The original Hanukkah custom was to give “gelt” (money) rather than presents. That changed over the years because of the proximity to Christmas and other winter holidays, and more people started to give material gifts. However, chocolate gelt remains forever attached to the Festival of Lights.
While you can easily go to any supermarket and pick up chocolate gelt at a value price, if you are looking for something extra special, there are some beautiful upgraded and artisanal options out there that are just plain more fun (and yummy).
Veruca Chocolates’ handcrafted kosher “gelt for grown-ups” gives a modern spin to our childhood favorite. Each chocolate coin is molded to replicate an actual Judean coin dating back to the 4th decade BCE and is airbrushed in gold or silver (no foil!).
These chocolate candies hail from Vermont and are made of 57% cocoa content organic dark chocolate. Packaged in a clear plastic gift bag tied with a bow, these are a perfect gift idea for the dark chocolate lover in your life.
This upgraded gelt comes in a bag that contains a mix of delicate unwrapped “coins” topped with edible gold — 61% dark chocolate with candied ginger, single origin 39% milk chocolate with candied orange, and dulce de leche with candied cocoa nibs and fleur de sel.
These are pretty and come with a fun surprise — they are wrapped in blue foil and may look like traditional gelt, but inside you’ll find the flavor of raspberry taffy!
T’ruah, a Jewish non-profit dedicated to human rights, is partnering with Divine Chocolate to sell fair trade Hanukkah gelt. Divine is the only vendor of fair trade kosher gelt. Note: The dark chocolate coins are produced on the same lines as milk so there is possibility of cross contamination (but there is no intentional dairy ingredient in the dark chocolate product).
These Hanukkah gelt are made with premium milk chocolate, stamped with classic Hanukkah designs, and wrapped in Italian foil. Designs include the Star of David, menorah, and a dreidel.
For those of us who want to step out of the traditional gelt box, FancyFortuneCookies.com has an entire line of super cute Hanukkah fortune cookies decorated in blue and white sprinkles. They even have one ginormous fortunate cookie stuffed with milk chocolate gelt INSIDE. All the fortune cookies come with custom Hanukkah messages, which is almost too much fun for any Hanukkah celebration.The company is run by single mom Erin Jump Fry, who takes pride in her artisanal approach to product creation and bakes her cookies right here in the U.S.A., so you can doubly feel good about their sweets.