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Save your money, skip the hype, and make it a D.I.Y. V-Day

February 11, 2009 | 12:30 pm

Tortona

Is there a holiday that causes more anxiety than Valentine's Day?

The pressure is on to come up with something decadent, romantic, luxurious...but all of that can be pretty expensive.

How about something different this (manufactured) holiday? Instead of overpriced flowers and cards, costly boxes of candy, or an hour-long wait for a pricy restaurant meal, how about a homemade card and a home-cooked meal, eaten by candlelight?

Make it extra special by topping it off with something sweet: Here's a photo gallery look at some recipes -- some chocolate, some not -- that should do the trick. Among them: The Tortona chocolate cookies at Massimo's Delectibles in Marina del Rey. A reader, Joan Harelick of Brentwood, wrote to Culinary S.O.S. to ask for the recipe:

"I’ve never tasted anything like them...I’m drooling just writing this letter to you!"

Massimo's was kind enough to share the recipe with Times Test Kitchen Manager Noelle Carter. More S.O.S. requests here, and more dessert recipes here.

--Rene Lynch

Photo credit: Spencer Weiner / Los Angeles Times

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