This was a very hard decision to make. We love everything that comes out of Brian Pelletier's two chocolate shops, from the basics, like the dark chocolate almond bark, to the more daring creations, like the balsamic vinegar truffle. We went back and forth. The dragées (almonds rolled in chocolate and cocoa)? The sea salt and white pepper bark? The caramel-marshmallow pies? The ingenious sea-salt bacon caramels, made with actual bacon fat? Or the truffles, in their multifarious and ever-expanding variety? Maybe the chocolate ice cream topping? Or the cocoa grilling rub? Truly, this was one of the most difficult assignments we've ever had. But in the end, we decided to go with the tried and true, the one confection we keep coming back to, the one we send all our friends when we hope to kindle the flame of envy in their chocolate-loving hearts because we live in St. Louis and they do not: the dark chocolate sea salt caramel. Yes, there's a milk chocolate sea salt caramel as well, but we prefer the bittersweet flavor of the dark. It makes the buttery caramel seem that much sweeter, and the flecks of sea salt sprinkled on top only enhance the contrast. It's confectionary at its very finest, a perfect example of what you can do with a little butter, sugar, sea salt and, of course, chocolate. And maybe love.
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