Best Valentine's Day chocolate boxes

What would Valentine's Day be without chocolate? And if you're thinking of indulging a special someone or yourself, Consumer Reports testers tasted dozens of boxes and found some truly excellent ones.

Testers look for ultra-smooth chocolate coatings and fillings that have fresh cream or real natural flavors. The $90 Woodhouse Chocolate Assortment earned top honors, with distinct flavors such as cinnamon toast and buttery pecan pie encased in delicious chocolate.

And Consumer Reports added several new chocolates to their "excellent" list this year.
Recchiuti Confections Black Box for $45 features some unusual flavors, including rose caramel and star anise with pink peppercorn, cloaked in dark, milk, and white chocolate.

Another new excellent option is the $50 Xocolatti Collection of truffles. There are some unexpected fillings such as olive-oil basil and coffee-nutmeg. And talk about eye candy! Check out the edible artworks from Marie Belle, Norman Love, and Anna Shea.

Something to keep in mind: Indulgence comes at a price. Most fine chocolates should be eaten within seven to 10 days, which means you're best choosing overnight or one-day shipping, and that can add substantially to the cost.

If you're the happy recipient of some fine chocolates, Consumer Reports says that the best way to eat chocolate is to pop the whole thing in your mouth, because many times there are different layers, and you want to get the sensation of the texture and the flavors all together.

And yes, two Seattle area offerings made the list this year: Fran's Assorted Truffles, and the Theo Artisan Confection Collection are among 15 boxed chocolates rated "excellent" in Consumer Reports February 2014 issue.

Keep in mind, if you're ordering fine chocolates from out- of- state, you're talking double indulgence- because the shipping charges easily tack on another $20 to $40 dollars or more. And remember most high-end, handmade find chocolate is meant to be eaten within 7 to 10 days.