Recchiuti Confections: 1 Ferry Building (at Embarcadero) Suite 30, 834-9494, www.recchiuti.com. The 24-piece box is available online or at the Ferry Building store for $35.
If Schoolhouse Rock! taught us anything, it's that great things come in threes: Stooges, meals, and amigos. And where would we be without the third dimension? Or threesomes? Flat and uninspired, that's where.
Recchiuti Confections has another reason to admire three: Caramels to the Third Power, or C3, an assortment combining three different chocolate-coated caramels in one powerful little box. The showcase is built around the fleur de sel caramel Michael Recchiuti has been making since 1998, a rich and creamy pad of caramel cuddled in dark chocolate, veiling a brittle layer of salt that crackles with each bite. The salinity adds contrast and brightness that makes the treat stand out 13 years later as the standard for what salted caramels should be.
Two newer caramels — one butterscotch, the other dark chocolate — round out the package. The butterscotch is the fairest of the three, with a pronounced dairy flavor and milk chocolate shell. The dark chocolate caramel has a firmer bite and deep cocoa flavor. Together they provide a nice counterpoint to the fleur de sel, but packaging them together has the unfortunate effect of making it all too easy to eat a significant number of the little squares. At least they pair amazingly well with a nice glass of whiskey. Or three.