Cossetta Alimentari

Peel your eyes away from pastry chef Emily Marks’ baked-good splendors and concentrate on the work of chocolatier Ver Yang as she makes beautiful things happen with chocolate, whether it’s sculptural truffles (milk chocolate filled with passionfruit and mango purées, dark chocolate surrounding a luscious ganache made from cream infused with arabica coffee beans) or simple chocolate tiles topped with toasted nuts and dried fruit. “They’re really fun to snack on,” said Vang. “It’s like trail mix, with chocolate.” ($17.50 per 1/2 lb.)

211 W. 7th St., St. Paul, 651-222-3476,


B.T. McElrath

Consumers may recognize Brian McElrath’s highly edible, made-in-Minneapolis brand for its widely distributed (and utterly irresistible) chocolate bars. But he and chocolatier Peter Maccaroni haven’t ignored the company’s first success: exquisitely crafted chocolate diversions, from butterflies with salted caramel centers to white chocolate/dark chocolate hearts filled with sweet-tart passion fruit mousse. (Prices vary.), widely available, including Surdyk’s Liquor & Cheese Shop, 303 E. Hennepin Av., Mpls., 612-379-9757,


Chocolat Céleste

Chocolatier Mary Leonard’s eye for pop-art embellishment adds whimsical touches of romance to her full-flavored bonbons (whiskey, peanut butter, chile-cinnamon), made using locally sourced butter and cream. (Six pieces $18, nine pieces $26, 12 pieces $36.)

652 Transfer Road, St. Paul, 651-644-3823, www. Also available at the Chocolat Celeste pop-up store (through March) at 867 Grand Av., St. Paul.


Patisserie 46

The masterful technical prowess that chef/owner John Kraus channels into his breads and pastries continues when he turns his attention to the refined chocolate bonbons that grace the counter of his justifiably popular south Minneapolis bakery. ($1.35 per bonbon, six for $10, 12 for $20.)

4552 Grand Av. S., Mpls., 612-354-3257,


Abdallah Candies

It doesn’t get more old-school than this fourth-generation-owned candymaker, satisfying cravings for 105 years. A festive favorite is a true simple pleasure: juicy maraschino cherries, their stems elegantly intact, dipped in milk or dark chocolate. “It’s one of our core chocolates,” said CEO Steve Hegedus, great-grandson of the company’s founder. “It has to be one of our original candies — we produce about 200 now — and we’ve probably been making them for 70 or 80 years.” (About $24.50 per lb.)

3501 W. County Road 42, Burnsville, 952-890-4770,

Painted Turtle Chocolatier

Cherries and chocolate, that timeless combination. This time, it’s in the form of tart, Italian-imported Amarena cherries, enrobed in a cherry ganache and covered in dark chocolate. The hand-painted cherry decorations are an extra-festive bonus. ($18.95 per dozen.)

10100 6th Av. N., Plymouth, 763-550-9475, www.painted


Macy’s Candy Kitchen

Hard to believe, but the Dayton’s name disappeared 14 years ago. Its eventual replacement, Macy’s, continues a fine Daytonian tradition: the store’s 12th-floor candy kitchen, which turns out all manner of simple, appealing sweets, including crunchy toffee coated in milk or dark chocolate and finished with walnuts. ($25 per lb.)

700 Nicollet Mall, Mpls., 612-375-2200,


Stanley’s Sugarbush

For Valentine’s Day celebrants who are not into chocolate, why not tap a romantic taste of the maple forests of Douglas County, Minn.? ($3.95), available at the Golden Fig, 790 Grand Av., St. Paul, 651-602-0144,


Legacy Chocolates

Three cheers for the return of this deeply aromatic enterprise, now located on the skyway level of the historic Pioneer Building. Drop in for the dreamy drinking chocolate and the first-rate baked goods (heart-shaped brownies for Valentine’s Day!), leave with an assortment of truffles, their intense chocolate aura enhanced by uncomplicated flavors, from mint to raspberry to caramel- pecan. ($2.25 per truffle, six for $13.50, 12 for $25.75.)

141 E. 4th St., St. Paul, 651-340-5252, www.legacy


Sweet Goddess Chocolates

Owner Kathy Kahout takes barks to wonderfully unexpected places: milk and dark chocolate with strawberries and dried rose petals, dark chocolate peppered with almonds and dried sour cherries, lavender-infused dark chocolate topped with lemon-flavored white chocolate or dark chocolate teased with chipotle peppers, lime, crunchy sunflower seeds and pepitas. “What’s great about her barks is that you can taste all of the flavors,” said Brenda Steger of Local D’Lish. “They don’t mesh together, they’re all very distinct.” ($9.50 to $11 per 1/2 lb.), available at Local D’Lish, 208 N. 1st St., Mpls., 612-886-3047,


Mademoiselle Miel

Beekeeper Susan Brown funnels local honey — meticulously collected in her chain of inner-city rooftop hives — into exquisite bonbons, sometimes sneaking in ginger, orange peel, smoked Scotch or other appealing flavors that marry well with dark chocolate. (About $2.50 per bonbon.)

Available at the Golden Fig, 790 Grand Av., St. Paul, 651-602-0144, and on Fridays (3 to 9 p.m.) at Mademoiselle Miel, 342 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul, 651-226-4703,


St. Croix Chocolate Co.

Nothing says “I love you” quite like a delicate heart-shaped, hand-painted edible box made of chocolate. But chocolatier Robyn Dochterman doesn’t stop there, producing museum-quality hand-crafted truffles and bonbons. Dochterman’s devotion to the freshest ingredients means she’s picking berries at nearby farms and befriending local maple and honey purveyors, and the effort shines through, in every nibble. (Edible chocolate boxes about $7 to $10; truffles $2.20 per piece.)

261 Parker St., Marine on St. Croix, 651-433-1400,



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