celebrating the best chocolate treats

Most of you know I don’t eat commercial chocolate candy as it is laced with far too much white sugar and unhealthy additives. But there are many innovative chocolatiers and chocolate makers who are making delectable handcrafted chocolate treats to enjoy throughout the year. Here are five of my favourites.

chocolatour’s 5 favorite chocolate treats


The dark chocolate sea salt caramels made by Gail Ambrosius Chocolates of Madison, Wisconsin, are at the top of my favourite chocolate treats for this year.

  1. dark chocolate enrobed sea salt caramels from Gail Ambrosius Chocolatier of Madison, Wisconsin. One of my very favourite chocolate treats are dark chocolate enrobed sea salt caramels, and Gail Ambrosius of Madison, Wisconsin in the USA makes some of the best I’ve ever had. They are one inch thick, don’t stick to your teeth, and the pure dark chocolate chocolate tastes divine and is deliciously rich without being too sweet. With the primary ingredients being cocoa mass, butter, and cream, you know you’re in the right place. I’ve yet to meet Gail, but her truffles are as good as her sea salt caramels, so I’m sure a trip to Wisconsin is in my cards.


2. dark chocolate turtles. They’re made by many of the top chocolate makers and chocolatiers, and each are slightly different but contain the same primary ingredients: quality dark chocolate, caramel, and pecans. When these are made well, they are addictive. I’ve been captivated by the dark chocolate turtle chocolates (pictured above) made by Decadence Chocolates in my hometown of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. They’re called Lonely Turtles and are among the best I’ve had. And for the record, Decadence Chocolates also make fabulous handcrafted caramels in a variety of flavours.


This Marcona Almond and Pine Nut Bar by Norman Love Confections of Florida is a deliciously fun bar that pairs very well with wine.

3. infusion chocolate bars with pure, recognizable additions. I’ve loved Norman Love Confections of Florida, USA, since I first discovered them back in 2011 and really enjoy their Black Collection of single origin dark chocolate truffles. But Norman Love Confections also makes some dynamite chocolate bars. My favourite is the milk chocolate Marcona Almond and Pine Nut bar. How fun! And it pairs very nicely with a mid-bodied red wine like Pinot Noir. That’s my kind of Hallowe’en treat!


You’ll find chocolate covered, candy covered, and caramel apples at Carol Widman Candies in Fargo at Hallowe’en time.

4. caramel apples. I know it’s not politically correct to offer caramel apples to trick or treaters due to safety reasons. But for adults looking for a fun chocolate or caramel covered apple to enjoy on Hallowe’en or any time during the fall season, you can’t go wrong with the offerings of Carol Widman Candies in Fargo, North Dakota, USA. Carol is so much fun and always has terrific seasonal treats. But I can’t resist her caramel apples.


The cocoa-dusted Macadamia nuts from Big Island Candies in Hawaii are one of my favourite chocolate treats.

5. cocoa covered macadamia nuts. I love macadamia nuts and I love pure cocoa and nothing is more addictive than these giant macadamia nuts from the Big Island of Hawaii coated in toffee and dusted in pure Hawaiian cocoa powder. Big Island Candies has a terrific assortment of chocolate treats including a macadamia nut turtle that is truly amazing.

Do you have a favourite chocolate treat that you’d like to tell us about, but are rarely willing to share? ๐Ÿ™‚





Doreen Pendgracs

Known throughout the Web as the "Wizard of Words", I've been a freelance writer since 1993. I researched and wrote Volume I of Chocolatour that won a Readers' favourite Award in 2014. Always enjoy experiencing new destinations and flavours.

68 Responses

  1. Hi Doreen, oh my goodness these all sound incredible! What a fabulous gift basket for the chocolate lover these would make. The turtles look awesome.
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  2. These all look like incredible treats that I would love to hide from my kids ๐Ÿ™‚ You’re always tempting me with delicious ideas
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  3. Vyjay says:

