Vol.1, No.3

Make your own chocolate gift basket

A chocolate gift basket filled with tasty treats and calorie-free novelties is sure to delight any chocoholic.

Chocolate gift basket
Photo Credit: Kelly Cline
Rich, creamy, and decadent, chocolate is one of the world's favorite treats. A chocolate gift basket is a fun and easy way to share different treats and trinkets, and a cleverly presented assortment delights both the eye and the palette. To make the perfect gift basket, carefully consider its presentation and contents, and personalize it for the recipient's taste, whether they prefer milk, dark, or white chocolate.

Luxurious Wrappings

The first impression a gift makes is through its presentation. A gift basket doesn't necessarily need to be in a basket at all: a ceramic bowl, decorative bag, or unique box is an unusual choice that adds flair and individuality to a homemade gift. For the best aesthetic appeal, the container should have low sides and adequate space to handsomely display different items without any being buried or obscured. A smaller basket is ideal for chocolate gifts - smaller space keeps calories low!

Simply arranging items in a container is as sterile as factory packaging. Liners add luxury and texture to any basket, and a silk or velvet fabric in a dark brown shade creates a sense of each gift floating in chocolate. To create startling contrast, choose a white fabric that represents white chocolate or cool milk. Novelty fabrics are available in chocolate chip, cookie, and cake patterns to coordinate with numerous treats. Shredded papers also make perfect lining, and assorted gold, brown, and white shreds are appropriate for a chocolate theme. A gold or brown ribbon is a bold embellishment around the basket to complete the presentation.

Delicious Fillings

Most gift baskets have one central gift that is larger, more expensive, or more individualized than smaller items. For a chocolate arrangement, a luxury assortment, gourmet covered apple, or inedible chocolate item such as a chocoholic t-shirt or treat-related movie may be the main gift. Molded chocolates are especially popular and can be found in myriad shapes: computer keyboards, golf balls, tools, cars, animals, and even personalized names are available.

Smaller chocolate items surround the central gift and add texture and variety to the selection. Hot cocoa, chocolate-dipped coffee spoons, miniature candy bars, chocolate kisses, and wrapped shapes such as coins, lips, balls, and hearts are common fillers. Wrapped items come in multiple colors to match seasons or favorite colors for further personalization. Fudge sauces, sundae toppings, and gourmet samplers are other favorite choices.

Chocolate is frequently used as a dip or coating for coordinating flavors. Chocolate-covered fruits such as strawberries, oranges, and pineapple slices are popular, but be sure they will be eaten promptly to avoid spoiling. Dipped pretzels, cookies, marshmallows are tasty gourmet treats, while chocolate-covered raisins, coffee beans, nuts, and popcorn are suitable as small fillers. If you choose to wrap small quantities yourself, use clear packages to accentuate different colors and textures.

Creating brownies-in-a-jar is a unique addition to any gift basket. Simply spoon dry ingredients into a clear jar, separating different textures and colors such as cocoa, flour, chocolate chips, and nuts to create interesting layers. Be sure to include an instruction card with perishable ingredients and cooking instructions. Close the jar tightly and top with a festive ribbon for a tasty accompaniment to other chocolate gifts.

Chocolate is frequently associated with romance, and a chocolate gift basket is a romantic gesture for a couple to share. Chocolate roses, covered strawberries (possibly decorated as brides and grooms), and edible chocolate body paint are all exotic selections to enhance any romantic mood.

Not every treat in a chocolate gift basket needs to be chocolate. Peanut butter, vanilla, coffee, and caramel are popular coordinating flavors that go well with different chocolate treats. True chocolate connoisseurs will appreciate the contrasting flavors that allow them to cleanse their palettes before sampling different chocolate blends.

While many chocolate lovers can't get enough of the tasty treat, calorie-free inedible gifts can help stave off cravings. Chocolate-themed calendars, bookmarks, magnets, scented candles, and specialty soaps are quaint novelty items that enhance a gift basket. Vintage plush dolls such as a teddy bear with a luxuriant chocolate brown coat or a stuffed chocolate kiss are unique and treasured choices. Dozens of books about chocolate are available, from cookbooks to history books to chocolate-themed mysteries. Chocolatier magazine is a decadent treat for a gourmet aficionado, while children's books about chocolate are perfect gag gifts for any chocoholic. Other calorie-free treats include scented body lotion, flavored lip gloss (available in many chocolate and candy bar flavors), dollhouse miniature treats, and candy molds to create an endless chocolate supply.

Savory gift baskets are a combination of elegant wrappings and sumptuous treats. A chocolate gift basket is easily personalized for the recipient's hobby, profession, or specific chocolate preferences. From truffles, kisses, and dipped fruits to magnets, candles, and lip gloss, a sweet gift basket will set any chocoholic's mouth watering.