On Valentine's Day, Italians give each other flowers, plan romantic dinners and present each other with chocolates. Plus, Italians are deeply passionate people so if you are looking for a little Valentine's Day inspiration, Italy should definitely be your first stop. And Italian chocolates make the best Valentine's Day gifts.

A chocolaty-delicious highlight of your week with Tuscan Women Cook will take place in Siena when you visit the historic chocolatier Venchi. The perfect box of Valentine's Day chocolates must include Venchi's irresistible confection of chopped hazelnuts and caramel covered with extra-dark chocolate presented in a beautiful book-shaped metal box.    
fter you've recovered from Venchi, we will take you to the new Siena branch of Nino & friends offering chocolates, candies, Panettone, and something very special, babĂ  dipped in Limoncello.

Sure, these fabulous, ornately wrapped chocolate candies may be ordered online, but the array of dense, creamy chocolate gelati will never make it home. You simply must experience them in Italy, sharing each tiny, delicious spoonful with your loved one. And remember, we have a knack for finding the best gelato in every town you visit during your week with Tuscan Women Cook.

Come for the cooking lessons. Leave with the chocolate. Savor wonderful memories. 
Happy, Heartfelt, Valentine's Day from your new best friends at Tuscan Women Cook.

Breaking News! This weekend we'll be on The Fork Report with Neal Saavedra on KFI 640 AM.
Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Diego residents, please tune in Saturday, February 18 at 2:15pm.
We'll be discussing our beautiful immersion cooking and travel experience in Tuscany. We'll bring dishes from our favorite Tuscan women cooks--handmade pici with Dania's pink sauce, Isa's eggplant Parmesan and cantucci cookies, Simonetta's mushroom crostini, and Ada's tiramisu. Also, Andreucci Regale wines!  

--Coleen Kirnan & Rhonda Vilardo
Tuscan Woman Cook Bacioni di Cioccolato
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
12 ounces semisweet chocolate
1/4 cup sifted flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 ounces (3/4 stick) sweet butter
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
Sea salt (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover 2 large cookie sheets with foil. Break 6 ounces of chocolate into chunks and set aside. Sift dry ingredients and set aside. Melt together butter and remaining chocolate. Beat eggs, sugar, and vanilla on high speed until formy. Add chocolate mixture and continue beating. Stir in dry ingredients. Stir in chocolate chunks. Drop 12 well-rounded tablespoons of batter per cookie sheet. Bake 12 to 13 minutes. Cool on racks. Makes about 2 dozen.
(optional) Sprinkle with sea salt immediately after removing from oven.

Serve with grappa, Vin Santo, or sparkling/bubbly and devour with loved ones.

Enjoy at Tuscan Women Cook in Montefollonico!

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