With the availability of chocolate gifts, the great discounts in all the stores and free shipping with so many online merchants, holiday gift givers should consider holiday chocolate gift baskets, this traditional favorite, as their gift of choice. Most people love to receive the decadent chocolate gift basket treats that they wouldn't purchase for themselves, and the baskets have a good shelf life.
Types of Chocolate
- White Chocolate does not include any non-fat ingredients from the cacao bean, which accounts for its nearly white color. It has a mild, buttery rich flavor, which is sweet, but does not carry the traditional chocolate flavor.
- Milk Chocolate is a sweet chocolate which contains between 10 to 20% cocoa solids and at least 12% milk solids. This type of chocolate is the most commonly used chocolate for mass-produced candy bars, and is a favorite with children due to its sweet, milky and mild flavor.
- Dark Chocolate is a sweetened chocolate which contains a high percentage of cocoa solids and minimal milk solids (less than 12%). It can be produced with a varied range of sweetness, from sweet (35 - 45% cocoa solids) to semi-sweet (40 - 62% cocoa solids) to bittersweet (60-85% cocoa solids). The taste changes from rich and sweet to intense and bitter, as the percentage of cocoa solids increases and the amount of sugar decreases.
Most holiday chocolate gift baskets will include white chocolate, milk chocolate or sweet dark chocolate, since these are the most popular varieties for eating. In addition, you can find gift baskets that include non-chocolate items, making the choices almost limitless.
How to Buy a Chocolate Gift Basket
Many stores, makers of gift baskets and online retailers have such a full selection of options, that you may be overwhelmed in choosing the best basket for your recipient. Follow some simple guidelines to make the best match for your circumstance:
- Identify Your Budget; chocolate gift baskets are available from $20 all the way up to $100 or more. If you are really on a tight budget, you may wish to consider creating your own basket as a way to get more for your money.
- Decide if you want the basket to include just a bit of chocolate or be completely filled with chocolate
- Select the variety of chocolate to be included in the holiday chocolate gift basket (if in doubt, milk chocolate is the safest bet)
- Decide if you want the basket to be themed, such as one that includes chocolate in the shape of golf balls for the avid golfer, Chocolate dipped strawberries are the favorites at Gifty By The Breaking Heart, or another that has candy wrappers that look like dollar bills for those who need an economic stimulus!