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Archive for Chocolate

GIFT: Fall Non-Pareils, Perky Chocolate Turkey

Handmade, seasonal non-pareils. Photo
courtesy Li-Lac Chocolate.


If you need a small gift, including something for your Thanksgiving hosts, how about a box of these fall-accented non-pareils?

They’re from Li-Lac Chocolates in New York City’s Greenwich Village, a company that just celebrated its 80th anniversary.

They’re available in dark or milk chocolate in 1/2-, 1- and 2-pound boxes, they are $21/pound.

If you prefer to make something yourself, get some seasonal sprinkles and shake them onto icing or whipped cream:

  • Fall Leaves
  • Non-Pareils


    Chocolate turkeys abound, but this one adds something special: candy corn “feathers” on its tail.

    The jumbo chocolate turkey is handmade to order, in dark, milk or white chocolate. It’s $75.00, also at Li-Lac Chocolates.

    Kids will swoon for it; but it can serve as a centerpiece.

    Perhaps award it as a prize to the best-behaved child?


    Struttin’ his stuff. Photo courtesy Li-Lac Chocolates.




    HALLOWEEN: Creative Witch & Pumpkin Chocolate

    We’ve seen a lot of Halloween chocolate, but the best molded chocolate of the season are from Li-Lac Chocolates in New York City: a witch carrying her jack-o’-lantern (at right) and a jack-o’-lantern filled with candy corn (photo below).

    Li-Lac, founded in 1923, is a Manhattan institution. Before the eruption of the artisan food movement in the 1980s, there were only two chocolate shops on the entire West Side of Manhattan Island: Li-Lac Chocolates in Greenwich Village, and Mondel’s Chocolates in Morningside Heights, across the street from Columbia University (it opened in 1943).

    Happily, in this town of real estate sturm und drang, where family businesses regularly “loose their leases*,” these chocolatiers have survived.

    *When the old lease expires, the current, sky-high New York City rents make it impossible for many shopkeepers to keep their doors open.


    A witch carries her own jack-o’-lantern in this beautiful molded piece. Photo courtesy Li-Lac Chocolates.



    In our childhood, we’d take the subway down to Greenwich Village to the original Christopher Street location for some of everything. Our favorites were green marzipan acorns with dark chocolate tops, and chocolate-covered orange peel. McNulty’s Tea & Coffee was (and still is!) right across the street—for decades, the only store devoted to fine, loose tea and coffee beans. This was our first solo “gourmet expedition.”

    Li-Lac was founded in 1923 by a Greek expatriat, George Demetrious, who had studied the art of chocolate-making in France. During the 1920s and through the 1960s, New York City’s Greenwich Village was a Bohemian destination for artists, intellectuals and innovators. They didn’t have to go far for good chocolate, coffee or tea.


    This jack-o’-lantern hides a secret: His head
    isfull of candy corn! Photo courtesy Li-Lac



    For 90 years, Li-Lac has remained true to its history and tradition, eschewing automation and trendiness (no beer and pretzel caramels or chipotle chocolate) to continue production of the original recipes in small-batch production techniques. The company proudly bills itself as “stubbornly old-fashioned.”

    In 2005, rising rents forced Li-Lac to move from its original Christopher Street location. It found new retail quarters some seven blocks away at 40 Eighth Avenue (at Jane Street). There’s another location in Midtown at 109 East 42nd Street. Production moved to Brooklyn.

    Li-Lac’s selection of fresh artisanal chocolate includes more than 140 items—one of the largest selections of fresh gourmet chocolate in America. Take a look at Li-Lac



    If you’re in New York City, this Sunday, November 3rd, Li-Lac is celebrating its 90th anniversary at its Greenwich Village store, 40 Eighth Avenue at Jane Street. From 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. the public is welcome to stop by.

    The company will sell four original chocolate confections at the 1923 prices of 23¢ apiece. There will be complimentary wine pairings by Sparkling Pointe Vineyards and Winery, and the Kitchen Opera Company will provide musical interludes.



    HALLOWEEN: Zoë’s Chocolate Skulls, Bats, Ghosts & Bonbons

    You don’t necessarily associate chocolate with Greece. But Zoë’s Chocolate started with Zoë’s great Aunt Mary and Uncle Jim, who emmigrated to America in 1902. They built a small pushcart to sell homemade, hand-rolled chocolate confections made from their parents’ recipes.

    Their small pushcart quickly grew into a thriving business, and soon they opened a store, Chocolatier Petros, at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania. Mary wrote to her brother Petros, Zoë’s grandfather, to come to the U.S. to work in the chocolate business. Petros and his wife worked side by side in the business for many years.

