Chocolate Gift Baskets for Christmas

Chocolate Gift Baskets Christmas Gifts and Holiday

Chocolate Gift Baskets

It’s that time of year where everyone is looking for gifts, and Chocolate Gift Baskets are perfect for many people on your list. The ideal gift basket will be some kind of reusable container with an assortment of different items in it. If you are trying to save money, skimp on the basket and focus on the quality of the items inside the basket. They can always throw away the box it comes in but they will be disappointed if the chocolate doesn’t taste good.

While you can get gift baskets just about anywhere, you will need to go to specific merchants to get chocolate gift baskets. Here are a few of my favorites:

Ghirardelli is one of the most well-known names in chocolate for a good reason. Their chocolate is of incredibly high quality but at affordable prices. Their gift baskets come in a variety of sizes and feature mainly chocolate bars of different sizes and flavors.

If you are looking for chocolate gift baskets with more variety than just candy, Gourmet Gift Baskets is a great option. Some of the items in their various baskets include red wine, chocolate covered fruits, and chocolate cookies. Plus, you can save save $10 on orders of $50 or more with code HOLIDAY10 (good through 01/31/11).

A final great place to order gift baskets is 1-800-BASKETS. They have quite a few chocolate gifts as well as many different baskets. Although they do not have a specific category for Chocolate Gift Baskets, many of their Towers include chocolate. You will find a lot of branded chocolate there including Fannie May, Cheryl’s, and Godiva. You can save money-15%- (and order a bigger basket!) with code BSKTSAVE15 (ends 12/31/10)

Wherever you decide to shop, remember that you can’t go wrong when you order a great selection of quality chocolates!

NFL Candy from M&M’s

As if M&M’s were not already perfect enough, you can now get them with your favorite NFL team on them! When you go to the site, you first choose your favorite team (for me, that is the Pittsburgh Steelers, but we can all agree to disagree). Once you select your team, you will see which M&M’s will be included. The Steelers M&M mix has a white and a gold each with our emblem as well as a gold one with “Steelers” in black and a regular black one with an “m” on it. Some of the other teams actually had 4 colors of candy rather than 3.

After choosing your team, you have to decide how you want them packaged. You can get a themed 7oz bag, a dispenser with your team’s logo and 3 7oz bags, or 5 pounds in bulk.

Right now is a particularly good time to get the NFL M&M’s because they are 10% off. But that deal won’t last long, so you had better order quickly! Click here to see all of the NFL M&M’s.

Chocolate Birthday Party Favors

We found a site with the cutest party favors, including chocolate birthday party favors! I always thought of Beau-coup as for weddings, but it turns out that they have favors for any type of party or celebration. Here are just a few that we found for birthdays.

Personalized Birthday Hershey’s Kisses
Hershey’s chocolate is as decadent now as it was 100 years ago. Our personalized birthday Hershey’s chocolate collection features dozens of fun designs for any type of birthday party. Find one that suits your style and customize with your own text

Mini Monogrammed Brownie Favor Pops
What’s glamorously chic on the outside, yet sensuously sweet on the inside? No, not the birthday girl—these monogrammed brownie favor pops! But the glam chocolate monogram is just the icing on the cake: at the center of each favor pop is a delicious fresh-baked brownie. They’re the perfect gourmet favor for any bridal shower, birthday party or bachelorette fete.

Each chocolate-covered brownie favor pop features a single initial in either milk, dark or white chocolate. Arrives individually wrapped in cellophane and tied with an organza bow. Measures approximately 1.75″ diameter and 4.88″ high (including the stick).

Personalized Birthday Hot Chocolate Mix
Hot chocolate is the ultimate comfort drink. Deliciously creamy and delightfully tasty, each cup will warm your heart and sooth your mind. Our special Birthday Cocoa Collection transforms this childhood favorite into a popular birthday party favor for all ages. Kids will love the fun, personalized packets and adults won’t be able to resist the gourmet cocoa experience.

Each single serving of drink mix comes sealed in a beautiful white gloss pouch (5″L x 3.75″W) that contains 1.25 ounces of powder drink mix. Hot chocolate mix has a shelf life of approximately 12 months. Instructions on how to make the perfect cup of cocoa are on the back of each packet.

Click here to see all of the edible party favors from Beau-coup.

New Ghirardelli Flavors

Ghirardelli Chocolate is coming out with two new flavors, and you can now get them online!

