The Best Valentine’s Day Candy and Treats, Ranked from Blecch to Bae
Valentine’s Day is on the horizon, and we’re definitely feeling the love. But you know what would put us even more in the spirit? Dessert. Here, we’ve broken down our favorite Valentine’s Day candy, chocolate and confections and ranked them from “it’s not you, it’s me” to “I do” to help you bring on the romance.
20. Conversation Hearts
OK, major points for being iconic, nostalgic and romantic. But they taste like straight-up chalk (sorry, not sorry). Just in case you love them or want a box for posterity…
19. Giant Box of Chocolates
Listen, we’ve never met a box of chocolate truffles we didn’t inhale on sight. But we’ll be the first to say it’s not the most original idea…especially on the 14th. If you’re pulling out all the stops for your boo (roses, candles—you know the drill), go with this 37-piece number from Godiva, which is complete with every flavor from Almond Praline Raindrop to Raspberry Caramel Duet.
18. Heart Lollipops
We’re suckers for these (sorry). Chalk it up to fond memories of finding a ruby-red lolly in a sea of valentines in our classroom mailbox (and hoping it was from our crush). Now that we’re all grown up, we have our hearts set on these chocolate and butterscotch heart lollies from See’s Candies.
17. Starbursts Fave Reds
Nothing says “I love you” like saving your partner the work of digging out all the oranges and lemons. This variety pack only includes cherry, strawberry, watermelon and fruit punch Starbursts. And since the wrappers are all red and pink, they fit the V-Day color scheme just right. Might we suggest dumping them in a bowl, popping some corn and having yourself a DIY movie night?
16. Better-for-You Chocolate
Props to you if you’re not willing to break your 2021 meal plan for Cupid’s big day. But you should still treat yourself (or your newly-keto honey) to a lil’ TLC. Try Zazubean’s Valentine’s Day Variety Pack, which features six bars of organic, Fair Trade, kosher, gluten- and soy-free chocolate. Flavors range from chili and cinnamon to cherry hazelnut crunch. Many of the bars—named Vixen, Smooch, Flirt, Hottie, Nakid and Bling—are also vegan. If sugar is your main concern, opt for half-sweet Slinky chocolate bars.
15. Rice Krispies Treats Shape-a-Heart Kit
We’re in love with the idea of making dessert together on Valentine’s Day (ideally after a few glasses…). And these cute Rice Krispies Treats are the perfect festive, low-lift project. If you can’t find the Shape-a-Heart Kit at Walmart or Amazon, whip ’em up old-school style with this recipe for valentine cut-out treats.
14. Reese’s Heart
We have it on good authority that the world’s very first soulmates were chocolate and peanut butter. Indulge in more than a quarter pound of them both with the help of your significant other. Or just tackle it on your own—we don’t judge.
13. Skillet Cookie or Brownie
The cast-iron skillet’s superpower is its ability to give just about any dessert a gooey, decadent middle and golden, chewy edges. While we’re huge supporters of making skillet sweets from scratch, this Hershey’s baking kit, complete with brownie mix and a heart-shaped skillet, is pretty damn ingenious.
12. Giant Chocolate Bar
There’s something weirdly sophisticated (dare we say sexy) about sharing a special chocolate bar at a leisurely pace instead of plowing through a whole box of truffles. We already loved Tony Chocolonely for its ethical sourcing and mission to make the cocoa farming industry fair, but we fell extra hard for this massive milk chocolate rose raspberry bar, made with pieces of freeze-dried raspberries and rose fudge. (P.S.: You can get a pack of 15 on Amazon if one won’t cut it.) Also keep an eye out for Omnom’s Love Collection by the first and only bean-to-bar chocolate maker in Iceland. You’ll get to try sea salted toffee and lakkrís (aka licorice) and raspberry.
11. Anything Wine-Infused
Wine and dessert are a match made in heaven. While we typically prefer to drink our vino instead of eat it, there’s no better time for a collab than Valentine’s Day. If you’re all about the chocolate, these red wine chocolate truffles are an easy win. To present your boo with something more unexpected, try these rosé poached pears with ginger and vanilla on for size instead.
