Sturdy metal heart shaped box.
Price is fair at $2 each candy. Quality is fair as well but below some of this panel.
Disappointed on quality considering it's a Belgium chocolatier brand.
Carton box, with custom heart design.
$1.6 per Lindor chocolate ball. Classic chocolate ball.
Soft touch elegant gift box, with embossed logo. Luxury feel and quality.
About $2.60 each macaron. Handcrafted by French chefs.
Bigger size than chocolate candies. Heart shaped candy.
Great option to order authentic macarons as a gift and surprise your family and friends.
Cheaper carton box with fair quality.
Pricy with $2.70 per chocolate, considering it is the lowest chocolate quality on this review.
No packaging, only a plastic bag (not great for gifts).
Cheap look. I wouldn't recommend to send these as a gift.
$1.60 per chocolate heart. Good quality heart shaped candy.
After the review of the best macaron delivery services, I decided to order from famous chocolatiers here in the United States.
The objective to help you decide which chocolate heart or candy to buy from.
So I ordered from each of these chocolate and candy brand: Godiva, Lindt, Pastreez, See's candy and Lake Champlain.
Then I compared price, packaging, unboxing and quality of the candy.
Being a French chef from Le Cordon Bleu Paris, I hope my insights will help you in your purchase.
Table of content
Godiva is a world famous "chocolatier" brand available in the United States. You can find these either online on their website, or in most retail stores like Target, Walmart, etc.
Do you know how to pronounce Godiva like in Belgium? The pronunciation is actually GO-DEEH-VAH.
Godiva makes a large panel of chocolates for any occasion, such as truffles, dark chocolate, coffee, and much more.
Here, I will focus on chocolate hearts and hazelnut candies options.
I paid $16 for this chocolate hearts box from Godiva, plus shipping of $7.95. Total was $23.95 for 12 pieces.
All together, it is about $2 per chocolate including shipping. Fair pricing considering a Belgium chocolatier brand.
Packaging and unboxing
Godiva's box is sturdy, metallic and heart shaped. It's a great packaging and feels "old school". It's also cold when you touch it because of the metal.
The opening is easy and you can find individually wrapped chocolates inside of the box.
Godiva chocolates were fair in quality. I have to be honest, I was disappointed. Godiva being a Belgian chocolatier since 1926, I was expecting to find better quality cocoa.
I could tell because of the "sour" that great cocoa leave in your taste buds. Here it wasn't the case, most likely diluted by milk and other additives.
In fact, take a look at Godiva's nutrition facts. "Milk powder" is the second ingredient mentioned, just after sugar.
Now it wasn't "bad", I like chocolate and candies with milk in it. But here, since Godiva is really emphasizing on the "Belgium premium" chocolate in their products, don't expect high quality chocolate hearts.
Lindt has always be one of my favorite chocolate hearts and hazelnut candy, among Ferrero Rocher.
Since I was a kid in Paris, this brand has been around with its famous Lindor.
Lindt was created in 1879 by Rodolphe Lindt in Switzerland. Needless to say this Chocolatier has savoir-faire.
But let's see if this chocolate hearts box fits for your special occasion. We'll go over cost comparison, packaging, unboxing and taste.
I purchased a box of chocolate hearts from Lindt to be delivered in California (our Pastreez headquarters).
In the box there was 13 pieces of Lindor for $11.43. Shipping was $9.45. Total was $20.88, which is $1.6 per chocolate, which is great considering this is a famous chocolate.
I was curious to see how Lindt would ship their candies. Even when you have a long history of quality chocolate, shipping is a different business.
Especially for chocolates! Here, the carton box was sturdy and with a custom tape with Lindt printing. It seems a detail but it's important for perishable items, to be identified easily.
Note that there was no "Fragile" or "Perishable" sticker outside. If you ship it as a gift, your giftee might not know to retrieve the package from outdoor.
The packaging of this Lindt chocolate hearts is a heart shape carton box, which makes it great for Mother's day, Valentine's day, or even a birthday.
I took a picture to compare Godiva and Lindt chocolate heart boxes, so you can see the difference of size.
The Lindt box is much bigger and more impressive. But Godiva metal box looks more sturdy and "old school". Your choice!
Inside this chocolate hearts box, you get 13 pieces of Lindor chocolate candies. It opens in two parts (with a lid), as opposed to a jewelry-like macaron gift box that we carry at Pastreez.
Let's have a closer at this Lindor chocolate ball. It's a classic chocolate ball, with two layers of chocoate. Outside is harder, and inside is smoother.
The recipe has been here as long as I can remember.
When I was 5 years old in Paris, it's the typical gift from aunties and uncles. To put it in a nutshell, you can't go wrong with these Lindor.
Its chocolate is not sour though, with enough milk in it to ravish all the family. Inside, it's slightly smooth. The difference of chocolate texture makes the difference to me.
Yes, it's not the high end chocolate you might find in a more refined product. You won't surprise your giftee either (they probably had Lindor prior). But they are a no-brainer and always a hit.
My wife and I are both French chefs from Le Cordon Bleu Paris. If you ask yourself where to find macarons near me, don't look further. Our macarons ship fresh in the entire United States.
We handcraft these macarons daily. And it's actually a great option as chocolate hearts for any occasion such as Christmas, Valentine's day, mother's day and even Easter.
The macaron gift box is $52 for 20 macarons, or $2.60 per macaron. Shipping is $9.90 (you get Free Shipping over $69). Total is $61.90.
Macarons vs chocolate and candies is interesting. Chocolates, truffles and candies are "classic" gift baskets to send as a gift.
But with macarons, it brings a new angle. It's luxury, different and exotic. Especially when it's handcrafted by French chefs.
If you want to surprise your family and friends, macarons are a great option.
