Over-the-Top Holiday Gifts for Chocolate Lovers
Delight your favorite chocoholic with these great gifts, from a rare, single-origin cocoa powder, to fudge-filled pastries, to bean-to-bar Brazilian bonbons.
While those drug store chocolate Santas and mesh bags of Hanukkah gelt have a special kind of charm, when it comes to holiday gifting, we like to take our chocolate purchases to the next level. Below, find our top picks for this year’s very best chocolate gifts from around the globe.
André Bollier was a Swiss pastry chef and chocolatier who emigrated to Kansas City, MO in 1955. Shortly after, he published a book on Swiss confectionary and used the proceeds to open a standalone chocolate shop in town. André’s Confiserie Suisse still stands at that original location, now operated by his grandson René and his wife Nancy who continue the family legacy by producing many of the founder’s classic Swiss sweets. Can’t decide what to send? I’m a fan of this deluxe holiday bundle which contains some of André’s most popular candies, cookies, and marzipan treats, including a wedge of the shop’s exquisite signature Engadiner Nut Torte.
SAVEUR’s love of Diaspora Co. is no secret, and for all my pantry MVP’s, I’m especially partial to the single-origin spice brand’s jumbo “chef bags.” This 21-ounce package of rich and chocolatey non-alkalized—in other words, not Dutch process—cocoa powder from Anamalai, Tamil Nadu is the perfect gift for chocoholics and both home and pro pastry chefs, all of whom will adore this ingredient’s bright and fruity berry notes and deep caramel-cocoa flavor. Beat this stuff by the spoonful into fudgy brownies, or, to truly appreciate its nuances, whisk a tablespoon into lightly sweetened warm milk.
It can be tough to single out any one bean-to-bar chocolate maker from all the great ones out there, but Goodnow Farms is always a top contender. A five-year-running winner of the sustainability-minded Good Food Awards, this Sudbury, Massachusetts-based producer sources cacao directly from small farms throughout Latin America. Goodnow offers a diverse assortment of single-origin bars as well as many flavored and filled options. For gifting, I like to go with this bundle of all of the brand’s Good Food Award winners; it includes the Putnam Rye Whiskey, Lawley’s Rum, and Las Palomas coffee flavors plus an Ecuadorian and a Colombian single-origin expression. Looking for a smaller stocking stuffer? Check out the new oat milk bar; with a whopping 61 percent cacao, it’s a grown-up (and dairy-free!) take on creamy, crowd-pleasing milk chocolate.
Fans of Fany Gerson’s La Newyorkina and Fan-Fan Doughnuts will be thrilled this year as the pastry chef and cookbook author is now offering three different ways to ship her Mexican style sweets through Goldbelly. My favorite of the bunch? This chocolatey bundle, which includes Mexican chocolate and mocha brownies, chocolate chipotle crinkle cookies, Mexican chocolate Alegrias (puffed amaranth bites), mini chocolate chip pumpkin seed and pecan cookies, mini mocha cookies, and Mexican hot fudge.
Founded in 1914, Manhattan’s beloved “appetizing store,” Russ & Daughters is a local institution. Leading up to the holidays, the line for bagels, rugelach, and smoked fish frequently snakes around the shop’s Lower East Side block. Now through Goldbelly, it’s possible to send a little bit of the city anywhere in the U.S. This fudgy and beautifully packaged Russ & Daughter’s babka is the key to any chocolate-loving homesick New Yorker’s heart. Chewy enriched bread dough is rolled with chocolate and coffee and then topped with crunchy cinnamon streusel before baking, resulting in a densely delicious confection fitting for the most festive holiday breakfasts.
This holiday season, Marvina Robinson of Brooklyn-based and Black woman-owned Champagne company B. Stuyvesant has paired up with Rhonda Kave of Manhattan’s Roni-Sue’s Chocolates to offer champagne truffles in three festive flavors: white chocolate ganache with gin, blackberry, and B. Stuyvesant Grande Reserve; ruby chocolate ganache with rose Champagne and grape jam; and milk and caramelized white chocolate ganache with B. Stuyvesant Reserve and edible gold. Available in boxes of six, 12, or 24, the elegant one-bite confections are this year’s sweetest way to celebrate.
This exceptional Basque-style pastry is stuffed with a rich and super-dark chocolate cream featuring the San Francisco producer’s 70% Camino Verde, a single origin Ecuadorian baking chocolate with bright citrus, caramel, and spice notes. Precocious kiddos will love it with soft whipped cream, but for a more adult pairing, gift this one with a bottle of bold red wine or an extra-special single malt.
Swiss-trained New Hampshire chocolatier L.A. Burdick has been selling these delicate hand-made chocolate mice since 1987 and they’re still as adorable and delicious as ever. Treat chocolate lovers to this medley of three flavored ganache fillings: Dark chocolate with dark chocolate-orange; milk chocolate with dark chocolate-espresso; and white chocolate with dark chocolate-cinnamon-port. (Just take note if your recipient has a nut allergy; the critters’ dainty ears are chocolate-coated almond slices.)
Roxana Saidi’s California pistachio milk company Táche has paired up with Flamingo Estate and Mojave Mallows to offer this limited edition, “apres-ski”-inspired hot chocolate kit. Just the thing for chocolate-loving vegans!
Is there anything prettier than this clay Mexican hot chocolate pitcher? Maybe not. Paired with a hand-carved molinillo for frothing the included Oaxacan Villa Real chocolate into a traditional, cinnamon-scented drink, this Aztec-style pitcher is the ideal vessel for serving all manner of hot and cold beverages.
At La Brigaderie de Paris, Brazilian-born chocolatier Marina Stroh-Ibri specializes in bean-to-bar flavored chocolate bars and brigadeiros—her home country’s particular ganache-like truffles made with sweetened condensed milk. Stroh-Ibri draws inspiration from Brazil’s sweet and savory culinary traditions—think guava-, moqueca-, and feijoada-flavored chocolate bars. The most giftable by far is this pretty box of fruits rouges- (berry and cherry) flavored brigadeiros. Order these and all of Stroh-Ibri’s products directly online from her Montfort l’Amaury boutique.
The chocolate from New York City-based wellness snack food company Hu’s Kitchen is singularly satiny, deeply flavorful, and certified organic and Fair Trade. This year, the brand launched a new line of milk chocolate, blended with grass-fed milk and sweetened (like the earlier dark varieties) with unrefined coconut sugar. The luscious, soy- and gluten-free confection is available in a pure Simple Milk bar and as well as a number of nut butter-filled varieties; this gift pack contains one of each.