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Valentine's Day: Do chocolate high heels say, 'I love you'? (+video)

A Dallas chocoatier makes Christian Louboutin knockoff shoes out of chocolate. In Baton Rouges, try the peanut butter cayenne truffles

By Beth ColvinThe Advocate, Associated Press / February 12, 2013

Chocolatier Andrea Pedraza says men are the biggest customers of her chocolate designer shoes.

Florists and chocolate-makers are working around the clock in the run-up to Valentine's Day.

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In Dallas, chocolatier Andrea Pedraza, who loves designer high heels, molded her pedestrian passion into chocolate form. Her most well-known creations are chocolate pumps done in the style of Christian Louboutin shoes.

Prices for the pumps range from $30 to $55, but more if you fill the heel with more chocolates.

Pedraza says men buy the chocolate pumps the most, so she keeps extras on hand for last-minute shoppers.

In Baton Rouge, La., the day before Valentine's Day, Feb. 13, is by far Toni Hayes' busiest of the year.

Her shop, Chocollage, in Baton Rouge will go through hundreds of dollars in receipts on that day as Valentines snap up decadent gifts for their loved ones, including chocolate, candies and stuffed animals.

"You get one week and you're just slammed," Hayes said.

Her shop offers enormous variety for chocolate- and candy-lovers of all stripes, including high-end truffles in combinations like peanut butter cayenne and retro candies like Necco wafers and candy necklaces.

For Valentine's, she's also stocking special items like conversation hearts, a pink-red-white candy corn called cupid corn, cookies, assorted gummy candies and even pink and red tortilla chips "just for fun."

"We like to have fun," she said, showing off bags of chips and Cupid Crunch, a gourmet popcorn mix that also contains cherries.

But chocolate is the star of her Bocage candy shop. Hayes offers truffles and candies in white chocolate, milk chocolate and all percentages of dark chocolate, including sugar-free candies sweetened with sorbitol.

Some of her most popular confections are triple-dipped malted milk balls — she estimates she sells about 1,000 pounds of those in a year — sea salt caramels and turtles.

There are also chocolate dipped pretzels and dried fruit, and Hayes plans on turning out plenty of chocolate dipped strawberries should her supply hold out.

White chocolate, she said, doesn't really contain chocolate, but is instead a cocoa butter mixture. Then there's the milk chocolate, which most people are familiar with, and the varying levels of dark chocolate.

Dark chocolate, she said, is usually marked with the percentage of chocolate the product contains, with the higher percentages being more bitter and possibly even better for you.

"They say 72 percent is where it starts helping you," she said.

Chocollage can also make up gift baskets and bags to fit most budgets and situations, Hayes said, and some of her Valentines need all the help they can get.

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