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    North of NYC North of NYC By Houlihan Lawrence By Houlihan Lawrence by

    Nobody wants to last-minute Valentine's Day with a heart-shaped box of chocolates from a supermarket checkout line. We sorted a list of some favorite bake shops, patisseries and and chocolatiers here in New York's Northern Suburbs—from Connecticut to Dutchess County—to find the perfect Valentine's sweets made locally with love and luxury.

    WESTCHESTER


    "Cuddle Cottages" from Flour & Sun in Pleasantville

    By the Way Bakery (574 Warburton Avenue, Hastings-on-Hudson)
    Pull the door with the rolling pin handle and step into a wonderland specializing in small-batch handmade dairy-and-gluten-free confections in the heart of Hastings. Their website even includes an apparent endorsement by Katonah's own Martha Stewart, seen modeling a bag of their biscottis in what appears to be STORY in West Chelsea (914 in the 212!)

    LuLu Cake Boutique (40 Garth Road, Scarsdale)
    This Scarsdale staple for sweet sixteen and wedding cakes alike has racked up a litany of accolades everywhere from Westchester magazine to Oprah, The New York Times and Bon Apetit. With artisan creations like "Pretzilla" and the "Subourbon," their cakes and cupcakes aren't for last minute types—but what better message to convey by giving them?

    Red Barn Bakery (4 South Astor Street, Irvington)
    Nothing say "I love you" like a bag of brownies sensitive to any dietary standards. Handbag designer-turned-organic baker Randell Dodge runs this popular spot in an industrial building along Irvington's waterfront, filled with a melange of muffins, scones, tarts, pies—just about anything baked traditionally, gluten-free or dairy-free using the freshest local ingredients.

    L'anjou Patisserie Francaise (130 North Bedford Road, Mount Kisco)
    Blink and you might pass this hidden gem on Route 117. Since 1996, the authentic French pastry shop has brought a slice of Paris to the 914 with its buttery cookies, tantalizing tarts and meticulous macarons. You'll probably walk out with your own croissant stash on top of what you're gifting, it's all too hard to resist.

    Beascakes Bakery (575 North Main Street, Armonk)
    Beascakes cider doughnuts have been a guilty pleasure of the Houlihan Lawrence IT department for years. The delectable little bakery boasts an assortment of about every dessert sub-genre including old reliable: the mixed cookie box.

    Flour & Sun Bake Shop (19 Washington Avenue, Pleasantville)
    Flour & Sun was a local leader in the cupcake craze that took America by storm in the early 2000s. We can't help but love their latest Valentine's creation, "The Cuttle Cottage": gingerbread-style houses made with traditional sugar cookie dough decorated impeccably for the sweetest of Hallmark holidays.

    MID-HUDSON VALLEY

    A Samoa doughnut at Ella's Bellas

    Ella's Bellas (418 Main Street, Beacon)
    If you're looking for something outside the box, head to this Brooklynesque Beacon favorite, known for inventive and gluten-free provisions, like Samoa, Blueberry-Lemon Thyme and Mexican Chocolate (with ancho and marshmallow) doughnuts, chocolate chip meringues and Instagram-worthy blood orange bars.

    Bread Alone Bakery (45 East Market Street, Rhinebeck)
    More than tasty breads and granolas at your local Whole Foods, the bakery behind the label is a burgeoning local enterprise. There's always something good under the glass at its bustling bakery-restaurant in Rhinebeck, from cookies to tarts to pies.

    McKinney & Doyle: The Corner Bakery (10 Charles Colman Boulevard, Pawling)
    A counter-service adjunct to the popular restaurant, the Corner Bakery staff unloads the ovens every morning with a fresh batch of delicious handmade morsels, and also takes special orders for custom cakes and more. A local favorite, McKinney's eponymous CIA-trained owners will celebrate their third decade in business next year.

    FAIRFIELD COUNTY

    rosesMarzipan roses from St. Moritz in Greenwich

    St. Moritz (383 Greenwich Avenue, Greenwich)
    This authentic European patisserie and chocolatier has been in business on the Avenue since 1939, using no artificial ingredients and the finest imported cocoa. From whimsical "pupcakes" to house-made truffles, like its signature Sarah Bernhardts, it's the quickest last-minute trip you can take to Geneva, Copenhagen and back in time for your 7pm reservation at L'Escale.

    Palmer's Market (264 Heights Road, Darien)
    It's not everyday you stumble upon a grocery store that houses an award-winning bakery, but as a Yelp! reviewer put it best, "Any supermarket that stocks Lilly Pulitzer is special!" Not only does the bakery—over-the-top wedding cakes are their bread and butter (or batter and icing?)—craft delectable desserts, but its floral department is rated among Fairfield County's finest, making Palmer's truly a one-stop shop for your discerning Valentine.

    SoNo Baking Company (49 Tokeneke Road, Darien)
    The Norwalk-based bake shop recently expanded beyond its SoNo digs to additional locations in Darien and Westport. "Mini" and "Individual"-sized tarts make a perfect presentation after a romantic dinner.

    Click here to search for the ultimate Valentine gift