Maryse Chevriere

7 artisanal chocolate gifts actually worth giving

By Maryse Chevriere

Yeah, yeah, bringing your babe chocolates for Valentine’s Day is cheesy and cliche. But that doesn't mean it can't be thoughtful and original, too—and besides, no genuine chocoholic is going to be disappointed. But forget that chalky, flavorless milk chocolate nonsense and those tacky heart-shaped boxes; the handcrafted, small-batch confections from the country’s top chocolate artisans make for some genuinely sweet gifts (pun intended). Think gorgeously designed bonbons, creative, locally sourced flavor combinations, and the best-quality single-origin cacao in the world. Here’s our guide to making your predictable Valentine’s Day gift a little less expected.

Eclat Chocolate: 9-Piece Heart Collection ($27.50)
Want to get some sweet hearts for your sweetheart? Pennsylvania-based master chocolatier Christopher Curtin has got you covered with these gourmet colorful confections, flavored with unique combinations like ginger and passion fruit and smoked cinnamon and orange.
Shipping Info: Fees vary based on order and final delivery location. Ground shipping will arrive within 1 to 5 business days.

Mixology Collection from Artisan Confections

Artisan Confections: Mixology Collection ($12)
Locally sourced seasonal ingredients, the best French Valrhona chocolate, stop-you-in-your-tracks designs—this gourmet, small-batch Virginia chocolate shop ticks all the boxes. Their signature bonbons and creative bars are not to be missed (yes, please, caramel marshmallow bar), but if your bae is also happy to be a boozehound then they’ll love this mixology chocolate collection, which comes spiked with a variety of local spirits and liqueurs.
Shipping Info: Fees range from $12-$25 depending on destination.

Sucré: New Orleans Chocolate Collection ($37.50/15-piece set)
You kind of have to expect nothing short of perfection from a gourmet chocolate shop based out of a city known for decadence and indulgence. The best of their signature chocolate collections features bonbons that celebrate the unique flavors of the city: coffee and chicory, praline pecan, and bananas foster—just to name a few.
Shipping Info: Ships through UPS Monday through Thursday, with fees generally ranging from $14 to $40 depending on location and priority selection.

Dandelion Chocolate: Feve Sea Salt Caramels ($24/9-piece set)
This San Francisco-based bean-to-bar chocolate factory is known for their dedication to simplicity and quality—traveling to the source to get the best, most flavorful cacao beans, and only working with organic cane sugar. You can’t go wrong with one of their single-origin bars, but we’re especially partial to these decadent, sweet-salty, chocolate-dipped caramels.
Shipping Info: Orders usually arrive within 5 business days and ship via USPS.

Chocolaterie Tessa

Chocolaterie Tessa: Medium Single Origin Assortment ($35)
For Austin-based chocolatier Tessa Halstead, chocolate is more or less a family affair: Her father, Rex Morgan, is the pioneer behind Dallas’ oldest chocolate company, Morgen Chocolates. Like him, she’s dedicated to using the finest all-natural ingredients to craft her European-style chocolates, and has become famous for crafting some genuinely gorgeous—not to mention delicious—confections. Their single-origin assortments feature chocolate sourced from everywhere from Madagascar to Peru, and come with a detailed flavor tasting guide.
Shipping Info: Ships via UPS within 1 to 5 days.

EHChocolatier: Coconutty Bars ($11/3 bars)
The Somerville, Massachusetts small-batch chocolate wizards are crushing the game with their quality ingredient–filled candy bar favorites. You’ll find top-notch riffs on Reese’s cups, Snickers, and Heath bars in their lineup, but our favorite has to be the Almond Joy–inspired “Coconutty Bar.”
Shipping Info: Chocolates generally ship within 3 days from the order date, and shipping cost varies according to location and weight (anywhere from $10 to $25).

ChocoVivo: Chocolate Hazelnut Butter ($12/8-oz jar)
If you dig dark chocolate, this LA outfit is the place for you, because that’s quite literally the only kind they make. They go old-school, choosing to stone-grind all of their cocoa nibs and only use whole spices, fruit, and vegetables to flavor their exceptional chocolates. If you’re looking to go the nontraditional, beyond-the-basic-box-of-chocolates route, their Chocolate Hazelnut Butter, is like Nutella on steroids.
Shipping Info: Standard shipping is usually $15 but the fee is waived for orders over $75.

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