5 Foodie Gift Ideas: Online Chocolate Treats

Over the next couple weeks, I figured I'd write up a few blogs with some foodies gift ideas. The first in this series will focus on chocolate treats. In this one, all the treats are also ones you can mail.

When I was a kid I recall one year asking for a savings bond for Christmas. My mom promptly told me no way. Despite being raise by an accountant father, our mom always said we should "have something to show for it" and not request money or something that wouldn't last.

So, she favored possessions that were useful and would bring us joy over the sensible savings bond idea. So, taking into account that "something to show for it" idea of mom's, food was really not something that we've gotten one another at holiday time. A scarf that can be worn for years? Yes. A board game that will bring hours of enjoyment? Certainly. A nice sweater to keep you warm all winter? Of course. A fruitcake? No so much.

I guess I had a little foodie in me back then because once I was old enough to have a little cash to buy presents for my older siblings and my parents, I would keep in mind what kind of treats each person liked and usually got that for them. My oldest brother always ate the big Bavarian pretzels when he'd watch television, so I'd get him a box. My other brother favored Andes Mints. My big sister likes chocolate covered cherries. My mom loved Turtles. My dad didn't have much of a sweet tooth, but when he did, he'd reach for a Mr. Goodbar or some peanut brittle.

Food is now one of my favorite gifts to get. I'd much rather get a box of gourmet chocolates or hot cocoa mix than a corny knick knack that will just collect dust.

I've mentioned on the blog more than a few times that I'm a chocoholic. Make that a raging chocoholic. If you have someone like that in your family, they'd probably love to find one of the following in their stocking!

1) Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. This place has tons of goodies that are sure to please the chocolate lover on your list. Besides boxed chocolate candies, you can also order fudge, caramel corn and their awesome caramel apples (pictured on left.) Who wouldn't love one of those?

Order online at www.rockymountainchocolatefactory.com

2) Chocolate pretzels, Christmas crunch, chocolate soldiers, fudge, chocolate double dipped peanuts and sea salt caramels on among the goodies that can be ordered from South Bend Chocolate Company to someone on your Christmas list. I've sampled many of their items at several locations and haven't yet found one I don't like!

Order online at www.sbchocolate.com

3) For 92 years, Chicagoans have enjoyed sweet treats made by Fannie May. For 14 years I worked as a secretary in school district and Christmas was always a flood of goodies. Besides the office grab bags and gift exchanges, vendors would often send in gifts of appreciation - sometimes a fruit basket or a lunchmeat tray or a big tin of popcorn, but the best was when a tower of Fannie Mays arrived full of Pixies, Trinidads and Truffles. It's still one of my favorite gifts to get and also to give. I see they are even advertising online that they have same day delivery in Chicago. Get on their e-mail list, too, because they send a lot of information on special offers and coupon codes.

Order online at www.fanniemay.com

4) Gayety's is a local treasure. It started in Chicago the same year as Fannie May and for the past few years has been located in Lansing (they have since opened a store in Schererville, also, although all the candy making is still done in Lansing.) In the summer it is THE place to stop at for some freshly made ice cream with awesome seasonal flavors topped with homemade whipped cream. And although the ice cream is a huge draw, the candy equally as incredible. The photo on the right shows you a few of the treats. The toffee is to die for! And the muddles are similar to a Turtle. I could literally sit and eat that whole tray! Those truffles are just one of the treats you can order online. If you have sports fans to buy for, they have some cool baseball, football, basketball, soccer ball candies that you can also order off the website. I've participated in a foodies pen pal program and I love to include a box of Gayety's in the package...they get rave reviews from the recipients.

Order online at www.gayetyschocolate.com

5) Marshall Field's was an institution in the Chicago area and it still saddens me that it's gone. However, there is some solace in the fact that Macy's took over and the Frango Mints live on through that acquisition. Never had a Frango Mint? Good news - you can order online! And as I'm typing this, there is currently a 15% off and free shipping offer on these delectable little chocolate covered mints. Really, nothing compares to a Frango Mint in my opinion. If you like mint and you like chocolate and you love them put together, you just can't find a better piece of minty perfection than at Macy's.

Order online at http://www1.macys.com/shop/for-the-home/frango-godiva-gourmet-food?id=45859