Holiday gift guide: Candy!!!



By Kaitlin Resler

If you've been waiting to find the perfect little extra gift, or you're just looking for something nice for someone you know so well, today's gift idea might be just the ticket.

Because let's face it: locally made candy might very well be the best thing since --- well, itself.

Here are a few of my favorite local candy shops and some of their most popular holiday treats:

Uncle Sams

Boxes of candy for everyone, ever! If you don't expire from delight at the smell of delicious candy upon entering Uncle Sam's, you'll be able to scoop up a few boxes for the hard-to-buy-for relative, friend, or co-worker. They have almost every incarnation of chocolate imaginable -- like kittens and owls (If you're feeling really clever you could get one of each and "The Owl and the Pussycat" children's book), as well as tons and tons and tons of ready-boxed and wrapped options, including peanut-butter ribbon candy. If you'd like to put together your own selection, though (a box of creams perhaps? or handfuls of gummy fruit slices to munch on for your drive home), there is a candy bar where you can have delicious treats packed up to your heart's content.

Who is it for?
Locally made assortments are a really great gift for last-minute scrambles, extra add-ons, or something to bring as an offering to a holiday gathering. Uncle Sam's has a great selection of chocolate shaped like, well, pretty much everything (not just owls and kittens -- remote controls, cars, tool kits, baseball bats, music notes, horseshoes, and trolls -- just to name a few).

The assorted boxes are also a great gift for someone you might not know so well--with so many options, they're sure to like something! And don't forget the peanut butter ribbon candy! If you know someone who's worried about sugar, they've got lots of sugar-free options too.

Oh, and It's usually a good idea to get your self a tiny box, so as not to sneak from the gifts (I tend to break mine open as soon as I hit the car.)

How much?
Prices will vary depending on what you choose, but it won't break the bank. Most of the chocolate items shaped like -- well -- assorted stuff are between 3.99$-8.99$ depending on the size. Pre-assembled boxes are mostly $14.99 for one pound, while some of the cream chocolates in the cases are around $12.99 a pound--all depending on the kinds of course.

Chocolate Gecko

More candy! If you're closer to Albany than Schenectady, a peek into The Chocolate Gecko will solve your candy-gifting needs. Gift baskets are available, as are little packages of delicate and delicious treats (chocolate covered pretzels for example), and a delightful case from which to choose your own arrangement of chocolates. If you're totally in doubt, grab a gift certificate, and your gift-ee will be able to ruminate over the choices for themselves! Also, chocolate covered apricots, chocolate covered marshmallows, and Komodo crunch (butter toffee!) will test your willpower while you shop. Take my advice -- do not resist!

Who is it for?
Chocolate Gecko items would also suit good friends, new friends, or people you haven't met, yet (and let's face it -- pretty much everyone likes and appreciates a nice piece of candy). Gecko does seem to have more serious chocolate -- they have molded truffles shaped like Buddha, but no kittens. This is an ideal stop if you're shopping for a chocolate lover. Gecko's items are also carried at The Good Leaf and Spectrum 8 Theater in Albany, so if you're grabbing some gifts from either of those places, a few treats would go along well.

How much?
Gift baskets are made-to-order and prices vary, but pre-packaged portions of most of the product is available throughout the store -- or you can make up a box yourself if you'd like. Komodo Crunch starts at 7$ for 1/4 pound, and most other options start at that price or thereabouts (some are 8$ or 9$ for the smallest measured amount, other are packaged in groups and priced at around the same that way).


Don't forget Isn't It Sweet on New Scotland Ave. They were featured on AOA back in April for their chocolate potato chips

They also have real deal licorice (real licorice > twizzlers).

BACON! Going this weekend to get chocolate covered bacon at Village Sweet Shoppe in Ballston Spa!

Don't forget Barkeater Chocolates up in the North Country! Here's a link to some of the tastiest truffles around

Krauses. Please, don't forget Krauses. (Central Ave in Colonie, as if you didn't know!)

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