Chef Hilly Blondheim never meant to start a business. After serendipitously creating a multi-purpose chocolate powder (meant to be hot cocoa mix) while at culinary school in Atlanta, Georgia, Blondheim wandered from store to store seeing who would bite. hilly blondheim; photo--Youngna ParkLooking to raise money for his mother’s breast cancer foundation, the Joy-to-Life Foundation, an organization funding mammograms for women who cannot afford them, Blondheim was elated when Thom Foust, a buyer at Neiman Marcus, discovered the gourmet chocolate treats and put them in their Atlanta store.

Gothamist ran into Blondheim selling his cocoa powder, cookie jars, grandmother’s cookie mix, and chocolate crème brulee kits at the Mixed Greens Holiday Sale in Chelsea last weekend. After sampling his hot chocolate and cookies, we wanted to know the secret in the powder, but of course, Blondheim kept his lips sealed. He did, however, tell us his story and about the products.

cookie jars; Photo -- Youngna ParkThe chocolate powder, itself a delicious cocoa mix, can also be added to cookie batters, put in coffee, or stirred into sweet dips. Creme Brulee kits come with four porcelin ramekins and a mini culinary torch and cookie mixes are attractively packaged in ready-to-make jars. Blondheim's cookie jars are custom designed for him by Barbara (Babs) Keller, a San Francisco artist, and can be purchased empty, or, even better, full of chocolate chip cookies.

To get a taste of the chocolate powdered magic or buy the perfect holiday gift for your sweet-toothed friends, visit Chef Hilly's Kitchen. 10% of Blondheim’s profits are donated to his mother’s foundation: Joy, Hilly's mother, is now an eight year cancer survivor.