Here are some of our favorite chocolates—the ones we buy for our own sweethearts on Valentine's Day. Thanks to the rise of small-batch makers, there's a whole host of handcrafted sweets out there for every craving and whim.
Photography: Francisco Chavira1 of 18
It's a truth universally acknowledged that nothing says "I love you" quite like a box of chocolates. That's why it's the ideal Valentine's Day gift for your sweetheart or even yourself (self-care, anyone?). A box of truffles or bonbons also makes an excellent dessert if you're cooking a romantic dinner at home. Instead of worrying about your soufflé falling or fussing with tempered chocolate, serve the chocolates as your grand finale. And while there's a time and place for the drugstore variety, why not take your token of affection to the next level by picking out something more unique? Thanks to the rise of small-batch makers across the country, there's a whole host of handcrafted chocolates—some surprising, some more traditional—out there for every craving and whim. We're talking dark, milk, and white chocolate in all kinds of fun shapes (hearts yes, but also roses, penguins, butterflies, and more!), not to mention melt-in-your-mouth truffles in every flavor imaginable.
Here, we're sharing some of our favorite boxes of chocolate—the ones we buy for our own loved ones (and, okay, for ourselves!). They all taste amazing, but we also adore the pretty packaging (you can't go wrong with a lovely ribbon, a colorful package, or a classic heart-shaped box). Of course, if you want to give your chocolate box another layer of je ne sais quoi, we've got you covered with DIY Valentine's Day wrapping paper. Or if you want to double down on the decadence, be sure to check out our best Valentine's Day chocolate desserts.
Photography: Francisco Chavira2 of 18
The jewel-like bonbons from this Northern Californian chocolatier showcase seasonal ingredients from neighboring farms, including Eureka lemons and raspberries paired with rose geranium.
Ginger Elizabeth Valentine's Day 24-Piece Box of Chocolates, $42, gingerelizabeth.com
Photography: Courtesy of La Maison du Chocolat3 of 18
La Maison du Chocolat
It doesn't get more sophisticated than these Parisian truffles. Classic dark chocolate is bookended by cassis on the left and caramel toffee on the right in an elegant magenta box.
La Maison du Chocolat Flavored Truffles 30 Pieces, $64, lamaisonduchocolat.us
Photography: Courtesy of Bon Bon Bon4 of 18
Bon Bon Bon
Your special someone will go gaga for these whimsical, colorful chocolates from Bon Bon Bon, a women-run chocolate shop in Michigan. There's a lot going on in this box, in a good way! Our favorite? The ombré Sugar Mama, which teams dark chocolate with cardamom dark chocolate ganache and Cocchi Americano orange confit underneath the bright sugar crystals.
Bon Bon Bon The Valentine's Day Collection 14 Pieces, $42, bonbonbon.com
Photography: Courtesy of Black Dinah5 of 18
A selection of this Maine chocolatier's most popular bittersweet, milk, and white chocolate truffles are interspersed with sea salt caramels made with local butter and cream in this heart-shaped box.
Black Dinah Great Big Heart for Valentine's Day 32 Pieces, $74, blackdinah.com
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Photography: Courtesy of My Sweet Brigadeiros6 of 18
A classic Brazilian confection, brigadeiros are typically made with condensed milk, cocoa, and butter. Brooklyn-based My Sweet not only makes the traditional version, but also coconut, pistachio, cinnamon-pecan, and more.
My Sweet Medium Gift Box 15 Pieces, $36, mysweet.com
Photography: Courtesy of L.A. Burdick7 of 18
Penguins mate for life, which makes gifting these cute chocolates even more romantic. The lemon ganache-filled birds sport almond wings and dark- and white-chocolate tuxedoes. Each one is made by hand without molds and takes more than three days to complete.
