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Everyone has their favorite pick in a box of chocolates. Do you go for the solid dark? The peanut butter cup? The sticky caramel? I've written about the love-or-hate relationship over coconut. And for the coconut lovers, Hershey's Almond Joy and Mounds candies are inexpensive quick fixes of coconutty pleasure.

But if you bring some home from the drugstore on Valentine's Day, you might not score many points. If you make them from scratch, and if they're heart-shaped—jaws will drop. All you need is good quality chocolate morsels, shredded coconut, sliced almonds, and the secret ingredient: cream of coconut. If you want to make them heart-shaped,
this silicone mold with heart shaped cavities will come in handy.

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There are more sophisticated ways to make chocolates—tempering ingredients and freezing centers—but there's not always time for that.

This method produces nice looking homespun treats with lots of character. Just get a gift box, tissue paper, and a ribbon for impressive presentation.

Are you making any handmade chocolates or sweets for Valentine's Day? Truffles maybe?

About the author: Lee Zalben was a PB&J-loving kid that grew up to be the founder and president of Peanut Butter & Co., which began as a Greenwich Village sandwich shop serving nothing but peanut butter sandwiches and expanded to include the now-famous line of all natural flavored peanut butter. Lee is a graduate of Vassar College and enjoys traveling the world in search of interesting foods made with peanuts, tree nuts, and seeds. When he's not working, eating, flying or writing, he enjoys scuba diving and training elephants.

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