20 Must-Taste Treats for Chocolate Lovers

We curated a list of the best sugary creations from around the globe, including wine truffles, whoopie pies, petits fours and more!

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Lake Champlain Caramels

What it is: All the company’s candies and chocolates are made in Burlington, Vermont, with naturally flavored Belgian chocolate.

 

Why we love it: Salty and sweet, these caramels are made with locally sourced cream and are packaged in a custom gift box ($25 per box of 16).

Courtesy of Lake Champlain

See’s Dark Bourdeaux

What it is: This California-based confectionery uses only the finest raw ingredients.

 

Why we love it: Think creamy brown sugar covered in rich, dark chocolate, with chocolate rice on top. The richness is enough to kick any craving for cocoa ($20.40 per 1-lb. box).

Courtesy of See's

Martine’s Rum Truffles

What it is: These gourmet chocolates are handmade in Manhattan with international ingredients and no preservatives. Rated for their high quality by the Zagat guide.

 

Why we love it: If the presentation is any indication of the quality, we’re already obsessed! Martine’s signature pink gift box is filled with nine dark-chocolate ganache truffles that are flavored with Appleton Rum and finished with a red–white chocolate drizzle ($28 per box).

Courtesy of Martine's

Perugina Baci

What it is: Baci means “kiss” in Italian—a fitting name for a chocolatier based in the romantic city of Perugia, Italy.

 

Why we love it: Not only are these dark-chocolate-coated hazelnut pralines out of this world, but each is wrapped with a note inscribed with a quote or proverb on love or friendship ($5.99 per 9-piece heart box).

Courtesy of Perugina Baci

Gearharts Signature Assortment

What it is: Produced in a small artisanal shop in Charlottesville, Virginia, these chocolates are made from the finest Venezuelan cocoa. Teas, spices and liquors are added to increase the depth of flavor.

 

Why we love it: Flavors like apricot brandy, maple pecan and pistachio-orange toffee make this assortment unlike any other ($25 per 16-piece box).

Courtesy of Gearharts

The Trappistine Treasures

What it is: The sisters at Mount Saint Mary’s Abbey in Massachusetts (the oldest monastery in the U.S.) make these chocolates by hand.

 

Why we love it: This variety of sweet treats includes dark-chocolate butternut munch, dark-chocolate almond bark, chocolate-walnut fudge and maple-walnut penuche ($52 for the 4-lb., 12-oz. variety).

Courtesy of The Trappistines

Neuchatel Truffles

What it is: This confectionery uses 100% Swiss chocolate in its truffles and a variety of creamy mousses made from fresh butter and cream.

 

Why we love it: You can’t go wrong with premium Swiss chocolate! Choose from a variety of sizes, all presented in an elegant purple gift box ($21 per 16-piece box).

Courtesy of Neuchatel

Jacques Torres French Kiss Cookie Mix

What it is: Chef Jacques Torres was one of the first artisan chocolatiers in the U.S. to make his own chocolate from cocoa beans. His chocolate chip cookies are chock-full of oozing, luscious dark chocolate. 

 

Why we love it: This French Kiss mix brings Jacques right into your kitchen. After one bite, you’ll understand why it’s Torres’s most popular cookie ($13 per boxed mix).

Courtesy of Jacques Torres

Madame Chocolat Chocolate Coated Ginger

What it is: This Beverly Hills factory, owned by Jacques Torres’s wife, uses fine Belgian chocolate while incorporating French culinary techniques.

 

Why we love it: These ginger treats, dipped in dark chocolate with cashew crumbs, burst with flavor! ($10 per box.)

Courtesy of Madame Chocolat

Bajadera Nougat

What it is: These chocolates are made by the Kras company in Croatia, combining European confection with Oriental flavor.

 

Why we love it: Between two layers of chocolate is a hazelnut-almond nougat filling. Cooks have tried replicating this dessert with recipe variations, but they’re not the same as the real thing! ($10.99 per box.)