L.A. Burdick Chocolate Penguins 9 Pieces, $34, laburdicks.com
Photography: Courtesy of Valerie Confections8 of 18
A rose petal-passion fruit filling complements the white chocolate shell in these beautiful "roses" from Los Angeles-based chocolatier Valerie Gordon. Paired with bittersweet chocolate hearts, they're the ideal Valentine's Day bouquet!
Valerie Pour Elle Assortment 11 Pieces, $35, valerieconfections.com
Photography: Courtesy of Art Eatables9 of 18
If your sweetheart is a bourbon lover and a chocoholic, look no further than these bourbon truffles. Each chocolate is filled with a different bourbon and topped with an edible token that identifies the brand waiting inside (including test-kitchen favorite Michter's!).
Art Eatables Bourbon Country Collection 12 Pieces, $30, arteatables.com
Photography: Courtesy of John & Kira's10 of 18
John & Kira's
An enchanted garden grows in Philadelphia, where these whimsical treats are crafted. Each member of the woodland trio is filled with a different ganache: fresh mint for the butterfly, white tea-milk chocolate for the wildflower, and salted caramel for the mushroom.
John & Kira's Enchanted Forest Trio 9 Pieces, $30, johnandkiras.com
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Photography: Courtesy of Jade Chocolates11 of 18
Intriguing (and habit-forming) flavors await inside these brightly-hued heart truffles from San Francisco-based Jade Chocolates, including lilikoi caramel and cherry lemonade.
Jade Chocolates Valentine's Heart Truffles 8 Pieces, $21.50, jadechocolates.com
Photography: Courtesy of Louis Sherry12 of 18
The keepsake tin holding the truffles from this old-school New York chocolatier comes in all kinds of colors and designs, not just this striking Vreeland red.
Louis Sherry 12-Piece Tin, $35, louis-sherry.com
Photography: Courtesy of Bon Chocolatier13 of 18
Spell out your sweet nothings on these truffles from Paris-trained, Miami-based Bon Chocolatier. Each hue is a different flavor, from the pale-green pistachio-praline to the millennial-pink strawberry-thyme, and the chocolates can be personalized with whatever message you please.
Bon Chocolatier Premium Truffles Selection 16 Pieces, $34, bonchocolatier.com
Photography: Courtesy of Neuhaus14 of 18
Heart-shaped chocolates are worth a thousand words, at least in this Valentine's Day love letter. The Belgian praline comes in three flavors here: white chocolate, raspberry, and green tea; dark and white chocolate, panela, and espelette pepper; and milk chocolate, vanilla, sea salt caramel.
Neuhaus Valentine Love Letter Gift Box 15 Pieces, $35, neuhauschocolate.com
Photography: Courtesy of Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate15 of 18
Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate
Just the thing for the milk-chocolate connoisseur in your life! Celebrated New York chefs Gabriel Kreuther and Marc Aumont go exotic with the fillings, which range from honey-saffron to mango-aleppo-passion fruit.
Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate Sublime Collection (Milk Chocolate) 24 Pieces, $70, kreutherchocolate.com
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Photography: Courtesy of Xocolatti16 of 18
Present your sweetie with a rainbow of truffles this Valentine's Day. The filling of each chocolate is as enticing as its shell: olive oil-basil, pineapple-habanero, sake, and so much more.
Xocolatti Uncommon Collection (Exotic) 9 Pieces, $29, xocolatti.com
Photography: Courtesy of Recchiuti Confections17 of 18
Like you and your sweetheart, chocolate and red wine are a match made in heaven. Try these truffles filled with flavors like star anise-pink peppercorn and jasmine tea with your favorite merlot, shiraz, or cabernet, then compare notes.
Recchiuti Red Wine Pairing Collection 9 Pieces, $28, recchiuti.com
Photography: Courtesy of Fran's Chocolates18 of 18
Enclosed in this hot-pink heart-shaped box is a mouthwatering assortment of the Seattle maker's signature dark and milk chocolate truffles and salted caramels.
Fran's Truffle & Caramel Heart Box 23 Pieces, $64, frans.com