Once touted by celebrity chef Bobby Flay as one of the best candy bars he’s tasted, Fran’s signature Gold Bars are worthy of their name. Not your average candy bar, these indulgent commodities are filled with rich coconut or caramel, with crunchy almonds or macadamia nuts. The densely layered candy bar is covered in chocolate, wrapped in gold foil, and the perfect gift for someone special — even if that special person is you.
Where: Locations in Bellevue and Seattle.
Details: $4 per bar and gift boxes are available.
Absinthe and Whiskey Caramels
With ingredients like absinthe and whiskey paired with exotic salts infused in the toasted sweetness of artisan caramels, this treat feels deliciously sophisticated. Small-batch, hand-wrapped caramels are made with all-natural ingredients like organic brown rice syrup and organic cane sugar, plus local butter and cream. This Ballard-based confectioner keeps its caramel wonderfully simple. It also makes a Fleur de Sel and Key Lime with Sea Salt caramel, if you want to ease your way into these adventurous treats.
Where: Available in various specialty shops, Whole Foods Markets and PCC Natural Markets.
Details: $9 per box, or purchase by the pound.
Sea Salt Caramels With Port
Purple Cafe and Wine Bar
The enjoyment of candy becomes an elegant experience with Purple Café’s house-made chocolate-covered caramels topped with flakes of sea salt, paired with a Kopke 10-year-old tawny port. The slightly savory caramel nicely complements the woody, aged sweetness of the fortified wine. It’s a lovely finish to a special dinner out, or you can get the caramels boxed for a gift.
Where: Locations in Bellevue, Kirkland, Woodinville and Seattle.
Details: $6 for three caramels, $22 for a dozen; open daily for lunch and dinner.
Boehms Candies and Chocolates
Located in a distinctive Bavarian-styled chalet, Boehms is like a little taste of Europe. Originally founded in Seattle in 1942 by Austrian Julius Boehm, the shop was moved to Issaquah because the landscape was a reminder of his Alpine heritage. A love of tradition can be found in the classic English-style toffee, which has a layer of buttery brittle coated in milk chocolate and sprinkled with toasted almonds — a comforting and familiar combination of sweetness and crunch.
Where: 255 N.E. Gilman Blvd., Issaquah.
Details: $9 per box.
The Root Beer Store
Fizzies, saltwater taffy, carbonated popping candies — these nostalgic sweets will make you long for simpler days, as the seemingly endless brands of root beers, sarsaparilla, ginger beers and cream sodas. This specialty shop celebrates root beer in all forms, from soda to flavored candies.
Where: Locations in Redmond, Lynnwood and Puyallup.
Details: Prices vary; contact stores for details. Closed Sundays.
Candy-Topped Frozen Yogurt
Feel like a kid at Red Swirl’s topping bar which, includes candy, favorite breakfast cereals, fruit, cookie dough, syrups and nuts. The self-serve frozen yogurt flavors range from classics like vanilla and chocolate to rotating specialty flavors like pomegranate raspberry tart or maple bacon donut.
Where: 15600 N.E. Eighth St., Bellevue.
Details: Charge by weight (.44 cents/ounce), Closed Mondays.
Local Artisan Candies
Made in Washington Stores
An early pioneer of the “shop local” movement, Made in Washington stores have been championing Northwest artists and small businesses producing handcrafted goods since the early 1980s. Their candy section offers a wide variety of Northwest-area chocolatiers, candy-coated dried fruits and nuts, and classic fruit jellies. It’s a one-stop shop for finding a sweet gift and sending someone a true taste of the Northwest.
Where: Locations at Bellevue Square, Alderwood Mall, SouthCenter Mall, Pike Place Market and Westlake Center.