I was pretty impressed when I cruised one list of Top Valentine’s Day Gifts For Men. But after careful consideration, I decided to go a more traditional route.
See, while the Pickle-of-the-Month gift idea had a certain appeal (pickles are one of Tom’s favorite food groups), when I imagined sitting down to a candlelight dinner on 2/14 and handing him this month’s selection, it just seemed like a buzz kill.
I thought seriously about the personalized romance novel. Called “Blood Lust,” the manufacturer promises the customized book will feature 30 personal details. I’m not sure I have that many personal details (are they gonna discuss my back scratcher? My Necco wafer obsession?), but I am sure I don’t want them exposed in any book, no matter how limited the distribution. (Also, there’s a disconcerting typo in the promo: Cosmopolitan Magazine calls this book “One of the sexist (sic) gifts ever!”)
Another top pick was the Ultimate Stock Car Ride-Along. The giftee gets to ride shotgun, at 150 mph, in a stock car race, with a “professional” driver at the wheel. Now, call me a softie, but I decided I didn’t think it was friendly to gift my husband with an activity that would almost certainly result in his death.
Aside from those choices, I loved the Custom Bobble Head, but it seemed overpriced at $105, and the World’s Largest Gummy Worm seemed like too much of a good thing. So, I decided to head to the kitchen and make Tom some chocolate truffles. (All he really wants is chocolate anyway.)
And maybe I’ll live it up and get him that Custom Bobble Head for Christmas…
Makes about 24 truffles
8 ounces good quality semisweet chocolate, finely chopped (I use Scharffen Berger)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup almonds
1. Place the chocolate in a medium bowl. Pour the cream into a small saucepan and heat it over medium heat just until it starts to boil. Pour it over the chocolate and let it sit for a few minutes, until the chocolate is melted. Stir the mixture until it’s smooth. (If the chocolate is not completely melted, you can microwave it on high for about 15 seconds.) Stir in the vanilla. Set the mixture aside to cool, then cover and refrigerate it for an hour, or overnight if you prefer.
2. Meanwhile, grind the almonds in your food processor until finely ground.
3. Using a melon ball scoop or a spoon, scoop the chocolate and form it into balls, about the size of a small melon ball. Roll each ball in the ground almonds to coat them on all sides. Cover and refrigerate the finished truffles until you are ready to serve them. They will keep for several days in the refrigerator, or you can freeze them.
Variations: Add a tablespoon or two of Cognac or Grand Marnier instead of the vanilla. Instead of the almonds, roll the truffles in confectioner’s sugar, unsweetened cocoa powder or ground pistachios or hazelnuts.