You know that saying: “just like a kid in a candy store?”

Well, if your sugar craving is next-level, these gourmet candy confectioners will bring you a kid’s level of pure bliss. But get ready — these artisan sweets don’t come from your typical candy stores.

Kilwins is a local favorite gourmet candy option! | Photo by David Downs

Kilwin’s Plano

7161 Bishop Rd g3, Plano, TX 75024 (The Shops at Legacy)

Beginning this delectable list of local selections for gourmet candy and other sorted sweets is Kilwins, which has three accessible locations for residents of Collin County.

The name “Kilwins” transports me to main street in my college town, where I pass the fragrant confectionery on my regular trek down to Target for snacks and air freshener. I stop and think through all the reasons why I shouldn’t buy Kilwins sinfully rich hot chocolate on a daily basis, most importantly because I can’t afford to go into even deeper debt over sweet treats, no matter how delectable. But Kilwins often wins anyway.

The Kilwins in Plano, located at the Shops at Legacy, features what loyal customers love most about the chain: sweets and treats — from ice cream, to chocolate, to caramel corn, caramel apples and fudge that’s made fresh in-house.

(Read more about the Rodriguez’s, the family that brought Kilwins to Texas.)

Additional Kilwins locations can be found at Grandscape in The Colony (5752 Grandscape Blvd, Suite 300, The Colony) and in Grapevine (338 S. Main Street, Grapevine.)

POP! | Courtesy of Make Your Life Sweeter.

Make Your Life Sweeter

13350 Dallas Pkwy Ste 1200, Dallas, TX 75240 (Galleria Mall Dallas)

The game of gourmet candy just got way more luxe!

Yasmeen Tadia, founder of the Make Your Life Sweeter brands — Fluffpop, HotPoppin, Sugaire and Modsweets — was first inspired to make gourmet candy when she realized that healthy snack options for her son Zain were few and far between.

One feature of all Tadia’s products is the selection of unconventional, but oh-so-tasty flavors. Fluffpop, the mini cloud of cotton candy on a stick, comes in guava, lychee, caramel and pumpkin spice, among other flavors. It’s gluten-free, vegan, kosher and halal. If you can’t get enough of Fluffpop, try Sugaire, organic cotton candy in larger portion sizes. HotPoppin features artisanal popcorn in flavors like banana laffy taffy, crème brûlée cheesecake, fried pickle and margarita. Modsweets sells popcorn and cotton candy as well as chocolates and gummies.

Okay, these chocolate truffles are peak gourmet candy. | Courtesy of Make Your Life Sweeter

“The Sweet Boutique,” the sole in-person store for the Make Your Life Sweeter products, is located at Galleria Dallas. They are currently offering one-hour socially distanced dessert tastings with up to 21 sweets and treats.

(Read more about Make Your Life Sweeter owner Yasmeen Tadia’s store here.)

Photo courtesy of the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory website

Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory

2091 Summer Lee Dr #103, Rockwall, TX 75032

Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory is one of the biggest chocolate retailers worldwide, with stores in the U.S., Philippines, Panama, South Korea and the United Arab Emirates.

The chain is best known for selling classic treats such as caramel apples, handmade fudge, chocolate-dipped fruits and nuts, nut clusters and butter creams made the old-fashioned way: over a gas-stove and cooled on a granite marble slab. At most locations, customers can watch the rustic brand of gourmet candy being made right in front of their eyes, making the entire experience a feast for the senses.

A See’s Candies store is sheer delight for those seeking a gourmet candy fix. | Shutterstock

See’s Candies

2601 Preston Rd, Frisco, TX 75034 (Stonebriar Centre)

5600 Nebraska Furniture Mart Dr, The Colony, TX 75056

8687 N Central Expy, Dallas, TX 75225 (NorthPark Center)

See’s Candies was created in 1921 when Charles and Mary See opened the first location in Pasadena. Charles designed the original storefront after the couple’s black-and-white checkered home kitchen, where Mary made each creation lovingly by hand.

Since then, the enterprise has expanded to over 200 locations, each featuring the same checkered design. Some of the chain’s familiar yet still entirely gourmet candy — such as the Peanut Brittle, Victoria Toffee and Chocolate Walnut Fudge — are made using Mary See’s original recipes, and all of them are still made by hand.

The DFW metroplex has three See’s Candies: at the Stonebriar Centre, the Nebraska Furniture Mart in the Colony and at the Northpark Center in Dallas. As one social media user put it, “you know a mall is elite if it has a See’s Candies.”