    Zoe’s father, George decided to visit her grandfather’s family, and began learning the recipes. He met his wife, Elaini, and the visit turned into a permanent stay.

    George, a master chocolatier, has been making the family chocolates ever since—now along with Zoe’s brother, Petros.

    Every bite of Zoë’s Chocolate is packed with three generations of love and devotion. But there’s also fun, as you can see in these gourmet Halloween chocolates.


    Halloween dudes: skills in white, dark and milk chocolate. Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.


    Chocolate Bark: How about a bag of batalicious bark (photo below)? White chocolate is decorated with Halloween’s favorite flying friend ($14).

    Chocolate Skulls: Spookalicious skulls are available in dark, milk or white chocolate (photo above, $3.50 each).

    Marshmallow Ghosts: Soft and gooey ghostly marshmallows with hints of Tahitian vanilla are perfect for those who don’t like chocolate (yes, there are some folks like that). For a ghoulish trick, watch the ghosts disappear in a cup of hot chocolate ($12.00 for a box of 3).

    Petros’ Pumpkin: Hollow dark chocolate pumpkins are filled with chewy sea salt caramels and delicious Drunken Pumpkin chocolate—milk chocolate ganache blended with a silky pumpkin puree and combined with cinnamon, nutmeg, and a hint of Cognac. Classic and beautiful, as well as delicious fun ($18.00).

    Head over to to order yours.


    Go batty for white chocolate bark. Photo by
    Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.



    If your idea of chocolate is a box of ganache- and caramel-filled bonbons, look at Zoë’s classic fare.

    While we don’t have space to show them here, head over to to see them for yourself: beautiful bonbons, half of which have Greek accents:

  • Greek-Inspired Flavors: Aegean Pistachio, Chestnut, Black Daphne Chocolate (flavored with the Port-like Mavrodaphne wine from the Peleponnese in Greece), Dionysus Baklava, Caffe with Greek coffee beans, Mediterranean Citrus, Orange Flower, Persephone’s Pomegranate, Tahini.
  • Classic Favorites:Apple Pie, Black Raspberry, Chewy Sea Salt Caramels, Dark Cacao Nib Ganache, Fleur de Sel Liquid Caramel, Mint, Pinot Noir Infused Fleur de Sel and for the fall season, Spiced Pear Walnut.
    Writing this has taken its toll: We must find a piece of chocolate!




    HALLOWEEN: Custom Chocolate Bars

    Scrumptious fun: custom-decorated Belgian
    chocolate bars for Halloween. Photo courtesy


    Some of our favorite, affordable gifts are customized chocolate bars from, a NIBBLE Top Pick Of The Week and ongoing favorite.

    The base chocolate bar, excellent Belgian chocolate in your choice of dark (72% cacao), milk (34% cacao) or white, is $4.50 (the bar is 3.5 ounces). You can add toppings for about 70¢ apiece, which are then embedded in the top of the bar (some choices are more expensive, some are less).

    There’s a seemingly endless combinations of candies, fruits, herbs and spices, nuts and decorations—it’s actually 300 million possible combinations, according to Chocomize.

    But for Halloween, you can limit your decision-making to these fun toppings:


  • Candy Corn, +70¢
  • Bloody Candy Bones, +60¢
  • Candy Bats, +85¢
  • Apple Caramel Candy Corn, +$0.70¢
  • Halloween Sprinkles, +70¢
  • Cherry-Filled Gummy Skulls, +70¢
  • Halloween Chocolate Rocks +$70¢

    The bars are made fresh to order and arrive within approximately four business days.

    Head to and design a few for yourself or for gifts.



    FOOD HOLIDAY: International Chocolate Day

    September 13th International Chocolate Day and gourmet retailer Balducci’s is celebrating with samplings and giveaways. They’ve also shared their recipe for Dark Chocolate-Chili Fondue, below.

    Balducci’s will have samples of the chocolates at its:

  • New York City store in the Hearst Tower, Eight Avenue and 56th Street, September 13th and 16th.
  • Westport, Connecticut store on September 13th.
  • From September 13th to September 22nd, visitors can enter to win a Balducci’s Chocolate Lover’s Gift Basket, filled with an assortment of international chocolate treats:

  • Chocolove bars from Colorado
  • Divine Fair Trade Milk Chocolate (Washington, D.C.)
  • Ghirardelli and TCHO chocolate from San Francisco

    Celebrate International Chocolate Day with chocolate from different countries. Photo courtesy Balducci’s.

