comscore Gifts of good taste | Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Gifts of good taste


    Chocole‘a’s gift basket sells for $59.99.

Mission: Quite possible

Chocolate on a Mission, a candy shop that operates under the auspices and for the benefit of the River of Life Mission, has offered handcrafted chocolates since 2011.

A signature blend of dark and milk chocolate covers pretzels, arare, dried fruit, Oreo cookies, fortune cookies, shortbread and truffles, sold for as little as $1.59.

The newest products are chocolate bars, such as the Hawaiian-Inspired Lauhala Blended Bar, above, filled with pineapple, coconut and macadamia nuts ($6.99 per 2.75-ounce bar) and chocolate-dipped spoons (99 cents each) for stirring a little sweetness into coffee.

Custom packages can be assembled for corporate gifts or party favors.

Visit the retail shop at 101 N. Pauahi St., third floor (the entrance is off of Maunakea Street), from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. Order by phone (524-7770) or via the website and drive-by pickup can be arranged. The candies are also sold at Hilo Hattie at Ala Moana Center, R. Field Wine Co. locations inside select Foodland stores, and in several boutiques. Check the website for a full list of outlets. — Betty Shimabukuro

Cookies for a cause, and tea, too

If your cookie baking is not quite up to par, turn instead to Les Dames d’Escoffier’s Hawaii Chapter, which is offering cookie gift baskets, each containing seven types of cookies and specialty teas from The Tea Chest. Some of the best pastry chefs on Oahu are baking for the baskets, among them Abigail Langlas (Cake Works), Jackie Lau (Kitchenette Custom Catering) and Michelle Karr-Ueoka (MW), as well as students from the Waipahu High School Culinary Arts Academy.

Baskets are $25 each. Preorder at Pickup is Dec. 14 at Eat Honolulu, 560 N. Nimitz Highway, Suite 102. Proceeds go toward scholarships for women to study in food programs overseas. — Betty Shimabukuro

Packing heat

Folks who live on fiery heat will welcome this six-pack of Kilauea Fire minibottles. Multiples of Kilauea Fire and Raging Volcano hot sauces allow for keeping a bottle each at home, the office, in a backpack or even the glove compartment of a car.

The Kilauea Fire version has all the sweetness and tanginess of barbecue sauce (it’s based on the company’s original sauce) with a kick of seasoning that combines habanero and cayenne peppers with garlic. Raging Volcano starts with a tangy base, infused with Kilauea Fire seasoning. This one packs a seriously spicy punch.

Find these at the Hawaiian Chip Co. store in Kalihi, 1928 Republican St. Bottles run $2, or $12 for the six-pack. Store hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. Call 845-9868 or visit — Joleen Oshiro

Choco cheers

A gift of Chocole‘a chocolates truffles is always welcome. Open a nine-piece box ($19.99) to find glistening chocolate gems. It’s almost a shame to eat them.

Flavors are true to the ingredients that go into them, which for the holidays means pumpkin spice cookie butter, salted pumpkin caramel and fresh Hawaii Pie Co. pumpkin pie. And just for the season, a limited number of chocolate-coated Oreos are available with holiday motifs. All while supplies last.

Co-owner Erin Kanno Uehara said she always encourages customers to mix and match boxes of truffles, cookies and packages of chocolate-dipped fruit to create their own unique gift baskets. But due to popular demand for convenience, pre-assembled holiday gift baskets will be offered for the first time.

Baskets start at $59.99 for the Sir/Lady Holiday Gift Basket, which includes your choice of three bags of chocolate-dipped mango, pineapple, jabong or macadamia nut clusters; a nine-piece truffle box; three chocolate-covered Oreos in original, mint or peanut butter flavors; and a logo tote bag.

To order call at 371-2234, use the form at or stop by the boutique at 2909 Lowrey Ave., off East Manoa Road. — Nadine Kam

Farm favors

Need gifts with isle flair to send off to faraway places? Treat yourself to a leisurely drive to Haleiwa and visit the quaint Red Barn Farmstand, where an array of pre-assembled gift sets awaits.

From local honey and jellies to teas and macadamia nuts, a variety of products will offer folks abroad a nice slice of Hawaii.

This miniature coffee set features a Red Barn mug and 2-ounce bag of Waialua coffee for $15.

The stand is at 66-320 Kamehameha Highway. Get a peek at some of the selection at or the Red Barn Farmstand page on Facebook. — Joleen Oshiro

A classy idea

The gift of a cooking class is one that keeps on giving. Here’s how to make it happen:

>> Williams-Sonoma offers Cookbook Club gift cards ($75) good for a class based on a specific cookbook (book included). Classes are offered monthly. If your recipient can’t find a suitable class, the cards can be used to purchase items in the store.

Williams-Sonoma also offers design-your-own cooking classes for groups of eight to 10 ($40 to $60 per person). This is a way to clear several gifts in one fell swoop, while reserving time for the gang to get together in the new year.

>> CookSpace in Ward Warehouse, which offers all sorts of cooking classes, has a workshop on Portuguese bean soup with Jonathan Mizukami scheduled for 1 to 3 p.m. Jan. 14. Cost is $68. Go to or call 695-2205.

>> Kapiolani Community College offers an array of noncredit classes. To purchase a class as a gift, call Sylvia at 734-9211 or 734-9256. The classes are listed online at 808news/kcccooking. — Michelle Ramos

Microfibers make maxi gifts

The microfiber kitchen towels in the Kauhale Living line are my favorite gifts for friends and family far away. They’re bright, tropical, inexpensive, light, pack flat and make good padding for cookies or other delicate items.

And they’re a practical gift that will work hard in the kitchen long after the cookies are gone.

The Waipahu-based Kauhale also offers microwave mitts, dish towels, tablecloths and dish drying mats. Find them at Longs Drugs, Foodland and other local stores or on These towels sell for about $5 for a set of two but are often on sale. — Betty Shimabukuro

Visions of sugarplums

Kulu Kulu Cake is taking orders for Christmas cakes and New Year’s osechi bento boxes (above).

Order from among six types of cakes — chocolate, strawberry shortcake, souffle cheesecake, tiramisu, matcha white-chocolate and the Buche De Noel rolled cake — all decorated for the holidays. Prices are $35 to $56, depending on size and type of cake. Order deadline is Dec. 18 for pickup from Dec. 19 to 25. The $50 New Year’s box can be picked up from Dec. 31 to Jan. 2.

Order online at or at Kulu Kulu shops in Japan Village Walk at Ala Moana Center, Eaton Square or the Royal Hawaiian Center. — Betty Shimabukuro

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