10. Chocolate-Covered Caramels
Not gonna lie…we can so get behind noshing on a stretchy piece of caramel chocolate with our S.O., Lady and the Tramp-style. Our fave right now? The Fruits Both Familiar and Curious collection from North South Confections, a recently launched chocolate brand from Justine Pringle of Nunu Chocolates. Each piece is filled with what's possibly the richest, creamiest caramel you've ever eaten, since it's infused with fresh fruit purée and white or milk chocolate before being enrobed in dark chocolate.
9. Cupid’s Mix M&M’s
It’s just a fact: Set a bowl of M&M’s out and they’ll disappear in a few minutes flat. This seasonal version features white, pink and red M&M’s stamped with lips, roses, and Cupid’s arrows. Toss them in a bowl of popcorn, include them in a DIY sundae bar or bake cookies with them.
7. Sour Patch Kids Valentine’s Gummy Hearts
What’s that? You can eat your weight in red Sour Patch Kids? Today’s your lucky day. These sweet-and-sour candies only come in Redberry and Pink Strawberry flavors, so you won’t have to dodge the green gummies like you do with the original pack. (FYI, Sour Patch also makes its own version of conversation hearts.)
6. Avant-Garde Chocolate
Some confections are so luxurious that they’re more a masterpiece than simple dessert. Exhibit A: The Vosges Haut Chocolat Sacred Love Tower, the ultimate V-Day splurge. The set includes both the Bastet Sacred Hi Vibe Chocolate Collection and the Eternal Love Truffle Collection. And TBH, the chocolates in both don’t even look like chocolate at first glance because they’re so colorful and gorgeous. Each piece is named for an Egyptian god and boasts flavors from all over the world (think saffron, crystallized violets, Macedonian red wine and black sesame paste).
5. CBD Chocolate
What better way to unwind on date night than with mellowing, high-quality CBD? Consuming it in the form of chocolate is merely gilding the lily. Choose a ten-square bag of dark chocolate, dark chocolate peppermint or milk chocolate toffee crumble. Each snackable square contains 25 milligrams of CBD.
4. Candy Subscription Box
The only thing better than your favorite candies on the 14th is getting surprised by new favorites month after month after that. For the S.O. with a serious sweet tooth, check out Candy Club, a monthly candy delivery service with options for sweet and sour lovers alike. Each box comes with six signature candies each, from Gummi Unicorns to Sour Pink Cadillacs.
3. Singles Chocolate
What’s love got to do with it? Normally, the thought of "singles chocolate" makes us cringe (uh, isn't chocolate for everyone, always?!), but these treats made us willing to overlook the concept and dig right in. If you're spending the day with a friend or roommate, try the Broken Heart Chocolate Pizza from Sugar Plum Chocolates. Not only is the 12-ounce chocolate heart topped with crushed pretzels, cookies, potato chips, candied chocolate gems and white chocolate, but it comes with a wooden mallet so you can work out your emotions and smash away. For indulging solo, opt for Maud Borup’s Dinner Date chocolate set, which boasts realistic steak, broccoli and a chocolate covered strawberry, all made of milk and white chocolate. (Oh, and it’s only $8 at Target.)
2. Chocolate Mousse
Easy to make, even easier to devour. Chocolate mousse is a rich, creamy end to any dinner for two, but our Nutella mousse takes the classic up a few notches. Its main ingredients are Nutella and cream cheese, along with other essentials like heavy cream and confectioner’s sugar, so it basically tastes like chocolate-hazelnut spread and cheesecake had a decadent, delicious baby. Finish it off with toasted hazelnuts, chocolate shavings, fresh fruit or whipped cream.
1. Chocolate-Covered Strawberries
You don’t need to reinvent the wheel to impress your partner. Chocolate-covered strawberries, albeit common on Valentine’s Day, are undeniably elegant, romantic and mind-blowingly easy to make yourself. If you'd rather relax than cook on V-Day (hey, we don't blame you), lean on this assortment of chocolate-covered strawberries and cake pops from Harry & David. The berries are massive, the cake pops are bear-shaped and the white-chocolate drizzle is pink. What more could you ask for?