True Confections Tearing into a fresh batch of your mom’s cookies usually means just pulling back the tin foil from the plate.

But when Michael Ching’s mom, Clara, makes cookies, they’re delivered in a white-ribbon-tied, vellum-sleeved case decorated with custom illustrations of rare island birds by local artist Michael Furuya.

Inside are three levels of gourmet cookies and candies, each individually wrapped or boxed with bows. Half the fun is unwrapping the package – but it’s worth it to enjoy the sweets, like the chocolate truffles, mini toffee balls, chocolate-dipped dried fruits (mango, pineapple, coconut, papaya), and delicate shortbread cookies (some half-dipped in chocolate, others flavored with fruit and nut pieces).

Sold only at Neiman Marcus, Clara Confectioners cookies and candies are made by a Mom and son business that bakes everything in small batches at a kitchen in Kapolei. Everything is done by hand – they even employ two full time cookie-dippers whose technique cannot be replicated by a machine. The recipes use local ingredients when possible such as Kaua‘i sea salt, Maui sugar, locally grown fruits and seasonal or rare ingredients like ‘ohelo berries.

Proving that, no matter how beautiful the box, it’s what’s inside that counts.

Clara Confectioners cookies and candies are available only at Neiman Marcus. Find them on the third floor just outside of Mariposa restaurant.