Everything you want to know about chocolate
1. For the friend who ritualizes her afternoon tea
Stroopwafels from The Good Batch. These large, thin cookies are meant to sit on top of a mug or teacup, allowing the steam to soften the caramel filling.
2. The I-know-that-you're-a-vegan-but-not-much-else-about-you office holiday gift exchange recipient
Portobello jerky from Kings County Jerky, salt and vinegar NY Naturals kale chips, and however many Luminous Kitchens Bum Bars it takes to reach your office's set price limit. Your vegan acquaintance will appreciate having some genuinely delicious treats he or she can eat after being surrounded by off-limits cookies and cakes and candy for weeks.
3. Your dad, who has a wicked sweet tooth, but also loves anything spicy
Cayenne toffee from Pure Goodies. The combination will blow his everlovin' mind.
4. Your boyfriend, who doesn't typically like to snack
Old Salties from Ovenly. Bacon-fat peanuts with Old Bay seasoning just may be his kryptonite.
5. Your friends with the cocktail blog
Syrups from Royal Rose. They'll have a blast figuring out how to pair esoteric liquors and hard-to-find mixers with syrups like cardamom-clove or tamarind. (Tip for hacks like me: they all go really well with prosecco.)
6. The chocolate lover who is genuinely pained anytime she encounters comic sans
Raaka chocolate bars. The chocolate is delicious (vanilla roobios is my favorite; it really does, as the flavor notes on the back say, taste like cherries and toasted marshmallow) and the packaging is font-snob-worthy gorgeous.
7. The coworker who's always talking about needing more coffee to get through the day
Activation Energy granola from Granola Lab. There's bonus coffee in the granola itself, along with chocolate and whole toasted hazelnuts.
8. That person who's always talking about their SodaStream
9. Your best-loved adventurous eater
Fine & Raw's mesquite bar. This sweet and smoky chocolate bar was one of my favorites of the products I tried for this column this year, but it's a bit of a love-it-or-hate-it kind of confection.
10. Someone you're absolutely certain loves sauerkraut
Sauerkraut from Brooklyn Brine and Sour Puss Pickles. Both are outstanding, though their characters are vastly different. Brooklyn Brine's bourbon-cask-aged version is fairly soft and unusually dark in color, with an unparalleled depth of flavor, while Sour Puss's is lighter and tangier and the cabbage itself crunchier.