Ever notice that your chocolate-loving friends are kind of expensive around Valentine's Day, birthdays, Christmas, etc.? It's amazing how the love of something you can buy at the store for a dollar a bar somehow turns into a hefty bill at a fine artisan chocolatier. However, fear not! There are many gifts you can find for your chocolaty friends for less than $20.
You're probably thinking "duh," but there is an art to buying a box of chocolates that goes beyond dropping 10 bucks at Wal-Mart for a mixed-bag of truffles. Those boxes always feature different flavors of chocolate candy and almost no chocolate lover will enjoy them all (and, in fact, some purists won't like any of them). If you want to test this out, buy several boxes and see how long the raspberry fluff chocolates stick around.
Also, this is supposed to be a fine chocolate gift. You don't need a box of 30 chocolates. Instead, find the finest chocolates you can for under $20 and give them. For some chocolate lovers, four small chocolate bites are better than 40 so-so ones. We love this Ghirardelli Chocolate truffle collection for $16.
For the chocolate lover who drinks, there's always Godiva chocolate liqueur. Available in several varieties, including white chocolate, Godiva liqueur is wonderful because it actually tastes like Godiva chocolate. Even better, it's available in most places for about $15.
A chocolate chipper looks like it might have been created by the mini-rake industry to increase sales, but it's actually a useful tool for chocolate lovers. The chipper is used to make chocolate chips and flakes from large chocolate blocks. Of course, it would be cruel not to give your chocolate-loving friends a test block to try their chipper on.
Double-dutch cocoa powder is for the chocolate lover who bakes. Double-dutch process powder is extra luxurious (and chocolaty), perfect for the baker who only wants the best. The process is proprietary to the King Arthur brand and must be purchased from them, but it's definitely worth it for $13.
Artisanal chocolate is made in small batches by master chocolatiers and is serious eats for serious chocolate lovers. It can sometimes be difficult to find, and you usually have to order it online, but one bite of Patric Chocolate or Christopher Elbow or other artisans and all of the trouble will definitely be worth it.
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