Intense Dark Sea Salt Soiree Bar
“The luxuriously deep and velvety dark chocolate in Sea Salt Soiree is infused with bursts of sea salt and roasted almonds delivering unrivaled chocolate intensity. Experience a moment of timeless pleasure with Ghirardelli’s all natural Intense Dark Chocolate.”

Dark & Orange Filled Bar
“Take time to slow down and feel yourself melt with each bite. Savor the luxuriously rich flavors surrounding your senses – velvety chocolate and zesty burst of real oranges. Enjoy as the chocolate pleasure lingers.”

What’s great about these two new flavors is that they have the flavor of an expensive gourmet chocolate but with a price tag that doesn’t make you feel guilty about splurging on them. I tried them both and liked the Dark & Orange slightly better. I’m a dark chocolate fan to begin with, so that helped. I actually wasn’t sure that I would like the Dark Sea Salt at all but ended up finding it to be an addictive combination. The salt cut the sweetness just enough. The orange reminded me of their raspberry filled bars but not quite as sweet.

Bars start at less than $4. Click here to try out the new Ghirardelli flavors online before they are released in the stores.

(For a limited time,  you can use code SUNSHINE15 and get 15% off of your Ghirardelli purchase)

Cinco de Mayo Chocolate Recipes

For Cinco de Mayo, we found a great guest post for Chocolate Picnic!

Using Chocolate in Mexican Desserts

Chocolate is a Mexican staple and the Aztecs used it both as currency and food. They used to combine it with seeds, honey, spices and nuts to make delicious drinks which were enjoyed by noblemen and used in rituals by Aztec priests. Chocolate can be traced even further back, to the Mayan times.

The Spanish explorers took chocolate to Spain with them and it became the official drink of the king. Around the turn of the nineteenth century, hot chocolate was made with sugar and milk in Europe and this mixture evolved into the hot chocolate we know and love today.

Before then, hot chocolate was rather a bitter flavored drink rather than a sweet one. A lot of porcelain manufacturers at the time began making special ranges cups and pots just for hot chocolate because of its popularity.

Mexican Chocolate Drinks

Chocolate is used in Mexican dessert recipes but it is also used to make a variety of drinks. Since Mexican chocolate drinks are so thick and sweet, they can count as desserts too.

A wooden whisk known as a molinillo is often used to froth Mexican hot chocolate drinks such as champurrado and atole. A cold chocolate drink called tejate is a specialty in the Oaxaca region and this drink is a frothy combination of cocoa flowers, dark chocolate and corn masa.

Mole is a savory Mexican sauce which contains nuts, chili, tomato, chocolate, spices and garlic. Only a small amount of dark, bitter chocolate is used to make mole and this sauce is served with chicken or turkey. Chocolate mousse, chocolate flan and chocolate souffle are other examples of Mexican desserts featuring chocolate as an ingredient.

Recipe for Mexican Chocolate Soup

This tasty and unusual dessert recipe is known as “sopa de chocolate” in Mexico and it clearly reflects the French influence on Mexican cuisine. A lot of Mexican recipes have French, Portuguese, Indian, Spanish or Caribbean touches and Mexican food is a combination of many cuisines. This Mexican dessert recipe serves four people.

What you will need:

  • 2 oz grated Mexican chocolate
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons slivered almonds

How to make it:Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cook 1/4 cup of the sugar with the milk gently in a pan over a low flame. Separate the eggs and beat the egg yolks with 1/4 cup of sugar. Pour the egg yolk mixture into the milk and keep cooking it, stirring all the time, until the mixture is thick. Do not let it boil.

Stir in the chocolate until the mixture is smooth. Let it cool down and divide it between four serving dishes. Beat the egg whites and sugar until you get stiff peaks, then divide this mixture between four custard cups. Put these in a pan with an inch of water in it and bake until the meringues are cooked and golden brown.

Add a meringue to each of the serving dishes and sprinkle the almonds over the top. A dollop of vanilla ice cream would also be a good garnish for these Mexican desserts.

Both sweet and savory Mexican recipes can feature Mexican chocolate to enhance the flavor. Mexican chocolate ranges from bitter, dark and unspiced to cinnamon and even chili varieties. Vanilla, cinnamon and fruit are also popular ingredients in delicious Mexican desserts and a lot of these desserts are really easy to make. The Sweet Side of Mexican Food

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