Of course, you, can! That is, in fact, the best way to work with Windows IoT Core Applications, you can create and deploy it locally upon the Visual Studio running on your local machine or system. Now, the reason why you've been facing issues is probably because you couldn't find and enable the "Embedded Mode" windows service. Here, I'm enclosing a screenshot that'll make it easier for you to find and enable the service.
With that in order, things should pretty much start working smoothly for you. Also, make sure if the processing architecture of your local machine is x64 or x86.