    Reading your posts always sends me into an ecstasy. The chocolates that you write about are so seductively tempting, that there is no way that it can have any other effect. The sea salted caramel chocolates and the turtle ones are some that I would love to get my hands on.
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    • Thanks for your very kind words, Vyjay. I love the fact that my chocolate descriptions send you into ecstasy. ๐Ÿ™‚ Have you ever heard of a chocogasm? I talk about them in my book. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Just the calorie free afternoon pick me up that I needed. Will keep my eyes out for Norman Love Chocolate Confections the next time I’m in Florida. Marconi Almond and Pine Nut bar paired with a glass of wine sounds like perfection!
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  5. Doreen — I didn’t know that you don’t eat commercial chocolate. Should have known — your taste is too refined! I could dig into any of those treats you pictured. I looked up Norman Love Confections and learned they’re in Ft. Myers, FL, which is a little over an hour from my home. I go to the big flea market there a couple of times a year and I’m due for a visit so I’m putting this chocolate shop on my list to visit!
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    • Right on, Jeannette. Norman Love has a shop in Fort Meyers as well as one in Naples, FLA. You can’t go wrong with anything there, but I do highly recommend the Black Collection as it really does give you a taste of the jungle. Enjoy, and let me know what you think after you’ve tasted them.

  6. My favorite chocolate treat is a good quality chocolate that mixes mint with dark chocolate. It’s rare that you find just the right proportion of chocolate to mint.
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  7. Sue Reddel says:

    Everyone of your recommendations looks delicious! But that first one dark chocolate sea salt caramels I’m going toneed to try!

  8. Salivating. That’s all I have to say about that! Thanks for the recommendations.

  9. Alessandra says:

    Hmm the dark chocolate turtles just made my mouth water! One day when I go to Winnipeg I will definitely look for them ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Ami says:

    The macademia nuts one is my favorite. And I think I would like some dark chocolate with sea salt too. Gosh! You have me craving for one now.
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  11. Why just Halloween? I’d like to have a piece of the Lonely Turtles of Decadence Chocolates of Winnipeg every day!
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  12. Sushmita says:

    Wow, amazing list! My mouth is salivating they all look so good its must be difficult to pick one favourite, isn’t it?
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  13. Salted caramel is one of my favourite things on the planet, so those chocolate enrobed sea salt caramels would go down well with me!

  14. They all look so good. Makes me feel bad I am pre-dietetic, I have missed treats like these, especially anything with chocolate in them. I know dark chocolate can be good for you, but they also add many other things with it, that goes against my diets.
    Thanks for sharing with us.
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    • Hi William. You can get just as much pleasure from eating pure dark chocalate or cocoa nibs, both of which would fit your dietary requirements. Have you tried cocoa nibs? I have them on yogurt almost every morning and they are delicious. I get them at my local health food store. You might want to check them out! The ones from Peru are amazing.
      Doreen Pendgracs recently posted…celebrating the best chocolate treatsMy Profile

  15. Kristina says:

    Wow, I would like to try it all. Now trying not to consume chocolate at all ane it is so hard even to look at these tasty pictures ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Maria says:

    I don’t have much of sweet tooth but I like chocolates that are well made, that are not sugary and stick to the mouth… and dark chocolates are very nice with butter and cream, maybe cherries(: yummy … I love the discription of all chocolates and really attracted by the dark chocolate turtles… nice
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  17. We have a split opinion here. Vanessa thinks the dark chocolate turtles are the best. Steve thinks the cocoa covered macadamias are the best. Of course, you make them all sound amazing.

  18. Mar Pages says:

    Such a joy to see all the creative ways these chocolate come in, needless to say, I love chocoalte! ๐Ÿ˜€
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  19. You know I’ll be checking out Big Island Candies next month. Can’t wait to…dive…in. And I love turtles, so that chocolate would be right up my taste buds. Oh yeah!

  20. I consider myself to be blessed by (normally) not being tempted by sweets, but I’d definitely have a go at those dark chocolate turtles!
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  21. Dark chocolate macadamia nuts are my favorite of those you mention. I brought them back from Kauai but of course they are long gone! I wish they were easy to find here in Indiana!

  22. I gained a pound just reading this! Fun post!!

  23. Chris says:

    What a great assortment of treats!

    I’m really curious to discover your favourite chocolate treat of all time.

    Did you know the Macadamia nut is actually indigenous to Australia?

    I think it was made famous globally once it was grown commercially in Hawaii in the last century or so ๐Ÿ˜‰
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    • Hi Chris. No, I didn’t know that the Mac nut is originally from Australia. Just one more visit I shall have to visit soon!

