Tucked inside Verde, a gift, clothing, and sweets shop on Philadelphia's 13th Street, is a glass case housing Marcie Blaine Artisanal Chocolates. The chocolates are made by hand in the back of the shop, with local ingredients from Lancaster County. Ingredients include organic cream, local lavender, mint, and vanilla, turned into perfectly square chocolates imprinted with a matching design.
Each 9-piece box runs a reasonable $17.95; you can pick from their many offerings, about 20 different truffles at any different time. The Peanut Butter Pretzel is my single favorite, a common pairing well-executed with the filling closer to a peanut feuilletine than simply crushed pretzels and peanut butter. Nut fans are well served here with the hot and heady creation of Almond-Espelette-Cinnamon, as well as Spicy Peanut, boasting caramelized peanut brittle. On the more gentle side, search for the seasonal Balsamic-Strawberry and a fragrant, dark chocolate-based Lavender-Vanilla. The lavender catches you first with vanilla trailing slowly in, leaving the final impression. A Mint and Bourbon truffle comes wrapped in silver foil, harboring a buttery, literally melt-in-your-mouth soft ganache infused with fresh mint, the bourbon unexpectedly strong. It's a worthwhile detour while in Philly, but keep in mind they also do a brisk mail order business—chocolates for all!