What says it’s the holiday season more than a box of chocolates?
During a time when families get together to indulge, chocolate certainly fits the bill. In the past century, chocolate “has become tightly woven into our holiday traditions,” said Michael Laiskonis, creative director at the Institute of Culinary Education, noting that chocolate sales are “brisk” from the winter holidays through Valentine’s Day and Easter.
But high-quality chocolate is also a year-round treat, and more in line with “artisanal cheese and fine wine” than a “guilty pleasure,” according to Laiskonis. So whether you’re reading this during the holidays or any other time of the year, chocolate can be a fitting gift or self-indulgence.
We’ve rounded up high-quality chocolates from previous coverage and Select reader interest (along with some highly rated classics and more guilty-pleasure-type favorites) to help you in your search for the best chocolate gift.
Highly rated chocolate gifts
We found these highly rated chocolate gifts based on previous coverage and Select reader interest, so they’re sure to put a smile on their recipient’s face (and even if they don’t, you can enjoy them yourself).
These boldly colored and shaped chocolate pieces are made by Kansas City, Missouri, chocolate company Christopher Elbow, and we previously described them as “almost too pretty to eat” in our guide to Valentine’s Day candy and food gifts in 2021. The 36-piece box contains bonbons with flavors including Champagne, fleur de sel caramel, fresh lemon, macadamia praline and more.
Lindt, the popular Swiss chocolatier, makes this holiday-themed box full of its Lindor truffles, wrapped in red paper with gold accents and a large gold bow. It comes with 10.1 ounces of their milk chocolate Lindor truffles, all individually wrapped. The box is highly rated, too, with a 4.8-star average rating from 559 Amazon reviews.
If you’re shopping for Hanukkah, gelt is a must have. In our guide to chocolate gelt for Hanukkah 2021, we featured these Li-Lac gelt coins, which are available in 1-pound, 2-pound and 3-pound packages (each pound is about 60 coins, according to LI-Lac). The company also sells gelt packaged in treasure chests and in chocolate dreidels.
Milk Bar, created by Christina Tosi, former pastry chef of David Chang’s Momofuku restaurants, is well-known for its bakery items, but they also sell chocolate collections, including this Holiday Truffle Trio. It includes their birthday truffles, chocolate birthday truffles and limited-edition peppermint bark cake truffles. We previously mentioned other Milk Bar products in our guide to Valentine’s Day candy and food gifts in 2021.
This 1-pound chocolate assortment from Frango Chocolates is highly rated, coming with a 4.9-star average rating from 117 Macy’s reviews. There may not be much variety (they’re all mint chocolates), but it’s a lot of chocolate (45 pieces). They come in winter-themed packaging and are currently available for half off at Macy’s. The chocolates are also kosher, according to the company.
Even though it’s past Dec. 1, Advent calendars aren’t out of style just yet — there’s still enough time to enjoy this 12-day Advent calendar before Christmas Day. The calendar contains 12 different hot cocoa mixes: Vanilla Hazelnut, Chocolate Mint, Crème Brulee, Cocoa-Nut, Caramel Crème, Caramel, Candy Cane, Double Chocolate, S’mores, Raspberry, Supreme and Winter Wonderland. They have a 4.3-star average rating from 225 reviews on Amazon.
We previously highlighted this Champagne-and-truffles gift basket in our guide to gift baskets for the 2021 holiday season. Packaged in a faux-leather basket, this gift basket contains French truffles, Belgian chocolates, chocolate graham crackers, Key lime coolers and your choice of four different sparkling wines: La Marca Prosecco, Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label, Dom Perignon, and Moët & Chandon Imperial Brut Champagne.
We previously highlighted this box from Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate in our guide to Valentine’s Day candy and food gifts in 2021. Conceived of by two-star Michelin chef Gabriel Kreuther and the company’s master chocolatier, Marc Aumont, this collection contains a variety of flavored pieces, including banana peanut, cherry cola vanilla, gingerbread, honey saffron, kumaru, Mexican hot chocolate, mint, oatmeal cookie, salted butter caramel and Tahitian vanilla.
This Holiday Tin from Bonnie & Pop, a New York-based chocolatier, is highly rated, with a 4.5-star average rating from 244 Amazon reviews. The box has a varied collection of classic chocolates: almond toffee, candy cane cups, chocolate foiled caramel balls, holiday peanut trail mix, peanut brittle, peppermint saltwater taffy and yogurt peppermint pretzels. It also comes in a red, holiday-themed tin with a snowflake design on top.
No, it’s not exactly gourmet, but there’s something to be said for the chocolate you used to get on Halloween or from your school’s vending machine. This basket from the Vintage Candy Co. has all of those classic favorites, including Reese’s, KitKats, Snickers and more. It’s also highly rated from Amazon shoppers, carrying a 4.5-star average rating from 810 reviews.
Vosges Grande Chocolate Gift Tower (preorder, ships Dec. 9)
This gift tower, a collection of three purple boxes stacked and tied together with a large purple bow, contains their Bapchi's Caramel Toffee, exotic truffles and an assortment of caramels. The exotic truffle collection includes flavors like absinthe, dulce de leche and Oaxaca, and the caramel collection has blood orange and maple walnut caramels. We mentioned this gift set in our guide to Valentine’s Day candy and food gifts in 2021 as a gift basket to look for.
There’s not much to say, as it’s all in the name: it’s a giant Hershey’s Kiss. Coming in at 12 ounces, this huge hunk of milk chocolate is also highly rated on Amazon, with a 4.4-star average rating from over 1,400 shoppers.