Whimsical, inventive, and totally delicious, Chicago candy and chocolate company Truffle Truffle (312-860-2772) was created by Nicole Greene, a University of Chicago graduate who gave up a gig working for the US Department of Defense to attend pastry school and start her own sweet company. Greene makes all of her preservative-free confections — truffles, caramels, s'mores, and sweets like beer-and-pretzel brittle — by hand and each season introduces new flavors, many of which are inspired by childhood memories and incorporate unique spices. But some flavors ring eternal. Case in point: the beer-and-pretzel collection, a insanely tasty mix of salty crunchy pretzels, sweet milk chocolate, and malty bitter beer. The final ingredient of any Truffle Truffle treat, according to Greene: fun! "I think of our treats as a way to treat yourself or someone you love to a moment of simple joy, and since those moments are rare and cherished, we hand-make and hand-package all of our treats to ensure that every detail is perfect," Greene says. "A customer once told me that when he first bit into one of our gourmet shortbread s'mores, he loved it so much that he actually giggled . . . and I can't imagine a better compliment!"