A view of Mother Myrick's around Valentine's Day. Photo provided by Jacki Baker.

By Bob Audette, Vermont Country Magazine.

Whatever treat your Valentine might have a sweet tooth for — cookies, cake, pastries or chocolate — Southern Vermont has what Cupid ordered.

Vermont Country Deli

Britni Christiansen, operator of Top Tier Bakery out of the Vermont Country Deli, frosts a white chocolate and raspberry mousse cake. Photos by Kristopher Radder – Vermont Country Magazine.

“Chocolate-covered strawberries are always a big hit,” said Christine Meyer, store manager at Vermont Country Deli on Western Avenue in Brattleboro. “We like to do them with a little white and black tuxedo.”

Along with the regular items the store offers, like carrot cake, cannolis, cookies, tarts and maple candy, Vermont Country Deli’s bakers are serving up Valentine’s Day specials with marzipan or fondant flowers, and chocolate heart flourishes, said Meyer.

Some of the romantic desserts on sale at the Vermont Country Deli. Kristopher Radder – Vermont Country.
Britni Christiansen, operator of Top Tier Bakery out of the Vermont Country Deli, prepares some Valentine’s Day cookies. Kristopher Radder – Vermont Country.

“We get a lot of people looking for our Chocolate Mousse Bombes,” said Abigail Haskell, pastry chef. “They are a gluten-free chocolate mousse dome covered in chocolate ganache. Very decadent, and perfect for Valentines Day.”

Haskell said for Valentine’s Day treats she also likes to make the Deli’s Genoise Heart Cakes.

“They are a very simple vanilla cake layered with fresh raspberries and Grand Marnier whipped cream and finished with a dusting of powdered sugar,” she said. “I make them oversized, so it’s just enough to share with a loved one.”

Vermont Country Deli has expanded its sweet offerings through a partnership with Britni Christiansen, a gourmet cupcake maker who opened Top Tier Baking Company in Guilford in 2014.

“She’s working with Abigail but also focusing on cake production,” said Meyer. “She does specialty wedding cakes, custom cakes, cupcake orders, and she is also offering cupcakes next door at the Vermont Country Deli Market.”

Meyer said because everything at the deli is made from scratch, folks hoping to serve a special sweet treat to their loved one should order two to three days in advance by stopping in, calling 802-257-9254, or emailing cdmeyer@vermontcountrydeli.com.

Vermont Moonlight Cookies

Lemon ginger shortbread cookies are among the options from Vermont Moonlight Cookies in Shaftsbury. Photo Provided.

In Shaftsbury, Barbara Bacchi has been making cookies at Vermont Moonlight Cookies for 20 years, though she started out on her sweet path with a Miro cookie press in 1960, when when she was just 12 years old.

She came to Vermont in the 1970s and was laid off from her publishing job in 2003, and over the years, she made holiday cookies for friends and family.

“So, here I was and I had no job and I watched a little too much Food network and saw all these little companies and I said I can do that,” said Bacchi.

She began hand-cutting cookies with Vermont themes, using quality local ingredients with whimsical names and shapes that pay homage to the Green Mountain State.

Barbara Bacchi of Vermont Moonlight Cookies in Shaftsbury gets ready for St. Patrick’s Day by making mint shamrocks. Photo provided.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Bacchi had a storefront and a bakeshop and was selling her cookies to farmers markets and co-ops around the region. She now bakes out of her home.

“For Valentine’s Day, I do brownies, raspberry shortbread with Callebaut chocolate, almond linzers with raspberry jam from Sidehill Farm in Westminster and vanilla and chocolate cut-out hearts filled with fudge,” said Bacchi. “I use caramel a lot.”

To get on a mailing list and learn what she is baking at any given time or to place an order, visit vermontmoonlightcookies.com/collections/cookies.

Mother Myrick’s Confectionary

Ron Mancini and Jacki Baker of Mother Myrick’s Confectionery in Manchester. Photo provided by Alec Marshall.

At Mother Myrick’s Confectionary in Manchester, they’re making their famous buttercrunch and extra batches of their raspberry almond heart shortbread cookies for Valentine’s Day.

“My husband, Ron (Mancini), started the business in 1977 as a little fudge pop-up shop in the summer,” said Jacki Baker. “It never ended. It just kept on going.”

Ron, who is also known locally as “the fudge man,” is 81 and Jacki is 75. When asked what keeps them going in the business, Jacki had a one-word answer.

“Chocolate,” she said. “But, really, we’re retail animals. Even though we have mail order, having a shop gives us the ability to stay in touch with our customers. Ron has been on a first-name basis with many of them for years.”

Caramel hearts, shown in this photo taken by a former Mother Myrick’s staff member, are among your options this Valentine’s Day. Photo provided by Mother Myrick’s staff.
Raspberry heart cookies, in this photo proudly submitted by a Mother Myrick’s customer, are among your Valentine’s Day options.

Also popular, and not just on Valentine’s Day, is Mother Myrick’s signature Lemon LuLu cake, their gingersnap cookies, a box of chocolates, and, of course, fudge.

“We can make special order heart-shaped cakes of several varieties,” said Jacki.

To see what Mother Myrick’s has to offer or to place an order, visit mothermyricks-store.com.


Bob Audette a cranky old white guy, is experiencing the world anew under the tutelage of an 11-year-old forest sprite. He’s been writing for the Brattleboro Reformer for nearly two decades.

Vermont Country magazine

Vermont Country has a hyperlocal focus on the Green Mountain lifestyle, its personalities, events, attractions and culture. The magazine appears six times a year, designed to complement the state and four-season living. VtCo magazine is a Southern Vermont publication of Vermont News & Media.

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