      Regarding my fav choice treat of all time. That truly is impossible. It’s just like asking me my fav wine. There are SO many! It depends on my mood, what else I’ve consumed that day, the time of day I am tasting, and time of the month (for us ladies), what I am having it with (by way of a bevvie), etc. But stay tuned! I promise to get trying to find it. ๐Ÿ™‚
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  24. Sabrina Quairoli says:

    I love chocolate turtles. I will have to try this brand. Thanks for sharing all these great chocolate treats. =)

  25. What a perfect day (Halloween) to celebrate chocolate. However… every day is the perfect day! I think a chocolate covered caramel with a pinch of flaky salt on top is my favorite… or an oozing, fudgey hot molten cake with fresh whipped cream!
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  26. Oooh, I haven’t tried any of these. My friend is a small batch chocolatier but she ends up handing out the grocery store variety on Halloween as so many parents are suspicious of homemade treats.
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  27. Phoenicia says:

    Chocolate with salted caramel These chocolates look divine.

    I like toffee centres and salted caramel/honeycomb/chilli with plain chocolate. There really are not many flavours I would say no to!

    I enjoy picking from a selection box without looking at the pictures!
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    • You are an adventurous chocolate lover, Phoenicia. I actually like knowing what flavour I am eating, as it helps me identify the flavour notes that the chocolate maker has chosen for us. Such a wonderful experience to enjoy quality chocolate.

  28. Erica says:

    Where I live, there are candy shops that have these huge, fancy candy apples. I’ve always wanted to try them as they look so good. However, a few years after I found out they existed, I also found out I need to be gluten-free. And now I’m never sure of the ingredients so it is too much of a risk. However, I always look at them longingly.

    • Hi Erica: The nice thing about buying chocolate at a small artisan shop is that usually the person behind the counter is either the owner or someone who is very familiar with the ingredients used in the chocolate creations. They know how serious it is to be sure to tell the public precisely what ingredients are in each treat, as they can be traced directly to the shop should there be a problem.

  29. Janice says:

    I love chocolate covered macs, but I’ve really only had the mass-produced kinds (Mauna Loa, Hawaiian Host), which are OK. Seems like I’ve been missing out with the ones from Big Island Candies. I think your previous post mentioned they were in Hilo. We didn’t go there on our last trip. Now I wish I had!

  30. Beverly says:

    As usual your descriptions of various delicious chocolate confections is making me hungry. I can’t wait to try them all.

  31. Linda Paul says:

    Halloween delights for adults! I love it. I didn’t know that Canada also celebrates this wacky holiday…and with trick or treating, no less.
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    • Hi Linda: I think the Hallowe’en celebrations in the US were an off-shoot of the Day of the Dead celebrations in Mexico. And then we welcomed the custom into Canada as well, as who doesn’t love a reason to celebrate treats, chocolate, and candy? I hope you enjoyed something decadent yesterday. ๐Ÿ™‚
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  32. Your photos are fabulous, not to mention your commentary, Doreen. Only trouble is they make me go a little too crazy for chocolate!
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  33. Esther says:

    Oh yummy! These all look so decadent! As a result of your awesome adventures, you Doreen, have made me conscious of chocolate and I usually have some on hand now, of the organic variety! I even made some home-made peanut butter cups with all-organic ingredients. They were positively delicious and my hubby thought so, too. He eagerly helped me eat them all! ๐Ÿ™‚
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  34. Jeri says:

    The cocoa covered macadamia nuts are ones I would definitely try, though all five treats you mention sound lovely.
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  35. noel says:

    OMG those all look so delicious, but I will always go for dark chocolate and caramel…now how can I sample these yummies?

  36. Billie says:

    I’ve long thought chocolate should be a food group and I’m always happy to discover new sources for this ambrosial food. Thanks for sharing your favorites.

  37. Wow, it’s easy to see who’s house we should be trick or treating at. Happy Halloween.
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  38. Great collection – my mouth is watering. I haven’t visited Decadence Chocolates yet. This post was a good reminder to check it out soon.
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  39. Michele Peterson says:

    I could go for any of these delicious looking chocolate treats but if I had to choose just one, it would be macadamia nuts! Yum!

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