We're quickly approaching gift-giving season, and while the early birds likely finished all of their Christmas shopping by Halloween, the rest of us are rushing toward the holidays underprepared and overwhelmed. Thankfully, we have a little (obvious) secret up our sleeves: we know that everybody loves chocolate, so why not make that the focus of your presents? With these recipes, you'll be able to make a chocolatey treat for everyone on your list — whether you're gifting a few loved ones or the entire office. Dress them up with holiday colors, and you can scratch shopping right off that to-do list.
A Slightly Sweet Treat to Begin
We're going to organize this list from the least chocolatey recipe to the most chocolatey recipe, because you can basically place everyone you know on a chocolate spectrum, right? These simple but delicious chocolate chip muffins will make the perfect present for a friend who prefers just a touch of sweet (as long as that touch is chocolate).
An Unconventional Treat for the Adventurous Friend
So you have a friend who loves a cozy night in with popcorn and the remote, but she's also someone who longs for adventure. Why not feed her adventurous spirit with an unconventionally tasty gift? A chocolate-topped cinnamon bread pudding is an epicurean adventure, and one she can eat while watching her favorite travel show.
A Show of Undying Love
Make sure you love the person who is getting a basket of homemade chocolate croissants: the buttery chocolate goodness doesn't lie, and it tells him or her all about your long, love-filled hours of baking. But if you want to make the baking process easier, this tutorial also gives you the option of using pre-made croissant dough. Either way, you'll show nothing but love.
A Peanut Butter Partner
Peanut butter is a natural partner to chocolate, so this recipe is perfect for the lifelong friend who has seen you through it all. These no-bake chocolate peanut butter balls wrap a salty-sweet treat inside a chocolate layer, combining the best of both worlds into every bite.
A Chocolate Crunch That's Full of Eccentricities
For your slightly more eccentric friends, an unconventional treat should do the trick. This bark is a charming combination of nuts, malt balls, pretzels and chocolate — it's a little too much, just like your pals. Bonus? You can add a few other ingredients to personalize the bark even more.
A Subtle Gift for the Sophisticated
Macarons always seem to speak of sophistication. For the friend who appreciates precision and class (and falls somewhere in the middle of the chocolate scale), make chocolate macarons. This how-to breaks this seemingly intimidating treat into a feasible task.
A Striking Last-Minute Gift
This chocolate peanut butter bark recipe takes about 20 minutes to create and uses just 3 ingredients, so it's a good one to make if you need a last-minute gift. But a warning: the receiver of this gift must be somewhat chocolate-obsessed. We're on the other side of the spectrum now, meaning that anything you make from here down will be for true chocolate lovers.
A Sweet and Simple Present
You'll want to make these adorable and delicious chocolate strawberry cupcakes for the friend who loves simplicity and is soft around the edges. The frosting is colored and flavored with real strawberries, and the aesthetic of dark chocolate with pink buttercream makes for a delightfully pretty present.
A Decadent Indulgence
We're now in the arena of the truly dedicated chocolate lovers. Friends this far on the chocolate spectrum won't even know what to do when they open your present and find homemade s'mores cake ball truffles ready to be devoured. You may just hear a mumbled "thank you" in between bites.
A Timeless Treat for the Classic Chocolate Lover
Brownies are perhaps the most classic chocolate gift you could give. To make things a little more interesting, while keeping the recipe easy, try making brownies from cake mix. This is as chocolatey as it gets, perfect for the friend who absolutely adores everything about the flavor.