Shopping & Reviews

Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

Seven of the best chocolate gifts to give your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day.

Valerie Confections, based out of Los Angeles, creates separate chocolate gift sets that are tailored to women and men. The Pour Elle Gift Set includes an eight-piece box of champagne truffles and three chocolate hearts, flavored with rose petals, sea salt, and almond toffee. The Pour Homme Gift Set counters with a box of single malt scotch whiskey truffles and two chocolate bars. Each gift set costs $75 and is paired with a jam and an 11-piece boxed set of chocolate hearts. All of Valerie's artisanal candies are hand-molded and made with organic, locally sourced fruit.
Napa Valley's Woodhouse Chocolate offers four Valentine's Day candies: two cups and two "kisses" shaped like lips. The milk or dark chocolate kisses ($6 each) are both filled with peanut toffee, and the cups ($4 each) are flavored with either peanut butter or peppermint.
Vosges Haut Chocolat has created a number of "chocolate of the month clubs" based on the lunar calendar, which celebrate each moon cycle with a nine-piece chocolate box. For the astrology challenged, that means that if you opt for a yearlong membership in either the mixed chocolate or dark chocolate clubs ($522 each), you'll actually get 13--not 12--gift boxes, with two arriving in December for that month's lunar moon cycles. The mixed chocolate club includes boxes of caramel marshmallows and champagne-and-rose truffles; the dark chocolate club includes boxes of dark truffles and Italian-inspired flavors, like fennel and balsamic vinegar.
MarieBelle's hot chocolate gift set includes four tins of the company's most popular flavors: Aztec (made from 60% cacao, sourced from Colombia); spicy (made with cinnamon, nutmeg, and chipotle); milk chocolate and hazelnut; and white chocolate and vanilla. The set of four 6-ounce tins costs $48 and comes packaged in MarieBelle's original brown-and-blue gift box.
For those who prefer sweets from the oven, the brownies from the Chocolate Room in Brooklyn, New York, are well worth a try. Made with a blend of Belgian chocolate and Valrhona cocoa powder, these brownies achieve the fine line between cake- and fudge-like textures, making for a superlative dessert. Brownies cost $22 for a box of eight and $33 for a dozen.
San Francisco's Recchiuti Confections supports the work of local artists, going so far as to display their work right on chocolates themselves. Emblazoned on each chocolate in the Creativity Explored Box (III) is a design created by Bay Area artist Vincent Jackson. The chocolates are flavored with burnt caramel, and Recchiuti donates $2 from the purchase of each $16 box to Creativity Explored, a nonprofit visual arts center in San Francisco.
Brooklyn-based chocolate makers Mast Brothers source their cacao from small family farms and co-ops in Madagascar, Venezuela, and Ecuador, among other sites. An assortment of ten bars (each 2.5 ounces) includes a dark chocolate bar with fleur de sel and another with almonds and sea salt. Each bar of chocolate is hand-wrapped; the ten-piece collection costs $92.

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