You can’t go wrong with a heart-shaped box of truffles, and nearly all the great chocolate-makers are now offering their Valentine’s Day specials. But if you’re looking to give the gift of chocolate in a less clichéd—yet still delicious—form, check out some of our current favorites.
Three types of filled chocolates: Bergamot Tea, Cardamom Nougat, and Burnt Caramel Truffle, with pairing notes on specific types of beer to eat them with. Slip the little box in your pocket and enjoy the chocolates at the bar!
Recchiuti Beer Pairing Box (nine pieces), $25
Toronto confectioner Dufflet makes a haystack-esque mélange of layered Belgian chocolate and almonds that causes serious freak-outs of joy.
Dufflet Bittersweet Chocolate Crackle Toasted Almond, $21.98 for two 5.3-ounce boxes
Dairy-Free & Proud
Poco Dolce, maker of famous “tile” candies—a favorite hostess gift—has branched out into vegan bars. Sea salt and olive oil, peanut butter, and five-spice are a few of the delicious flavors.
Poco Dolce’s Bittersweet Bar Variety, $36 for six bars
Hipsters in Love
The fashion-forward folks at TCHO make a groovy-looking box of sampler chocolates with artwork by Dutch designer Max Kisman.
TCHO Valentine Artist Series 12-Bar Sampler, $15
Beyond the Cherry
Chocolate-covered boozy cherries are so good, but there’s something sort of ’80s about them. The French confectioner Mademoiselle de Margaux preserves fresh grapes in rum and then covers them in dark chocolate, for a delicious update on the concept.
Mademoiselle de Margaux Le Raisin, $26 for 16 pieces
Design Nerds’ Sugar High
Eat it? Or display it on the mantel? In collaboration with LA design firm Commune, Valerie Confections created this beautiful box of bittersweet chocolate squares based on images from classic Byzantine tiles.
Valerie Confections Commune Chocolates, $49 for 49 pieces
Urban Farming in Chocolate Form
From confectioner John & Kira’s, maker of last year’s featured Drunken Chocolate Figs, comes a new bar series featuring botanicals picked from urban farms around Philly and DC. Five percent of the sale price goes back to the gardens to support educational programs they offer inner-city youth.
John & Kira’s Urban Garden Bars Mighty Urban Garden Mint, $8 for a 3-ounce bar
A Long Way from Reese’s
Award-winning Columbia, Missouri, chocolatier Patric makes the top-selling, limited-edition PBJ OMG: an ultracreamy bar where the peanut butter is blended in and the fruity notes of the dark chocolate stand in for jelly.
Patric PBJ OMG Bar, $6.99 for a 2.3-ounce bar
Why Eat Chocolate When You Can Eat Brownies?
The insanely good Brooklyn bakery Baked sells a six-pack of its “slightly fudgey” dark chocolate brownies, in flavors of Deep Dark, Sweet & Salty, and Spicy, with a blondie thrown in for good measure. Comes with a melamine tray that’s actually cool-looking.
Baked Brownie Sets, $30.50 for six brownies and an 8-inch platter
Lighter on chocolate and heavier on munchability, this sampler from Liddabit Sweets contains two dozen Beer & Pretzel Caramels, four Slurtles (two caramel + pretzel + chocolate, and two caramel + potato chip + chocolate), and 7 ounces of Breakfast of Heroes caramel corn featuring bourbon, coffee, and candied bacon. Very, very dangerous.
Liddabit Sweets El Duderino Gift Pack, $45