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The holidays are the ultimate time for indulgence. And for most of us that means chocolate. Lots and lots of chocolate. While most of us gobble down the candy within minutes or opening a freshly gifted box, we rarely realize the time and effort that goes into crafting such deliciousness. In order to up our chocolate appreciation, we decided to get some insight into the candy-making process by going straight to the experts.

Because Willy Wonka wasn’t around (and let’s face it, it would probably be terrifying if he actually existed), we stopped by the next closest thing: Li-Lac Chocolates, the oldest chocolatiers in New York City. Since 1923, Li-Lac has been making intricate gourmet chocolate with astute attention to detail. For nearly 100 years, they’ve maintained original recipes and adhered to small-batch production methods. The use of custom molds and hand-dipping techniques also make for a old-fashioned approach in increasingly cold and modern world. It’s way more fresh (not to mention, heartwarming) than a stale Whitman’s sampler that’s been gathering dust on the shelves at CVS for the past two months. No disrespect to drug store candy, but sometimes you got to go fancy!

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We spoke with Master Chocolatier and Co-Owner of Li-Lac Anwar Khoder as he showed us around the factory during their busiest time of year, catching a behind-the-scenes glimpse of his staff making some of their most popular holiday specialties. Chocolate turkeys (complete with candy corn accents!), yuletide box sets, and even a chocolate-molded Christmas cabin all get their time to shine.

It’s also fun to watch the copper vats (some actually date back to the 1920s) and conveyer belts, mix and pour the chocolate into the confections they’re about to become. There’s something so hypnotizing about those chocolatey swirls! So if you’ve ever dreamed of receiving a golden ticket, the video above is definitely for you.

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Jessica is a former Associate Editor at Chowhound. Follow her on Twitter @volume_knob for updates on snacks and cats.
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