This elegant soft touch gift box is a brand new design. It is similar to an iPhone packaging. The Pastreez logo is embossed for a classy feel and look.
We place the macarons in a transparent blister to protect them during transit. In addition, the gift box is wrapped in an insulated pouch to protect from variation of temperature.
For smaller gifts, we have more affordable options like the 7 macarons set.
You can also select only the flavors that your giftee love. With 15+ seasonal macaron flavors including heart shaped ones, needless to say you'll find one that suits you.
The macarons ship fresh (never frozen). With the insulated pouch and extra air cushions, the macarons transit safely.
Depending on when you wish to serve them, we advise to refrigerate in the meantime. Make sure to serve at room temperature, to make sure they have the perfect texture by the time of tasting.
You can also freeze them for weeks if needed. Note that if you wish to order for an event, you have the ability to order weeks (even months) in advance.
Simply click "add event date" on the product page and the macarons will ship fresh accordingly.
Macarons are special treats. It is very hard to find macarons near you, because it's such a complex recipe.
Here, the macarons are handcrafted and ship fresh, which makes a huge difference. The study on the best macaron delivery really emphasizes that.
A good macaron is supposed to be crunchy outside and chewy inside. This perfect balance of texture is the signature taste of a macaron.
Then, it needs not to be too sweet. Since Pastreez macarons are made with ganache (as opposed to buttercream), it is less fat and not overly sweet.
We also release new seasonal macaron flavors monthly. For example for Mother's day, we carry limited edition of heart shaped macarons with chocolate. Easter, Christmas and Valentine's day are also great occasions where we develop new tasty flavors.
Depending on the season, flowery, fruity and creamy flavors are also expected.
If you're wondering what do macarons taste like, I wrote a dedicated article on that.
To sum up, macarons are a great option to surprise your family and friends. Be more exotic by sending heart shaped macarons instead of classic chocolate hearts!
I did an extra blog post to detail See's Candy review. Here I'll make sure to go straight to the point and compare it with these other chocolatiers.
Remember, I ordered every chocolate and candy online to be shipped to my door. It means each order will have shipping fees.
Here, See's candy is very economic at about $2.70 per chocolate, including shipping.
See's candy packaging is not impressive compared to the others in this review.
The heart design is cute, but rather very small, made with carton and in poor quality. But at this cost, I'd say it's fare.
I just want you to know that the impact if you want to gift these chocolate hearts won't be the most luxurious ones.
Also, a thin plastic paper film is on the packaging, which gives a "cheap" effect.
Once you removed the plastic film, you will be able to open this heart packaging.
Inside, all the chocolate are in one piece which is a good point. But the choice of black paper to carry the chocolate is again.. cheap.
It doesn't look convenient compared to the custom packaging of Lindt, Godiva and Pastreez.
Size of the chocolates are fair, about 1 inch long. It is comparable to Godiva and Lindt, but smaller than our authentic macarons (1.7 inches).
As you know, at this point of the review I cut in half every chocolate for you to see what's inside. It also allows me to check on quality and taste.
The chocolate were made professionally, good point. What I mean is the outside layer is thick enough to cover what's inside (filling).
That being said, every single chocolate was rock hard. You really need to have strong tooth (almost no joke).
What I like when I purchase chocolate hearts (even candy), is to have a smooth inside.
The balance between crunchy outside and chewy inside lets you enjoy way more! Because it creates a contrast for your tastebuds.
In addition, the inside of the candy was nothing fancy at all. Each chocolate felt fairly similar. Way too crunchy and hard.
See's candy chocolates weren't the best. They were on the cheap side and even the packaging wasn't impressive at all.
If you're on a budget, go for it. But if you want this heart box to have an impact on your giftee, go with either Pastreez or Lindt.
Let's now see how is Lake Champlain chocolates!
Lake Champlain chocolates
Last but not least, I ordered Lake Champlain chocolate hearts box. Let's see how these candies compare to the panel.
I ordered this milk chocolate caramel hearts gift bag from Lake Champlain.
It costs $14 for 15 candies, and shipping is $9.95. Total is $23.95, which is $1.60 per chocolate. Fair price compared to the panel.
The packaging is pretty simple. It arrived in a carton box, with paper protection.
The chocolate hearts are in a simple.. plastic bag. My honest opinion is that it looks cheap as a gift. We all love well packaged gifts! Here it won't have a huge impact on your giftee.
An important note: Lake Champlain has real heart candy chocolates, such as Pastreez.
In comparison, Lindt, Godiva and See's just had their packaging in heart shape. That can make a difference in your purchase decision.
Once you pass the disappointment of this plastic bag, you discover well made chocolate in a red paper.
The heart shape looks cute and is perfectly intact. Let's let's taste and see what's inside!
First of Lake Champlain candies are certified USDA organic. That is a great point. It means that each ingredient they use is certified organic as well, which proves they use only good ingredients.
Inside this chocolate heart, a soft caramel filling. What a great surprise! The texture balance is always what make chocolate and candies great to taste.
Chocolate quality is fair, but the salted caramel soft inside makes it up to it. Overall a good taste experience.
Lake Champlain has good quality chocolates, but is rather disappointing on packaging. This poor looking plastic bag is not to the level of what it contains.
Best chocolate hearts & hazelnut candy: Summary
I ordered and reviewed chocolate hearts from Lindt, Godiva, Pastreez, Lake Champlain and See's candy.
The quality of these varies deeply. None were up to the European standard that we can find in France. But still, Lindt chocolates are a no-brainer.
But if you want to surprise your family and friends, order heart shaped macarons instead. These are handcrafted daily by French chefs from Le Cordon Bleu Paris. It ships fresh to your door in the entire United States.