December Gift Guide 2014: Smoked Nib Brittle by Olive and Sinclair Chocolate Company.
Sometimes the best gifts are the little ones that you don’t expect—from smart and compact kitchen tools to all manner of bite-sized treats, these are our picks for perfect holiday stocking stuffers. See the 2014 Holiday Gift Guide for more gift ideas »
“My good friend Scott Witherow is part chocolatier, part creative genius. For his addictive bourbon barrel nib brittle, he ages cocoa nibs in bourbon barrels from a local distillery. You get all the perfume of bourbon from the barrels without the raw bourbon flavor you might get in some other booze-centered confections. I like to take a bite of both the bourbon brittle and the smoked brittle together. Insane.” —Levon Wallace, Executive Chef of Proof on Main, Louisville Bourbon Nib Brittle, $14.99 per 6-oz. bar from Olive & Sinclair Chocolate “Sugar Bob’s Maple Syrup is one of those ‘secret weapon’ type of ingredients I like to keep in my pantry. When my coffee tastes bland, a little dab will turn it into a virtual campfire in a cup. If there’s some leftover chicken breasts in the fridge, it works as a perfect sweet-smoky dip. Basically maple syrup infused with hardwood smoke, this stuff can also be used to make delicious glazes, sauces, and dressings. I always order two bottles instead of one, because, like most go-to ingredients, this stuff disappears quicker than you think.” —Keith Pandolfi, senior editor Smoked Maple Syrup, $12.95 per 250-ml. bottle from Sugar Bob’s Maple Syrup Ingalls Photography “In my opinion, miso caramel is the new salted caramel. And Gearharts miso caramel from Richmond, Virginia is the best caramel I’ve ever had. I’m fanatical about them! The miso adds an umami dimension as well as salt that is freaking irresistible.” —Marcella Lee, blogger at Broad Appetite, the readers’ choice pick for Best New Blog in the 2014 SAVEUR Best Food Blog Awards Miso Caramels, $8 per bag from Gearharts Fine Chocolates Ingalls Photography “These delicious vanilla meringues are tinted black to resemble lumps of coal–perfect for stuffing the stocking of the person on your naughty list.” —Karen Shimizu Lump of Coal, $30 from Dean & DeLuca Ingalls Photography “This is the ultimate stocking stuffer gift for ginger lovers. As much as I love mincing fresh ginger (who doesn’t?), sometimes I don’t want my hands to smell like gingerbread for days on end. Enter the magical ceramic Japanese ginger grater to make all that holiday ginger mincing effortless. Just rub peeled ginger on the tiny teeth, and you have perfectly minced ginger ready to go. Bonus: you can use it for fresh wasabi, too.” —Stephanie Le, blogger at iamafoodblog, the winner of Blog of the Year in the 2014 SAVEUR Best Food Blog Awards Ceramic Ginger Grater, $15 from Williams-Sonoma Benny Migliorino “Old-fashioned candy canes from Hammond’s, a Denver, Colorado company founded in 1920, have an intense peppermint flavor and an airy texture. I’m especially partial to the chocolate-filled versions.” —Karen Shimizu Chocolate Filled Peppermint Cane, $2.95 each from Hammond’s Candies Ingalls Photography “I get frequent headaches from wine, so I was intrigued by this new anti-sulfite product. Three or four drops added to red or white wine is said to reduce the amount of sulfites–and their side effects–without affecting the wine’s taste. I tried it a few times, and there was no change in taste…and no headache. I’m a convert.” —Camille Rankin Just The Wine bottle, $5.95 from Just The Wine Benny Migliorino “This mini spoon/spatula hybrid measures ingredients (the mini measures 1 tsp.), scrapes jars clean (the end of the spoon is flat, making it the perfect tool for scraping), and even sits up on your counter (the crooked handle acts as a sort of built-in spoon rest). Since it’s silicone, it is also dishwasher safe and heat resistant up to 500°. What’s not to love about this little guy?” —Farideh Sadeghin, associate test kitchen director Mini Supoon, $7.95 from Dreamfarm Ingalls Photography “I get lazy in the kitchen sometimes, just tossing my unused half onion or pepper into the fridge to shrivel rather than pulling out the plastic wrap. Then I found Food Huggers, handy little silicone circles that you press onto the cut end of partially used produce, saving many a doomed half tomato from my sloth.” —Felicia Campbell, writer and author of the upcoming cookbook The Foods of Oman_ (Andrews McMeel, 2015)_ Reusable Silicone Food Huggers, $9.95 for set of 4 from Food Huggers Food Huggers