What makes a simple chocolate bar a great gift? The stealth addition of olive oil, banana pulp, or halvah, for starters. Here, five unique options for jaded chocoholics.
K + M Extravirgin Chocolate “Winter Spice”
Thomas Keller launched his healthy-candy collaboration with olive-oil rock star Armando Manni last year, and this seasonal addition to their bean-to-bar line infuses not only Manni’s Tuscan gold but cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and orange oil into Ecuadoran milk chocolate. Polyphenol antioxidants and melting points aside, the subtly spiced result might be the epitome of “good fat” ($15 at the Meadow, 523 Hudson St.).
The Cinephile Snack
Obsessive Chocolate Disorder’s Caramelized Popcorn Bar
Chocolatier Sebastian Brecht’s swervy, lumpy slab is perfect for anyone whose routine movie move is to dump a box of M&Ms over a bucket of popcorn. In this case, the popcorn is caramelized and the chocolate is Cacao Barry’s Ivory Coast Alunga ($11; 63 E. 4th St.).
The Champagne of Chocolate
Gotham Chocolates’ Banana Milk Chocolate
When Gotham Bar and Grill pastry chef Ron Paprocki discovered Valrhona was using banana pulp to induce a secondary fermentation in Madagascar cacao beans — a rarity for chocolate, if not for sparkling wine — he stocked up on the wholesale-only supply and created these limited-edition bars. They’re creamy and smooth, with a barely detectable undercurrent of tropical fruit ($9 at Gotham Bar and Grill and Chelsea Market Baskets).
The Breakfast Bar
Fruition Chocolate x Irving Farm Coffee Roasters’ Chocolate Coffee Bar
Two bean-based Hudson Valley companies join forces to blend heirloom Nicaraguan Chuno cacao with freshly roasted single-origin Guatemalan coffee. It’s dark, bittersweet, and as stimulating as a morning mocha ($8 at Irving Farm Coffee Roasters; multiple locations).
Middle Eastern Crunch
Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate’s Halvah Bar
Texture is the key to this triple-layered treat (housemade halvah sandwiched between rich pistachio ganache and crumbly sablé Breton), inspired by the souks of Astoria’s Steinway Street ($6; 43 W. 42nd St.).
*A version of this article appears in the December 11, 2017, issue of New York Magazine.