Goodies Texas

114 N Tennessee St, McKinney, TX 75069

Photo courtesy of Goodies Texas.

Goodies Texas is a family-owned candy store nestled in Historic Downtown McKinney. They offer chocolates, fudge, pralines and other gourmet candy made by a chocolatier with over 10 years of experience, as well as retro games and other novelty collectibles.

In addition to the classics, the gourmet candy shop offers a variety of unique treats, such as pate de fruit, cheesecake bars, cereal breakfast bars and truffles in a variety of flavors (rose-shaped raspberry amoretto’s, anyone?).

Photo courtesy of the Toffee Treats and Chocolate Sweets website

Toffee Treats and Chocolate Sweets

Pickup only: Sweet Firefly, 2701 Custer Rd, Richardson, TX 75080

Toffee Treats was started by Plano resident Mary Louise Dubay, inspired by childhood Christmases spent watching her grandmother cook large batches of golden toffee over the stove.

Now, Mary Louise — ML for short — provides handmade toffee and other gourmet candy to customers nationwide. ML is a cancer survivor, and a portion of the proceeds from her toffee sales go towards non-profit foundations supporting those fighting cancer.

Photos courtesy of Mom and Popcorn in McKinney.

Mom and Popcorn

215 E Louisiana St, McKinney, TX 75069

Not a gourmet candy store per se, but still a magical experience with salty treats to balance out the sweet!

This family-owned store in Historic Downtown McKinney offers over 50 flavors of gourmet popcorn including mint chocolate chip, spicy pickle, root beer float, spicy taco, old fashioned cocktail, apple pie kettle and more. They also offer a wide selection of nostalgic candy and glass-bottle sodas.

Yee-haw! Celebrate your Texan pride with these dark chocolate cowboy hats. | Photo courtesy of Dr. Sue’s Chocolate on Facebook

Dr. Sue’s Chocolate

417 S Main St, Grapevine, TX 76051

Dr. Sue is a practicing physician inspiring North Texas residents to live a healthier lifestyle by indulging in all-natural chocolate that still hits the level of decadence that only gourmet candy can provide.

All of Dr. Sue’s products are premium quality, with all natural ingredients and no preservatives, artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners.

Baconfat Butterscotch-filled Skulls… gourmet candy at its most dangerous. | Photo courtesy of the Dude, Sweet Chocolate website

Dude, Sweet Chocolate

408 W Eighth St #102, Dallas, TX 75208

Gourmet candy at its most dangerous.

Dude, Sweet founder Katherine Clapner is a Dallas native, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in NYC, and a flavor connoisseur after working at restaurants from Dallas to New Orleans, Venice to London. In addition to having traditional chocolate-y goods, Dude Sweet also has matcha-flavored chocolate bars with candied bread crumbs, human-sized dark chocolate brains filled with cocoa puffs and a cocoa baby head to fuel your nightmares (don’t believe me? look up Talky Tina).

There’s also the Fungus Amongus Soft Toffee with porcini mushroom powder and pumpkin seeds, and skulls filled with bacon fat and butterscotch (pictured above). I know, I’m drooling too.

These delightfully monstrous marshmallows absolutely count as gourmet candy. | Courtesy of Mallow Box

Mallow Box S’mores Bar and Gourmet Marshmallows

6121 W Park Blvd FC-109, Plano, TX 75093 (The Shops at Willowbend)

7800 Windrose Ave, Plano, TX 75024 (Legacy Food Hall)

13350 Dallas Pkwy, Dallas, TX 75240 (Galleria Dallas, Ice rink level)

A few years ago Mallow Box founder Martha Ware made a marshmallow bouquet as a dessert for her husband’s birthday. It was an instant hit. Martha is Brazilian American and attributes her delicious marshmallow recipe to making her own marshmallows out of necessity; apparently it’s difficult to find marshmallows at grocery stores in Brazil, let alone gourmet candy-level marshmallows.

After finding out that her marshmallows were even better than the store-bought variety, she started selling them out of her own kitchen and then opened her first location at the Shops at Willowbend. Mallow Box is now a thriving business with three North Texas locations.

(Read about Mallow Box at Willow Bend Mall here.)

Vaibhavi Hemasundar

Vaibhavi Hemasundar is an undergraduate at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. She loves singing, film photography, and devouring book after book.