Chocolate – some say it’s the gift from gods.
Surely, it can put a smile on anyone’s face.
Albuquerque is home to many local chocolatiers, who have something special to sweeten the holiday season.
This is why Steve Prickett, owner and founder of Eldora Chocolate, has added three new flavors to the menu just in time for the holiday season. Eldora Chocolate is located at 8114 Edith NE.
“It’s our classic, our Mole Mole and Chai,” Prickett said.
The chocolate bars start at $9, while drinking chocolate starts at $16.
“That’s the drinking part of it but the bars are a little bit more like our tart cherry or raspberry,” Prickett said. “A lot of people like our origin and they know we have really fine chocolate so we have our usual people coming in for all of that.”
The tart cherry chocolate bar is selling for $9 while the chocolate truffles cost $4.
“We have sales of our truffles and what folks like to do is they can buy these truffles in the four-, six-, eight- or 12-packs,” Prickett said. “We wrap them up nicely and they can take it home with them and put it into their wrapping or we can help them on the wrapping part of that but they like to give those out as gifts, give them out to their spouses or close friends.”
The truffles have turned into a stocking stuffer for locals.
“A lot of people just want to reward or just give gifts to their closest associates or their top team members or close friends,” Pickett said. “They will buy 10 or 12 or 15 of our 12-packs just to get them to their associates so, yeah, the truffles are a big seller and we do sell bars but I would say in the holiday season, truffles outsell the bars by quite a bit.”
The truffles start at $3 for one and go up to a 12-pack for $33.
Another spot to consider during the holidays is Celina’s Biscochitos, .
“For me, it’s kind of one of those things like having tamales for Christmas as New Mexicans, you know, we’re not really into the whole sugar cookie,” owner Celina Grife said. “We have all grown up with biscochitos.”
Right now, biscochitos are going for $9.50 for a dozen traditional goodies.
“One thing that we are known for is taking a little twist on the traditional biscochitos,” Grife said. “We do specialty things like green chile pecan, and red chile biscochitos and we do a cranberry walnut one during the holidays.”
“We are one of the few companies that is known for taking a little twist on it so cranberry walnut is a new one for us,” Grife said. “We actually do an advent calendar, even with the flavors that we do throughout the year that are seasonal, so you can get all of those flavors in one app and when they’re gone, they’re gone as we make a limited supply.”
Grife said the red chile chocolate biscochitos are one of the best items on the menu.
“The reason I liked the red chile is because it tastes like a traditional biscochitos when you bite into it, and then you just get that little hint of heat and the chocolate,” Grife said. “The combination of the chocolate with the red chile and the biscochitos just all works really well together.”
Give them cake
Another great option for some local holiday shopping is Nothing Bundt Cakes, located at 5901-X Wyoming NE.
“We have our regular sales and we have our regular decorations for Thanksgiving as well,” said Barbara Rothweiler, vice president at Nothing Bundt Cakes. “What we do is we have our cakes at our regular prices and we change our decorations and then in December our feature flavor would be peppermint chocolate chip.”
If you are not hungry, there are loads of other items to buy.
“We have lots of retail and lots of mugs and tea towels, aprons, cards, little decorative things like gnomes that reflect the holiday those kinds of things.”
There are many options available to people shopping on a budget.
“Candles always sell well as we have a nice variety of candles and they are kind of unique to the area,” Rothweiler said. “Then when we get to the holiday stuff, the gnomes will sell along with the plates and we try to keep things really reasonably priced.”
“There’s not too many items that are over $20 as most things are $20 or less just because we want people to be interested in buying,” Rothweiler said.
Holiday cakes are starting at $35 with bundtinis going for $28.
“We do a lot of decoration and a lot of crafting for the decorations,” Rothweiler said. “We are constantly doing those kinds of things so we will do well at Christmas time with our little snowman as he will be cute.”
For those who still have a sweet tooth, Buffet’s Candies, at 7001 Lomas NE, is a great destination for all your sugary needs.
“We have got a really good array of stuff under $20 that I think would be great stocking stuffers,” operations manager Tyler Buffett said. “One of our best sellers for that is we’ve got of chocolate covered Oreos and that one’s a fantastic stocking stuffer.”
An eight-pack of Bufforeos is currently running at $13.95 while milk chocolate covered walnuts and sea salt caramels each cost a dollar apiece.
“If it is a solid chocolate mold, like a Santa that’s made out of solid chocolate then we definitely sell more milk,” Buffett said. “But in the assortments it’s an even split 50-50 and people love it so I would encourage people to try eating dark chocolate because I think it’s better but that’s just a personal opinion.”