Enjoy Southern chocolate for the holidays

Chocolate truffles from the Chocolaterie. Courtesy of the Chocolatier
caption arrowCaption
Chocolate truffles from the Chocolaterie. Courtesy of the Chocolatier

Credit: Handout

Credit: Handout

If you’re looking to give someone chocolate for the holidays, you might want to check out these Southern delights.

Chocolate truffles

Nancy Rangel and Diana Hsieh met as employees of the Chocolaterie, when the shop was under the ownership of Mike and Elizabeth Ashworth and located in Cumming. In 2016, the business moved to a historic bank building in downtown Duluth. Two years later, the Ashworths retired, and Rangel and Hsieh took over the Chocolaterie. Six days a week, they’re in the store, making by hand a variety of truffles, turtles, cordials, barks and other treats, including a variety of flavors of fudge and ice cream. We sampled their holiday gift box, filled with hand-painted bonbons, ranging in flavor from Grand Marnier to eggnog. We thought the vanilla snowman was charming, and the tiny, solid milk chocolate Christmas tree, with its dozens of hand-painted ornaments, was adorable. A box of any size would make a wonderful holiday gift.

$15.95 for a five-piece box, $84.95 for a 30-piece box. Available at the Chocolaterie, 3099 Main St., Duluth. Order for store pickup: thechocolaterie.com, or thechocolaterie.com/product-page/the-chocolaterie-holiday-box for the holiday gift box.

ExploreMore must-buy food products
caption arrowCaption
Bumble Bees from Colts Chocolate Co. Courtesy of Amber Beckham

Credit: Amber Beckham

Bumble Bees from Colts Chocolate Co. Courtesy of Amber Beckham
caption arrowCaption
Bumble Bees from Colts Chocolate Co. Courtesy of Amber Beckham

Credit: Amber Beckham

Credit: Amber Beckham

Marie McGhee’s Bumble Bees

Nashville-based Colts Chocolate was founded in 1984 by Mackenzie Colt. A native of Memphis and daughter of a St. Louis Browns baseball player, Colt spent many years as a singer and songwriter for the likes of Buck Owens, and appeared on the television program “Hee Haw.” A self-taught cook and candymaker, she eventually left entertainment to open Colts Chocolates, featuring as her signature item Colts Bolts, a combination of peanut butter, whole almonds and chocolate. However, our favorite is Marie McGhee’s Bumble Bees, named after Colt’s mother. Toasted pecans are topped with salted caramel, and then everything is covered in milk chocolate. Once cooled, each candy is wrapped individually. The combination of buttery, salty and nutty with the chocolate coating is addictive. She offers plenty of other sweet treats — including Bolts Bites, salted caramel gooey butter bars and lots of pies — but it’s the Bumble Bees that we’re ordering in quantity.

$19 for a 12-piece bag. Order at coltschocolates.com.

ExploreSome of the best chocolate Atlanta has to offer
caption arrowCaption
Drinking chocolate and peppermint bark from Xocolatl. Courtesy of Xocolatl

Credit: Handout

Drinking chocolate and peppermint bark from Xocolatl. Courtesy of Xocolatl
caption arrowCaption
Drinking chocolate and peppermint bark from Xocolatl. Courtesy of Xocolatl

Credit: Handout

Credit: Handout

Drinking chocolate and peppermint bark

Atlanta chocolate-maker Xocolatl is known for sourcing cacao beans from all over the globe to produce single-origin chocolate bars that surprise with their variations in flavor. You can try bars in 14 different variations, or you can decide you want to nibble on chocolate while also drinking chocolate. One of their best-selling holiday combinations is A Sweet Lil’ Sampler, featuring a bar of peppermint bark (a layer of almond butter white chocolate, a layer of minty dark chocolate and lots of crushed peppermint candy), a bar of Tanzania 73% (organic cacao from Tanzania and cane sugar) and 8 ounces of drinking chocolate (crumbles and bits of Nicaraguan dark chocolate, combined with organic cane sugar). There are directions for hot chocolate (the mix plus water), drinking chocolate (the mix plus milk) and sipping chocolate (mixed with just enough water to make a thick, rich drink you’ll just want to sip). This is hot chocolate for connoisseurs.

$42 for A Sweet Lil’ Sampler, with 8-ounces of drinking chocolate, a 2.7-ounce Tanzania chocolate bar and a 4-ounce bar of peppermint bark. Available at Xocolatl at Krog Street Market, 99 Krog St., Atlanta, or at xocolatlchocolate.com.

ExploreOur favorite dishes in Atlanta right now

Sign up for the AJC Food and Dining Newsletter

Read more stories like this by liking Atlanta Restaurant Scene on Facebook, following @ATLDiningNews on Twitter and @ajcdining on Instagram.

About the Author

Editors' Picks