It seems like all of our favorite holiday indulgences start with the letter C: champagne, caviar and candy. But when it comes to our love for the latter, we’re not merely talking about peppermint candy canes or Jujubes from the drug store. We’re dreaming of luxurious candy that might inspire sugar plum fantasies à la Nutcracker. If your lips like sugar as much as ours, there’s never been a better time to have a sweet tooth. In fact, here are three ideas for last-minute luxe confections around the country that would make great gifts for a loved one — or yourself:
This unique virtual gifting company provides exclusive experiences with celebrated chefs, winemakers and sports stars and then donates the proceeds to charity. For the holiday season, Trevor Traina’s San Francisco-based IfOnly offers Constellation Caramels — so named because the chefs who make the treats are laden with stars from places such as Forbes Travel Guide. Taste Javanese long pepper caramel from Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star restaurant Spruce, Sightglass Coffee caramels from Four-Star Quince, Buddha’s Hand and caraway seed caramels from State Bird Provisions and passion fruit chews by Four-Star Gary Danko. The next batch of 48 candies leaves the kitchen on December 17.
Sugarfina, Beverly Hills
Though Sugarfina debuted online last spring, there’s nothing quite like the experience of walking into the brand-new Beverly Hills boutique. Imagine a candy shop that could be a Trina Turk-designed mash-up of Tiffany & Co. and Willy Wonka’s private factory, and you’d have a pretty good visual of this place. “We eat candy every day,” says Rosie O’Neill, who owns the store with her husband, Josh Resnick. And when they’re not munching, they’re traveling the world to source candies made with natural ingredients and exotic flavors. Their favorite finds include gummy bears made with rosé champagne, interlocking dark chocolate rings brushed with edible silver from Greece, and dark chocolate salted caramels. Allow the candy concierge to help you create a custom sweets bento box, or choose one of Sugarfina’s assortments with cute and apt names such as Tall, Dark & Rich (eight acrylic cubes filled with scrumptious chocolates). Shipping is free on orders over $75 through Dec. 31.
Forbes Travel Guide Tastemaker Katrina Markoff has been disrupting the chocolate world ever since she started adding bacon to her deep-rich chocolate bars and creating exotic truffles scented with ginger, wasabi and curry. But equally as notable as her inventive recipes is her boldly sensuous purple packaging that makes her chocolates ideal for gifting. This season, she breaks her own mold with a creative The Hunger Games Capitol Truffle collection. Underneath a 36-piece truffle assortment, you’ll find another layer of 16 vials and trinkets such as violet petals, gold leaf and matcha tea, along with recipes for creating libations based on the truffles and accoutrements. For something more traditional, choose the Petite Ensemble du Chocolat, a package filled with Vosges’ most popular truffles along with caramel marshmallows and the addictive Bapchi’s caramel toffee. Order by Dec. 18 for complimentary standard delivery before Christmas.
Photos Courtesy of IfOnly and Sugarfina