Courtesy of Bajadera

Leonidas Assortment

What it is: Made with Belgian chocolate, the assortment includes a sampling of buttercreams, ganaches with fresh cream and the most popular: pralines.

 

Why we love it: These chocolates are imported weekly from Brussels to maintain freshness and are also sold in New York ($36 per 1-lb. box of assorted chocolates).

Courtesy of Leonidas

Bissinger's Petits Fours

What it is: Bissinger’s sources its cocoa beans from West Africa and Nigeria to create the freshest gourmet confections.

 

Why we love it: Our editor says all her relatives living in the Midwest adore this St. Louis–based chocolatier! Try the generously sized hand-decorated chocolate petits fours layered with chocolate icing, or the vanilla cakes with raspberry jam ($32 for 20 pieces).

Courtesy of Bissinger's

L.A. Burdick Chocolate Penguins

What it is: L.A. Burdick imports only the best chocolate from Switzerland, France and Venezuela. Its chocolatiers follow traditional European techniques, adding flair in the final presentation.

 

Why we love it: These chocolates make the perfect present. Try Burdick’s dark-chocolate and lemon penguins filled with ganache: They have almonds for arms and are “dressed” in tuxedos of white and dark chocolate ($32 per box of 9).

Courtesy of L.A. Burdick

Choc-O-Lait

What it is: A simple creation for hot-cocoa lovers! Dip the wooden stick in a cup of hot milk, and the block of real Belgium chocolate dissolves.

 

Why we love it: This product combines innovation with the highest-quality chocolate. Available in milk, dark chocolate, hazelnut or Cointreau ($2.95 per stick).

Courtesy of Cocoakiss.com

Vosges Gourmet Exotic Truffles

What it is: Vosges sells artisanal chocolates handcrafted by its owner, who trained at Le Cordon Bleu culinary school in Paris.

 

Why we love it: We adore the variety of flavors! The best seller is a 16-piece box of an exotic blend of truffles infused with ingredients like Hungarian paprika, Mexican pecans and Indian curry powder ($40 per box of 16).

Courtesy of Vosges

Lacta Milk Chocolate

What it is: The label gives away the origin of this bar: It’s a classic Greek chocolate favorite.

 

Why we love it: One of our editors swears this is the best chocolate of all time! You may have to go on a hunt to track it down, but once you do, stock up on the variety of flavors ($2.99 per bar).

Courtesy of Lacta

Harry & David Valentine Whoopie Pies

What it is: This retailer has specialized in the highest-quality gourmet gifts for nearly a century.

 

Why we love it:  Harry & David’s Valentine whoopie pies are the perfect gift for cake lovers. The unique recipe is rooted in traditional, buttery flavors and comes packaged with half chocolate, half red velvet mini pies ($34.95 for a box of 8).

Courtesy of Harry & David

Euphoria Chocolate Wine Truffles

What is it: This Oregon-based chocolatier uses only the freshest local ingredients to create a variety of truffles, sauces and chocolate-covered delicacies.

 

Why we love it: The company combines two of our favorite things in their box of wine truffles, made with local Oregon Cabernet, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir ($21.95 for a box of 15).

Courtesy of Euphoria

Payard’s Indulgence Bag

What it is: François Payard is a third-generation French pastry chef known for his chocolates and gourmet cakes.

 

Why we love it: Trade your purse for this handbag full of butterless, flourless chocolate-walnut cookies. The presentation is unique to Payard, and the contents are unbelievably decadent ($19.50 for five cookies).

Courtesy of Payard's

La Maison du Chocolate Glazed Chestnuts

What it is: This Parisian chocolate company creates each product in the finest French tradition.

 

Why we love it: The glazed chestnuts make the perfect cold-weather treat. They melt in your mouth, leaving a delicious sweet taste in their place ($52 for a 10-piece box).

 

Click here for dessert, candy and drink recipes from famous chocolatiers and pastry chefs.

 

 

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Courtesy of La Maison du Chocolate
First Published January 26, 2012

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Comments

Sharon Payne02.22.2012

See’s Dark Bourdeaux...I had to pin this one

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