Seasonal Sweets

Valerie Confections goes to the farmers' market

Valerie Confections has garnered a national following for artisanal toffee, hand-crafted chocolates and petits fours, but the sweets shop is getting back to its local roots with a new line of seasonal desserts that are inspired by–and only sold at–L.A. farmers' markets.

Valerie's buttery hand-pies, moist mini cakes and silky jams are made with locally sourced ingredients like peaches, citrus, strawberries, fresh herbs and eggs. The treats need little embellishment, but you can pick up extras around the market if needed: Smear the strawberry-rhubarb jam on a fresh baguette with butter, or grab a pint of blueberries to go with the single-serving chocolate truffle cake.

The slightly savory rosemary shortbread cookies call for a nice soft cheese; luckily, a couple stalls at the Hollywood farmers' market probably have some that work perfectly.

Most offerings change throughout the season–stone fruit is on its way in, so we might see plum jam or cherry pies soon–and others, like the candied citrus, extend it a bit. Although Valerie's sugary Oro Blanco grapefruit, kumquat, Meyer lemon and blood orange strips are so addictive, the tiny bag might not last a day.

Find Valerie at the Hollywood Farmers' Market on Sundays.