Sweet Surprises

Handmade chocolates, gingerbread cookies and other decadent stocking stuffers we love.


GINGER BETTY’S BAKERY

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You can smell the spicy aroma of freshly baked gingerbread before you even step through the door at Ginger Betty’s Bakery in Quincy.

The crew at this bustling, brightly colored shop bakes gingerbread goodies all year-round. Customers seeking stocking stuffers can choose from a wide assortment of seasonal cookie shapes and sizes as well as timeless sports fan favorites like gingerbread boys and girls frosted with tiny Patriots and Red Sox jerseys.

215 Samoset Avenue, Quincy, 617- 472-4729


PUOPOLO CANDIES

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Based in Hingham, Puopolo Candies has been in business for 29 years and is well known for crafting signature sweets like Harbor Barks, named after South Shore beaches and landmarks (available in stocking-stuffer size). Around the holidays the shop is filled with a variety of seasonal specialties, such as chocolate-dipped Oreos sprinkled with crushed candy cane and holiday boxes containing an assortment of bite-sized delights like Hingham Squares and sea salt caramels.

222 North St., Hingham


HILLIARD’S CHOCOLATES

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Locally made candy canes are hard to find these days, which is one of the reasons we love the chocolate-dipped candy canes made at Hilliard’s Chocolates.

Headquartered in Easton and with a brand-new location in Norwell, Hilliard’s specializes in assembling attractive gift boxes and towers filled with artisan chocolates, fresh roasted nuts and snack mixes, fudge, truffles and more. Other standout sweets include apple pecan caramel bark, pecan rolls and old-fashioned ribbon candy.

316 Main St., N. Easton, 508-238-6231;

81 Washington St., Norwell


PUREFECTIONS CHOCOLATE

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Purefections Chocolate in Quincy has a knack for crafting confections that will knock your socks off. Such is the case with their massive brownie pops that weigh in at over 1 pound each. Each brownie is enrobed in rich and creamy Belgian chocolate and encrusted with a flavorful topping like buttercrunch, crushed Oreos or white chocolate. For the holidays, you can get the brownies topped with crushed candy cane. They’re also famous for their Lager Tartarugas (a spin on chocolate turtles) that are infused with Sam Adams beer.

102 Franklin St., Quincy, 617-328-6248


SKINNERS SUGAR HOUSE

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Located inside a charming antique building in East Bridgewater, Skinners Sugar House has been producing handmade chocolates, candies and roasted nuts for over 85 years. There’s a great penny candy section, boxes of handmade fudge and toffee and shelves lined with cute jars of macadamia nuts, natural or red pistachios, fresh roasted peanuts and jumbo cashews—the salty snack that put this little shop on the map—all roasted by hand.

24 Union St., East Bridgewater, 508-378-3693


PHILLIPS CANDY HOUSE

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Founded in 1925, Phillips Candy House is Boston’s oldest chocolatier and one of its flagship retail shops is conveniently located inside South Shore Plaza. We love their Hot Chocolate Gift Package that comes with mini-marshmallows, chocolate shavings and handmade peppermint sticks. Combine the powdered cocoa with any type of milk, even rice or soy, for a rich holiday drink. And to satisfy your sweet-salty cravings, try their handcrafted sea salt caramels. Made with a secret family recipe, these little gems are topped with a sprinkling of Cape Cod sea salt.

250 Granite St., Braintree, 781-356-3800


FEDELE’S CHOCOLATES

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Chocolate lollipops shaped like Santa Claus are just one of the many novelty molded chocolates made at Fedele’s Chocolates. Headquartered in Pembroke with a satellite location in Plymouth, the award-winning confectionery churns out chocolates shaped like everything from animals to automobiles and also makes homemade peanut butter cups, fudge, peppermint bark and more. The stocking-stuffing possibilities are endless.

95 Church St., Pembroke, 781-826-0669;

170 Water St., Plymouth, 508-746-8907


PAIN D’AVIGNON

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If you’re looking for a great gift for a tea or coffee drinker, few things are better for dunking than a beautifully crafted biscotti. We love this collection handcrafted by the bakers at Pain D’Avignon on Cape Cod.

Flavor offerings include lemon pistachio, chocolate espresso, fig and cranberry almond. You can find the biscotti sold locally at Whole Foods Market in Weymouth and Hingham as well as online.

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