  • Green & Black’s organic bars from England
  • Lindt’s Lindor truffles from Switzerland
  • Perugina Baci from Italy
  • Ritter Sport from Germany
  • And more, including something for chocolate chip cookie lovers: Salt of the Earth Bakery’s The Cookie with Maldon sea salt (New York City)

    Everyone will be happy to celebrate with
    chocolate fondue. Photo courtesy WMMB.



    Ingredients For 4-6 Servings

  • 12 ounces dark chocolate, any brand
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground ancho chili pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Dippers: banana slices, cubed miniature croissants, fresh strawberries, dried apricots, dried figs, ladyfingers, marshmallows, pineapple chunks, potato chips, pretzels and whatever else appeals to you

    1. MELT chocolate with cream, milk, butter, sugar, chili pepper, cinnamon and cayenne in a small heavy sauce pan. Remove from the heat; stir in vanilla.

    2. TRANSFER to a small fondue pot and keep warm. Serve with dippers of your choice



    FOOD FUN: Ice Cream Cone Chocolates

    When you can’t decide if you’d rather have
    chocolate or ice cream. Photo courtesy


    For some chocolate fun, try the “Here’s the Scoop” collection from Choclatique, a Los Angeles-based artisan chocolatier.

    The chocolate makers turned their favorite ice cream flavors into chocolate truffles. Take a bite of Amaretto-Mocha Fudge, Buttery-Toasty Pecan, Dark Chocolate Boysenberry Swirl, Happy Birthday Cake, It’s Been A Rocky Road, Sea-Salted Creamy Caramel and Snowy Vanilla-Peach, among others.

    Of course, the handmade and hand-decorated chocolates aren’t cold like ice cream, but they’re creamy and refreshing. And they don’t melt—at least, not at room temperature.

    Assortments range from 8 pieces to 30 pieces, $20 to $65.

    The company also makes a Designer Donut collection—donut-shaped chocolates in There’s warm glazed doughnuts— Cherry, Cinnamon Twist, Cruller, Frosted Vanilla, Glazed, Maple, and Sprinkles.

    Check out the fun at




    PRODUCT: Lindt HELLO Chocolate Collection

    Have you ever thought about chocolate with a personality?

    Lindt’s new HELLO Assortment actually reaches out to you: “HELLO, here I am! Nice to sweet you!…Let me sweeten your day with yummy chocolates.”

    “Take me. taste me. Love me!” it beckons.

    It’s hard to say no to an offer like that. Lindt is the world’s largest producer of premium chocolates, and this collection of chocolate bars, sticks (thin rods of chocolate) and boxed bonbons is a delight.

    The Lindt HELLO collection is hitting shelves exclusively at Target, with select products available in Lindt Chocolate Shops and on

    We spent all Sunday—July 28th, National Milk Chocolate Day—eating everything Lindt sent us. Yes, this is a tough job.

    Inspired by classic desserts and confections, the HELLO collection includes:


    HELLO bonbons and chocolate sticks. Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.


  • HELLO Chocolate Bars. Not your ordinary candy bars, HELLO bars are part of the trend to filled chocolate squares. Ten scored squares make up each bar, and make it easy to break off just a piece (photo below). In Caramel Brownie, Cookies & Cream, Crunchy Nougat and Strawberry Cheesecake, the SRP is $2.79 for 3.5 ounces/100 grams. There are three limited edition flavors available through October: Berry Affair, Coconut Love and Coffee Blast. Stock up for Halloween!

    HELLO filled chocolate bars: Yum! Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.

  • HELLO Chocolate Sticks and Mini Sticks. A new format in chocolate (photo above), these six-inch by five-eighths inch chocolate “sticks” are divided into six segments that you can snap and savor, one by one. A fun format, the SRP is $0.99 got 1.4 ounces/33 grams. The flavors are the same as the bars, plus three limited edition flavors: Berry Affair, Coconut Love and Lime Splash. You can also purchase bags of individually-wrapped mini sticks in the four year-round flavors, SRP: $3.99.
  • HELLO Boxed Chocolates. Colorful boxes contain nine melt-in-your-mouth bonbons in different assortments We tried the Chocolate Bits gift box (Caramel Brownie, Cookies & Cream and Crunchy Nougat), in fun shapes that include hearts and speech bubbles (photo above). The SRP is $5.99 for 3.5 ounces/100 grams. The larger Chocolate Delights gift box is $9.99.
    Learn more at, where you can enter a sweepstakes to win your own cache of HELLO chocolate.



