Whether you’re celebrating love, friendship, or just a really good excuse to eat chocolates until you crack, Valentine’s Day is here for you. Fortunately, so are these great Edmonton chocolatiers, candy stores, and cookie shops.
Tucked away on High Street in Old Glenora is Carol’s Quality Sweets—a destination for old-fashioned candy, handmade chocolates, and very little self-control. This locally owned store is celebrating 30 years in the sweets business, thanks in part to its extraordinary selection of more than 1000 different candies and chocolates from around the world, including a large selection of British imports. Their handmade chocolates (including truffles and hedgehogs) feature real cream, pure Belgium chocolate, natural flavours, real liquors, and no preservatives. But as good as their chocolate is, it’s their famous peanut brittle that many customers return for.
One glimpse of that copper-foil Bernard Callebaut box is all it takes for a chocolate-lover’s day to improve. The world-famous chocolates are handcrafted by master chocolatiers, devoted to creating decadent treats, such as hand-rolled truffles, salted peanut-butter chocolates, caramels, and a seemingly endless assortment of dark, white, and milk chocolates with fruit, nut, and ganache fillings. Cococo Chocolatiers is where you’ll find them all—including gelato! If your someone special likes to bake, you’ll definitely want to treat them to some Dutch processed cocoa powder or couverture baking bars, too.
COOKIES BY GEORGE
You always know when there’s a Cookies by George in the mall. That sugary smell of chocolate as it bakes and melts its way into perfectly tender cookies that are still warm when you bite into them. Their classics include Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk, Double Trouble Chocolate Chunk, Chewy Oatmeal Raisin, and a new gluten-free favourite— Macaroon Chocolate Chunk, made with rich Dutch cocoa, dark chocolate and, of course, irresistibly chewy coconut.
If the phrase “too pretty to eat” has never wrung true to you, you’ve likely never set eyes on a Jacek chocolate. Lucky for your taste buds, Jacek is as passionate about deliciousness as they are about artistry. Their signature flavour combos include Amaretto & Almond, Juniper & Rose, Limoncello Aperitif, Brandied Cherry, and Rosemary & Orange—an oozy orange-and-rosemary-infused caramel covered in a suit of dark chocolate. As for their Valentine’s Day Collection, expect heart-shaped boxes filled with salted caramels and a gorgeous selection of their signature Valentine h’arts.
As any chocolate snob will tell you, not all Valentine’s offerings are created equal. That’s why Sweet Lollapalooza chocolates are handmade fresh—every day—using impeccable ingredients, including some of the rarest chocolate in the world. The result? International award-winning chocolates that are as exceptional in quality as your excuses are to keep eating them. Flavours include Venezuelan Rum, Cherry Coconut Crunch, Hazelnut Haze, Chile Diablo, and the Robbie Burns Pave—McClelland’s single malt Islay Scotch paired with 85% dark chocolate from Ghana.
VIOLET CHOCOLATE COMPANY
The Violet Chocolate Company has been racking up national awards and winning the hearts of chocolate lovers everywhere since it premiered its chocolates at the Canadian Chocolate Awards in 2013—and won Gold! Their fall/winter collection is always highly anticipated, and this year’s lineup is no exception. Flavours include Orange Clove (64% dark chocolate), Pumpkin Chai (white chocolate), Maple Pecan Blueberry (72% dark chocolate), Smoked Sea Salt (49% dark milk chocolate), Raspberry Honey (65% dark chocolate), and a Valentine’s calendar that’s almost too beautiful to open. Available at many local cafés and giftshops, such as TIX on the Square, Barking Buffalo Café, and the Royal Alberta Museum.