For the perfect (and tasty) gift for your sweetheart during this romantic season, visit one (or all) of these five local chocolate shops to put together a delicious collection of mouth-watering confections.
Chocolate Storybook,1000 Grand Ave., West Des Moines
About the shop: The Chocolate Storybook, nestled in West Des Moines, has been treating central Iowa to handmade delicacies since 1985. Offering everything from homemade caramels to truffles to sinfully good chocolate caramel apples (not exactly a Valentine's Day gift speciality, but delicious nonetheless), chances are you can satisfy your Valentine's sweet tooth (and yours, too).
What you're getting sweetie: Chocolate Storybook is known for its long-stemmed chocolate-dipped strawberries. Pre-order your box (usually eight, depending on size of the berry) before Thursday for $21.95. After Thursday, the price goes up to $27.95.
More info: chocolatestory.com
Bonus: "Like" Chocolate Storybook on Facebook and be entered for a chance to win a seven-pound box of chocolate. SEVEN pounds.
Chocolaterie Stam, 2814 Ingersoll Ave. (Also in Valley West Mall, 1551 Westown Parkway, West Des Moines, and 1805 S.E. Delaware, Suite 1800, Ankeny.)
About the shop: The Stam Family ancestry dates back to as early as 1817, building its reputation with pastries and chocolates, so it's clear Stam's family recipes have been mastered. Visit to indulge in bon bons, truffles, licorice, cookies, wafers, beverages and more.
What you're getting sweetie: A signature burgundy box filled with an assortment of Stam's finest chocolates and truffles. 14 pieces are $16.95, 27 pieces are $31.95 and 40 pieces are $41.95. Or piece together your own perfect box.
More info: chocolateriestam.com
Suzette Homemade Candies, 2837 Ingersoll Ave. (Also at 6808 Douglas Ave., Urbandale, and 550 36th Ave., Altoona.)
About the shop: Suzette Homemade Candies has filled its shelves with family candy recipes every day for more than 50 years. Visit one of three charming stores to try a famous jumbo snapper or salted nut roll, along with many other confections.
What you're getting sweetie: Go traditional with hundred of options for a chocolate-filled heart box. Prices range from $3.99 to $200.
More info: suzettecandies.com
Nan's Nummies, 501 Elm St., West Des Moines
About the shop: A charming bakery located in Valley Junction, Nan's Nummies Cookie Shoppe has a wide selection of candy and sweets, fudge, brownies, bars, cookies, Dutch letters, cupcakes and more.
What you're getting sweetie: Cookies are the real star here, made from scratch with a special almond cream, so get your love a cookie bouquet: six for $18, 12 for $28. Or opt for brightly frosted heart cookies, at $12 a dozen.
More info: nansnummies.com
Beaverdale Confections, 2641 Beaver Ave., Des Moines
About the shop: The newest of the chocolate shops in town, Beaverdale Confections is gaining notoriety for its 11 flavors of homemade marshmallows. Also found: Smores kits, fudge, 45 different types of bulk candy, caramels, truffles and more.
What you're getting your sweetie: Try chocolate-dipped strawberries and cherries, at $32.95 for a tray. Other V-Day treats include the chocolate lollipops ($1.50 each) or the $22.95 Smores kit, for a cozy night in.
More info: beaverdaleconfections.com