It can make you feel warm all over, like being hugged or tucked into bed. It can be as homey as toffee crunch bark or chocolate pecan turtles. As arch as a couturier Oreo. Or just plain brilliantly calculated, like Jacques Torres’s passion-fruit heart or a twiggy thin caramel with coffee in a seriously great restaurant. Rich yummy mocha kissing your mouth, the smart satin darkness of a ganache searing your soul. Thank heavens for Halloween: It legitimizes overindulgence in pop chocolates, too. Dare to recycle tiny mint patties and mini–Milky Ways from the younguns’ treat bags into your own secret cache. Give the kids an apple and a hug. Spare them premature addiction.

The Candy-Bar Taste Test
What happens when a high-end pastry chef meets low-end chocolate?

How Jacques Torres Makes Chocolate
Six steps to chocolate perfection.

The Best Chocolate Stores
14 of New York’s sweetest spots.

How to Remove Chocolate Stains
The most reliable method, as proved by science.

Cuckoo for Cocoa?
Ask the expert.

Chocolate Lab
Chocolate isn’t just chocolate anymore: Chefs are melting it down into soup, adding salt, and mixing it with bread for the ultimate carb overload.

The Dark Art
Some people say there’s no such thing as unappetizing chocolate, but contemporary artists beg to differ.