It's totally cool if you have a special place in your heart and stomach for kitschy Peeps and pastel-colored M & M's, but the confectionery world is a much bigger place these days. Local candy makers such as Madame Chocolat in Beverly Hills and Valerie Confections near the crazy complicated Silver Lake/Beverly/Temple intersection make pretty and sophisticated candies using the best ingredients that also taste really, really good.

Hasty Torres, AKA Madame Chocolate (and yes, she's connected to THAT other Torres of the chocolate universe), does a high brow/low brow thing with her dark- and milk-chocolate-dipped Peeps (4 for $5) and s'mores. Other special and colorful sweets include variations on chocolate Easter eggs, chocolate animals and convenient holiday-themed pre-packed bags. Plus enter into the Easter Golden Ticket contest to win a fancy bejeweled necklace — a platinum and yellow gold canary diamond pendant that is supposed to be worth $8500. Torres is picking the winner on Easter Sunday.

Valerie is boxing up its precious Golden Eggs, lemon pansy and cassis petits fours, and seasonal Lemon Hazelnut Nougat. We can especially vouch for the light yet decadent deliciousness of the lemon-intensive square pansy treats topped with a candied flower petal.

The cookie alternative: Platine's Easter box.

The cookie alternative: Platine's Easter box.

And Platine Cookies in Culver City does Easter boxes and baskets (and Passover selections, too) of its “couture cookies,” which are sort of insanely adorable. Definitely not the price of your typical nostalgic Easter candy faves, but this holiday and terrific sugar-eating excuse comes but once a year.

Madame Chocolat, 212 N. Canon Dr., Beverly Hills, (310) 247-9990 or

Valerie Confections, 3360 W. 1st St., Los Angeles, (213) 739-8149 or

Platine Cookies, 10850 Washington Blvd., Culver City, (310) 559-9933 or

LA Weekly