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January 20, 2015

Chocolate Hearts

by Anne Paddock

I’d rather have chocolate on my table than diamonds on my neck.

Nothing says “Happy Valentine’s Day” quite like a box of chocolates especially when the confection is in the shape of a heart. Rich dark or creamy milk chocolate hearts neatly placed in a gift box or covered in shiny red foil are not only lovely to look at but a delight to unwrap and enjoy. For the adventurer, a ganache or praline filled chocolate heart may also be the perfect gift. Whatever the preference, choose among the many chocolate options by some of the best:

Lake Champlain Chocolate Hearts

Crafted in Vermont with Belgian chocolate, Lake Champlain Chocolates makes five types of chocolate hearts (milk, dark, dark mint chocolate, dark chocolate raspberry, and milk chocolate caramel) in assorted gift bags, jars, sleeves, canisters, and in bulk ranging from a 6.5-ounce gift bag for $13 to a 3-pound bulk collection for $80. Each heart is individually wrapped in red, pink, or gold foil. www.lakechamplainchocolates.comjar-chocolate-hearts

Chocolat Moderne Devotion Box

Expect undying devotion from anyone who receives this aptly named gift box of hand painted dark chocolate hearts filled with dark chocolate ganache in a variety of flavors. The collection comes in a 5-piece luxury assortment ($16), a 12-piece luxury gift box ($44) and a 24-piece gift box ($69). www.chocolatmoderne.combon-devotion-12-coral-20141103_v1

Domori Cuor di Criollo Misto Gift Box

These whimsical milk and dark (70%) chocolate hearts are made from one of the finest (and rarest) cocoa beans – the Criollo by the Italian chocolate maker, Domori. The name above roughly translates to “a mixed box of small hearts from Criollo by Domori.” Each 50 gram box (1.76 ounces) is $7.69 through www.chocosphere.com.Domori_Criollo-Chocolate-Hearts_126x180

Christopher Elbow Painted Hearts Collection

This stunning collection includes 18 painted hearts filled with an assortment of caramel (Raspberry, Fleur de Sel, Vanilla Bean, Orange Spice, Lavender, Red Wine) and ganache (Passion Fruit, Tequilla Lime, Hazelnut Praline, and PB&J) that are almost too show-stopping gorgeous to eat. Each beautifully wrapped gift box is $52. www.elbowchocolates.com

Kee’s Passion Fruit Bonbon

For those lucky enough to be in New York City, there is no better place to shop for bonbons than Kee’s Chocolates who makes the ultimate Valentine’s Day confection: a dark chocolate passion fruit ganache enrobed in dark chocolate in the shape of a heart. Made fresh daily, these bonbons are aptly named for the passion they incite in those lucky enough to get their hands on a box. Visit one of the 3 Kee’s Chocolate locations (80 Thompson Street, 452 Fifth Avenue, or 315 West 39th Street) or call (212-334-3284) ahead to place an order for pick-up. Orders cannot be placed on-line and Kee’s doesn’t ship. www.keeschocolates.comimages

Askinosie Love Bites

These decadent little bars (7 grams each) aren’t heart-shaped or covered in pretty foils but a list of special Valentine’s Day love-bites-barschocolate treats would be remiss without Love Bites: an attractive canister filled with 20 individually wrapped single origin (70% San Jose Del Tambo, Ecuador Dark Chocolate Bar, 70% Cortes, Honduras Dark Chocolate Bar, 72% Mababu, Tanzania Dark Chocolate Bar, and 77% Davao, Philippines Dark Chocolate Bar) chocolate bars for $17.50. A perfect gift for the person who appreciates dark chocolate and variety. www.askinosie.com

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