    PRODUCT: Ghiradelli Chocolate Bars

    Some people are purists; but when we enjoy a chocolate bar, we have a better time when it’s combined with another flavor. Ghirardelli has an armload of options in dark, milk and white chocolate: plump melt-in-your-mouth squares variously filled with caramel, mint, orange, raspberry and other favorites.

    The company recently added two new flavors to the line: Mint Cookie and Toffee Crunch.

    As a lover of all things mint, our favorite has got to be Mint Cookie. Milk chocolate with crunchy mint cookie filling, this chocolate bar is a major improvement on the iconic Girl Scout Thin Mint Cookie, with so much more (and better) chocolate.

    You can reward yourself with a small piece or two each day: The bars are scored for portion control. If you don’t trust yourself to break off just a piece, several of the flavors are available in bags of pre-wrapped squares.

    The 3.45-ounce bars have a suggested retail price of $2.79, and are available at retailers nationwide. If you buy them at Ghirardelli’s online store, you get five bars for the price of four.


    Some of Ghirardelli’s extensive line of filled chocolate bars. Photo by Elivra Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.





    FATHER’S DAY GIFT: Chocolate Golf Balls

    Fore! Well actually, each package contains
    three. Photo courtesy Edward Marc


    Looking for a special party favor for all the dads at your Father’s Day celebration?

    Check out these solid chocolate golf balls from artisan chocolatier Edward Marc.

    Clear packaging displays three golf balls atop faux grass, in your choice of dark, milk or white chocolate.

    Order at

    Some people we know have given the white chocolate golf balls as wedding favors!

    Not into golf?

    Give Dad a box of seven chocolate neckties: different designs in Dark Honey Coconut, Milk Peanut Butter Mousse Truffle, Milk Salted Caramel and White Mocha Truffle.



    Edward Marc has been an artisan chocolate shop since 1914. That year, a young Greek couple arrived in New York City to pursue the American dream. They settled in Pittsburgh, and set up shop making the same delicious handcrafted chocolates they made in Greece.

    This young couple—Charlie and Orania—became the great grandparents of today’s owners, as the business was handed down from generation to generation.

    The great grandchildren proudly continue the family tradition. We look forward to sampling the specialties of the company’s 100th anniversary next year.



    FATHER’S DAY GIFT: Flavored Chocolate Bars

    The most fun assortment of chocolate bars.
    Photo courtesy Hebert Candies.


    Father’s Day is a week from today. If Dad enjoys a chocolate bar, how about giving him twelve of them, all in different fun flavors?

    Hebert Candies of Shrewsbury, Massachussetts has created a gift box of delightful chocolate bars—a unique take on this favorite indulgence. There are 12-packs and 6-packs, plus individual bars in whatever flavors you like.

    The gift box of 12 bars, $34.95, includes both milk chocolate bars and dark chocolate bars in:

  • Café Espresso Bean
  • Caramel Smoothie
  • Marshmallow S’mores Galore
  • Peanut Butter Cup
  • Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich
  • Peppermint Candy Crunch
  • Poppin’ Candy Crunch
  • Raspberry Burst
  • Salty Sea Shore Caramel
  • Shakin’ Malted Milkshake
  • Smokin’ Chipotle
  • Toffee Munchin’ Crunch
    Additional flavors include Coconut Craze, Kettle Potato Chip, Mint Cookie Crunch, Milk Chocolate With Caramel, Milk Chocolate With Crisped Rice, Milk Chocolate With Peanut Butter and Dark Chocolate With Raspberry. Plain bars are available in dark, milk and white chocolate.

    If there’s someplace closer to chocolate bar heaven, we’d like to know about it.


    In 1917, young Frederick Hebert purchased a copper kettle, a knife, a thermometer, a slab of marble and a table. He handcrafted chocolates and caramels in his home kitchen, and sold them to the small neighborhood stores that dotted central Massachusetts.

    Business boomed, and Hebert built the Chocolate Mansion, his chocolate factory in Shrewsbury. If you’re in the area, take a tour of the factory. You’ll be enveloped in the aroma of chocolate that you won’t soon forget.

    In the summer, the venue hosts an oldies car show every Thursday, with a build your own sundae bar. In the winter, you can have your photo taken with Santa, or with the Easter Bunny in the spring.

    According to the company website, Frederick Hebert introduced white chocolate to the United States in 1956, after tasting “white coat” candies in Europe. (The first white chocolate bar was launched by Swiss chocolate manufacturer Nestlé in the 1930s.)

    Discover more on the company website.



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