Valentine's Treats at Bouchon Bakery

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[Photo: Robyn Lee]

With their chocolate curls and edible hearts, the whimsical Valentine's treats from Bouchon Bakery are almost too cute to eat. Almost.

As a firm believer in an evenly frosted cake, I was initially skeptical of the Red Velvet Cupcake ($5.95), which sports only a dollop of icing on its top. But the surprise is in the first bite: the cream cheese frosting funnels down into the moist cake, making sure you never lose the perfect ratio of frosting to cake.

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A spoonful of the mousse cake ($6.25) found the heart-shaped shell of airy milk chocolate mousse give way to hidden layers of devils food cake, red currant jam, and vanilla bean cremeux. A spoonful of this dessert is so rich that it's a good one to share.

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Super-sized conversation cookies ($4.25) say cute things like "be mine," and "I love you!" but they scream "eat me" as well. The deliciously buttery shortbread cookie is only improved by a white chocolate yogurt glaze. This icing is a delectable balance of sweet and tangy, reminiscent of vanilla and lemons.

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Good linzer cookies honor both the cookie and the jam. Bouchon succeeds on both counts with their heart shaped linzer cookies ($3.75). The hazelnut cookies are nutty and subtly sweet, while the filling is pure raspberry flavor. As a nod to the season each cookie has a small heart cutout which lets the vivid, homemade jam peek through.

Bouchon Bakery

10 Columbus Circle, Third Floor, New York NY 10019 (map) 212-823-9363
bouchonbakery.com