Calling all chocolate lovers! It's always a treat to receive some sort of delicious chocolate no matter what the occasion is. As the holiday season sets you in a gift buying frenzy--go the easy way with giving out some delicious sweets! After attending The Chicago Fine Chocolate Show last month, and eating more than my fair share of chocolate over the last several months, I can confidently recommend the following as the best of the bunch for chocoholics on your Christmas list:
1. Katherine Anne Confections – This Chicago-based chocolatier ships nationally, although you have to stop by her Logan Square storefront if you want to try her decadently thick hot chocolate topped with homemade marshmallows in flavors like early grey and salted caramel. For a holiday gift, order her mixed pack of truffles, fluffy marshmallows and caramels here!
2. Chuao Chocolatier – Their holiday bonbon collection includes flavors like gingerbread walnut dark fudge and rum-spiked eggnog in white chocolate. Chunky honeycomb bark in dark chocolate is another option for a more unique treat.
3. Flying Noir – These beautiful handpainted truffles will delight anyone with an eye for art as well as taste. Owner, Karen Urbanek uses chocolate from Ecuador, along with local cream, honey, fruits and nuts to craft flavors like Tresmace (orange blossom, honey and Pinot Noir fleur de sel) and Pumka (caramelized organic pumpkin seeds and wasabi sea salt). Plus, the artwork on her boxes is painted by adults with disabilities, so there is a philanthropic element to your chocolate indulgences as well.
4. Theo Chocolate – The only organic, fair trade, bean-to-bar chocolate factory in the country. If you're in Seattle, take a factory tour. Otherwise, you'll have to satisfy yourself with holiday bars including peppermint stick and nutrcracker brittle, drinking chocolate, and a winter confection collection with truffles ranging from rum raisin to Chinese five spice. You can have it all, along with BIg Daddy chocolate-covered marshmallows in the holiday gift collection.
5. Nicobella – If you have any vegans on your shopping list, never fear. There is chocolate for them too. Nicobella has incredible organic vegan truffles, but my favorite is their munch. Choose between four flavors of candied walnuts, roasted almonds, maple pecans and flax seeds topped with chocolate. A glorified version of chocolate-covered trail mix.