Yes, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory is a chain (300 locations nationwide), but it's also an antidote to Seattle's foodie fetish for everything "artisanal." Not that their confections aren't well made—the lovely fairyland strawberries dipped in white chocolate and coconut could be set decorations for the Nutcracker—but they're not annoyingly precious, either. This is candy as excess: slab after slab of fudge (in several flavors, with or without nuts), golf ball–size, chocolate-covered marzipan spheres, dipped marshmallows on a stick, and best of all, apples swathed in goodies until they're as big as grapefruit. Try one covered in crushed Oreos or M&Ms; taste a German Chocolate (caramel, pecans, chocolate, coconut) or an Apple Pie (caramel, white chocolate, cinnamon, and sugar), or heroically tackle the mother of them all: the Explosion, with white and milk chocolate, chocolate chips, peanut butter, and peanuts (for $13.75). What makes these apples really beautiful is that no extreme amount of topping can overbalance the tartness of the Granny Smith underneath—too much is just right. Bite into one and feel all your taste buds set off at once.—Gavin Borchert 1419 First Ave., 262-9581, and other locations; www.rmcf.com.