’s actually considered the “anti-stress” mineral. Tell me, don’t you need more chocolate in your life to combat the daily stress you experience? Chocolate also contains theobromine, a naturally occurring compound, which has similar effects to caffeine, but in a much weaker concentration. Theobromine acts as a vasodilator, allowing increased blood flow throughout the body, which may lead to better receptor activity in the central nervous system (CNS). For more information about the health and nutrition benefits of cacao and chocolate, check out my post and recipe for my Deliciously Decadent & Nourishing Blueberry Cacao Tart.
Dear Coco Chocolates are special in so many ways. These award-winning chocolates are made in Bethesda, Maryland by Rachelle Ferneau. It’s Rachelle’s creativity that intrigues me – her flavor combinations are unique and unconventional! She hand-crafts each bar and bite to perfection, using all organic and non-GMO ingredients. Dear Coco Chocolates are vegan, fair-trade, Gluten-free, kosher and eco-friendly…qualities which appeal to me and are important as a self-proclaimed chocoholic!
Since meeting Rachelle a few months ago, I’ve had the opportunity to taste a variety of her product line. Most notable are Dear Coco Chocolate’s Toffee Chocolate Bars. These bars are unlike anything I’ve seen – they’re beautiful works of culinary art! Rachelle has created nine different globally-inspired toffees, which happen to be completely dairy-free (it’s unheard of for toffee to be dairy-free), and she sets them into her bars of premium fair-trade Belgian dark chocolate. I was immediately drawn to the Savannah Bar, which contains a pecan pie toffee. My daughter, a lover of all things with Old Bay seasoning, favors the Chesapeake Bar, with its Old Bay toffee. And my husband, the coffee aficionado, prefers the Sidama Bar with its Ethiopian Coffee toffee. Look at the intricacies of these bars – they truly are pieces of art!
Dear Coco Chocolates makes more than bars. Rachelle recently sent me her special Valentine’s Day truffle assortment to try – how could I refuse?!?! There are two seasonal truffle flavors – Saigon Fireball and Paraguay Passion Fruit. Both are rich and full of intense flavor. The Saigon Fireball has the parallel sweet and spicy ingredients, while the Paraguay Passion Fruit are floral and smooth. After tasting both of these truffles, I understand why chocolate is given as a symbol of love and considered an aphrodisiac!
Another specialty of Dear Coco Chocolates are their Hot Chocolate Spoons. I gave these sweet treats to my daughter earlier this winter, she enjoys a delicious cup of homemade hot chocolate every so often. The eco-friendly spoons have a giant fluffy vegan marshmallow on them, which is enrobed in Belgian dark chocolate. I just warm-up a small pot of almond milk, pour it into a mug, and let her stir the Hot Chocolate Spoon until the chocolate melts into the warm milk. The marshmallow falls off the spoon and floats perfectly on the surface, just like a mini-science experiment (and it’s a delicious experiment, for sure)! The spoons are available in three great flavors, we’ve tried them all and can’t decide which is our favorite. Why don’t you give all of them a try and tell me which you prefer?
I mentioned that Rachelle’s flavor combinations are intriguing and sophisticated…so leave it to Dear Coco Chocolates to create this new delicacy – Idaho Potato Caramel Turtles. They’re the most comforting bite of chocolate I’ve ever tasted! Salty and sweet, creamy and chewy. Quite an experience for the taste buds! Surely, I’ve had chocolate and salty potato chips together, but never have they come together so harmoniously, with the caramel center. Pure heaven. And once again, all of Dear Coco Chocolates are completely vegan, fair-trade, Gluten-free, kosher, and eco-friendly.
I cannot say enough good things about Rachelle Ferneau and her award-winning chocolates, they’re perfect for a special occasion, like Valentine’s Day, or for an any-day chocolate treat. Dear Coco Chocolates is taking orders with guaranteed shipping for Valentine’s Day until Sunday, February 5th. What are you waiting for – show your love for your sweetheart with chocolate, and maybe you’ll be lucky enough for your love to share a bite or two!
Dear Coco Chocolates generously sent me an assortment of their chocolate confections. Opinions are all my own.