When in doubt, embrace cliché. Sugar, like roses, never goes out of style.
The five best ways to treat your sweetheart to some sweets on Valentine’s Day:
5. Donuts from Mojo Monkey Donuts
Mojo Monkey Donuts is a top contender for the best donuts in town. Their cake donuts have more spice and vanilla than other brands. The maple bar with a slab of thick cut bacon draped over the top is practically obscene in its decadence. Their light and fluffy Bismarks are made with yeast dough for added levity, and real citrus brightens the fillings.
A surprise box full of cinnamon sugar twists and lemon Bismarks next to the coffee pot is a surefire way to get a kiss. But Mojo’s bright West Seventh Street location can also make for an unpredictable daytime date.
Arrive early. They inevitably sell out fast.
Mojo Monkey Donuts
1169 W. Seventh St., St. Paul
4. Pastries from the Bachelor Farmer Cafe
The pastry case at the Bachelor Farmer Cafe greets you like an affront to all other pastry cases everywhere. You’ll find laminated croissants with impossible numbers of flaky layers, coffee cake with an inch-high hat of strudel, scones that crumble upon sight. Their impeccability is second to none.
Pair them with a specialty coffee drink like a Gibraltar, an espresso cut with warm milk served in a glass. The barista will appropriately paint a pretty heart upon its surface.
Or skip the caffeine and head straight for bubbles, which they also serve, along with a full roster of beer and wine.
The Bachelor Farmer Cafe
200 N. First St., Minneapolis
3. Ricotta Zeppole from Scena Tavern
Italy’s answer to France’s beignets, zeppole are deep-fried dough that border on savory. Prodigious amounts of powdered sugar are pressed upon them to swing things back to sweet.
At Scena, they’re made with polenta and served with a sidecar of rosemary honey. Sweet, sticky, herbaceous, and warm, they hit enough grace notes to warrant a special trip.
2943 Girard Ave. S., Minneapolis
2. Chocolate Ganache from Heirloom
A pair of leafy dark chocolate wafers sandwich a handmade marshmallow that’s been torched to into caramel. Dusted with beet powder, this mature take on a s’more is profound, rich, and sexy.
2186 Marshall Ave., St. Paul
1. Pick your Poison at Milkjam Creamery
At Milkjam, they’re not just making handmade ice creams from traditional flavors like vanilla, or savory ones like fresh thyme with lemon. Visit them for adult ice cream drinks made with champagne, lambic, and beer.
Or try a “Jam Bun,” your choice of scoop between two Glam Doll donuts. Or do the thing you wanted to do as a kid: have a scoop of every flavor. This grand gesture costs $56.
On Valentine’s Day, they’ll be plating a special desert for couples: red chocolate cake, black ice cream, cherries, and candied rose petals. And for singles: pints to take home and eat on the couch, naturally.
2743 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis