Thursday, October 21, 2021

Go Sweeter With Valentine’s Day Chocolates

While a nice dinner out is a great way to celebrate your Valentine, it would be kind of grand to present a box of not-your-regular sweets, too. These aren’t available at the corner store, but they are all SoFla notables when it comes to the “ooh” factor. Be sure to ask for a sample after the box is opened!

  • Hoffman’s Chocolates, locations in Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Greenacres, Palm Beach Gardens, Fort Lauderdale, Plantation, Weston, BB&T Center;
    •  With eight store locations and a food truck, Hoffman’s is a sweet South Florida success story that started in 1975, when Paul Hoffman bought a small candy shop in Lake Worth. Now the main candy factory is in Greenacres (5190 Lake Worth Road), and the site is also known for its elaborate Christmas holiday attraction that’s free to the public. Chocolate classes for kids and adults. Candy includes chocolate-covered strawberries, chocolate pretzels, fudge, brittle, toffee, truffles/bars and more. Custom chocolates with 10 Florida university logos are available. A 3-pound assortment of dark chocolate is $89.95; nine gourmet truffles are $26.95. Chocolates are kosher.
  • Peterbrooke Confections, 298 S. County Road, Palm Beach; 561/557-8286; 
    • On Palm Beach for five years now, the chain was founded in Jacksonville and all but two of its 22 stores are in the state. Known for offering kids a summer chocolatier day camp that involves making all sorts of wonders, as well as the handy 6-ounce bag of dark or milk chocolate popcorn ($9.50) that satisfies the crunchy/sweet craving. Custom candies include hand-dipped Oreos, Nutter Butters, Peanut Butter Ritz, Graham crackers and more. A 16-piece assortment of hand-made chocolates is $26; 24 pieces are $37; 32 pieces are $48.
  • BON Chocolatier/Paris, 1001 Kane Concourse, Bay Harbor Islands;  (305) 397-8159; 
    • The flavors and luxe Belgian chocolate here are key, but the big attraction is the personalized boxes of truffles as colorful as they are welcome. Open since mid-2018, Parisian couple Yoann and Deborah Andreu created flavors such as organic basil lemon, crunch salted peanut butter, raspberry organic ginger, mango organic cayenne pepper, blackcurrant organic French lavender and more. Each color is a flavor, and presented in elegant long boxes; messages are spelled out on the tops of the truffles. All are vegan and kosher. Boxes are in 16 ($33.95), 30 ($59.95) and 52 pieces ($99.95).
  • Jan’s Homemade Candies, 4327 N. Ocean Dr., Lauderdale-By-The-Sea; 800/795-5267; 
    • Since 2001, Jan Lendi has made chocolates, truffles, fudge, also sugar-free chocolates. Florida chocolates include hand-painted chocolate seashells, alligators in milk, dark or white chocolate, palm trees, manatees, dolphins, sand dollars, saltwater taffy; hot and spicy chocolate bar and chocolate peppers; tropical truffles (Key lime, lemon, orange, pina colada, toasted coconut). There are many combinations. Boxes come in 12 ($18) or 24 assorted chocolates ($36), as well as individual pieces. The shop was listed in Paula Deen’s magazine as one of the Top 10 chocolate shops in the U.S. (2015).

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Lynn Kalber
Lynn Kalber was raised in Boca Raton and has always worked in Palm Beach and Broward counties. She is a career journalist, with 26 years at The Palm Beach Post alone, where she wrote feature and food articles, edited the food section and wrote about wine as part of the Swirl Girls.

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