Let’s get one thing clear: You can stop worrying about counting calories or eating a balanced diet for the next couple weeks. (That’s how the holidays work, right?) So now it’s time to talk about one of my favorite vices: chocolate. Forget Halloween, the holidays are when real connoisseurs indulge, when chocolatiers offer a range of delicious and special confections. Whether you want to treat yourself or somebody else, here are some decadent chocolate gifts to dole out this season.
The famed Belgian company Neuhaus has been making chocolate since 1857 and it recently partnered with nine of the best chefs in the world to create this special 27-piece collection. Each chef, including culinary star Daniel Boulud, came up with his or her own take on the praline. The assortment is so good you may not want to give any of it away.
Jacques Torres Assorted Holiday Treats ($7 & Up)
No matter what holiday you celebrate, Jacques Torres (a.k.a. Mr. Chocolate) has you covered. He produces chocolate menorahs ($7), dreidel gelt ($10), snowmen ($7), Santas ($8) and Christmas trees ($16). And don’t forget about New Year’s Eve! Torres makes delicious Champagne truffles that are made with real Champagne. Visit any of the brand’s New York stores and you’ll find even bigger selections of holiday treats.
Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate Patrón Alquimia Collection
For a truly decadent (and spirited) Christmas or Hanukah, pick up Gabriel Kreuther’s 24-piece Patrón Alquimia Collection—for a thousand dollars. Why so expensive? Each set takes three days to make and incorporates extremely rare ingredients, as well as some of Patrón Tequila’s priciest liquor. (One chocolate even has a bit of Patrón en Lalique, which sells for $7,500 a bottle.) What might make buying it really worth it? Twenty percent of the proceeds go to City Harvest.
Just in time for the holidays, Chicago-based Vosges has rolled out a new 12-piece, limited-edition truffle collection inspired by the enchanted forest. The chocolates are appropriately imaginative, including ones flavored with rich cask-aged balsamic vinegar and others featuring freeze-dried strawberry and even porcini mushroom. Somehow, though, it all works.