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Top-Notch Toffee via the web?

eriberri Nov 28, 2006 08:42 PM

I'd like to order my SO some fabulous chocolate covered toffee for part of his Christmas gift. Does anyone have a favorite site? I only want to buy a pound or so.

I'm in Boston if anyone has any local suggestions as well.


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  1. mamaciita RE: eriberri Nov 28, 2006 08:54 PM

    Have you thought about making toffee yourself? I have an embarassingly easy recipe if you would like it.

    2 Replies
    1. re: mamaciita
      Phoebe RE: mamaciita Nov 28, 2006 09:00 PM

      Please do. Thanks!!! :)

      1. re: Phoebe
        emily RE: Phoebe Dec 1, 2006 05:06 PM

        Here's another recipe. David Lebovitz's Chocolate Almond Buttercrunch Toffee is excellent. I haven't tasted better and it's quite easy to make. The baking soda will give you a slightly lighter, very crunchy toffee.


    2. mamaciita RE: eriberri Nov 28, 2006 09:19 PM

      Here it is--I got it from Southern Living 2001 Annual Recipes.


      1 cup slivered almonds
      1 cup butter
      1 cup sugar
      1/3 cup water
      1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
      1/4 teaspoon salt
      2 cups (12 ounces) milk chocolate morsels
      1 cup finely ground walnuts

      Place almonds in a single layer on a foil-lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray.

      Cook butter and next 4 ingredients in heavy saucepan over high heat, stirring constantly, 15-18 minutes or until a candy thermometer registers 310 degrees. Remove from heat and immediately pour over almonds (do not scrape pan).

      Sprinkle immediately with chocolate morsels, and spread evenly to 1/2 inch from sides. Sprinkle with ground nuts, and let stand until firm. Break into small pieces, and store in an airtight container.

      Yield: 1 3/4 pounds

      The most difficult step (for me) is grinding the walnuts because it means I have to haul out my baby food processor. I think I've been using the wrong king of almonds all this time--I always use the sliced ones (horizontally, with the skins still on). It has never taken me 15 minutes to get to 310--more like 5. (I cook with electric, so it may be way too hot.)

      If you really want to knock people's socks off, make the toffee with only the almonds, spread it as thin as possible, and break it into small chips when cool. Make a recipe of Alton Brown's Chocolate Mousse, and substitute Frangelico for the rum. Brush some ladyfingers with Frangelico. Layer the ladyfingers, mousse, toffee, and sweetened whipped cream for a stellar trifle.

      Good luck!! (Let me know how you like it.)

      1. 4
        4chowpups RE: eriberri Nov 28, 2006 10:09 PM

        Toodie Jane posted a great one last Xmas also. Enstrom.com was recommended by hounds upon a request from last season!

        1 Reply
        1. re: 4chowpups
          cookie monster RE: 4chowpups Nov 28, 2006 11:02 PM

          i second the enstrom's reccomendation. we get a box every christmas.

        2. m
          MakingSense RE: eriberri Nov 29, 2006 01:57 AM

          The toffee from B.T. McElrath of Minneapolis is extraordinary - they have several kinds. https://www.btmcelrath.com/mall/dynam... A friend gives me a box every year and I just adore it. The best I've ever had.
          Also fabulous artisanal chocolates.
          The website has a list of stores so they may have a Boston outlet.

          2 Replies
          1. re: MakingSense
            Evil Ronnie RE: MakingSense Nov 29, 2006 02:47 AM

            Chocolate Potpourri in Glenview, Illinois, right outside Chicago,and run now for the secoond generation by the Gordon family, makes an incredible chocolate and nut covered toffee with an unsurpassed buttery flavor, in my opinion.


            Enjoy, Evil Ronnie

            1. re: MakingSense
              AnneInMpls RE: MakingSense Dec 2, 2006 05:35 AM

              I second the recommendation for B.T. McElrath toffee. I'm currently addicted to the dark chocolate-macadamia toffee, but their milk chocolate-almond toffee is wonderful, too.


            2. opinionatedchef RE: eriberri Nov 29, 2006 04:33 AM

              eriberri, i'm in boston too and interestingly enough, i have been on a MISSION to locate the best DARK choc covered turtles(good luck!!) and nut toffees.

              enstrom's is my mom's and manys' fav, and it is delic and they FINALLY have a dark choc version which i have ordered but not tried yet.

              however,after much research, i have found another EXCELLENT and very unusual line of artisinal nut toffees made by the oregon based www.lilliebellefarms.com. their pistachio, and spicy pecan, dark choc covered toffees are VERY dangerous. come in 4 ou. pkgs so you could give him a variety.

              3 Replies
              1. re: opinionatedchef
                eriberri RE: opinionatedchef Nov 29, 2006 01:36 PM

                OpChef, thanks! I'm sure you've already encountered them in your search, but have you tried Turtle Alley in Gloucester? I'm not a turtle person myself, but I have heard many good things.

                1. re: eriberri
                  opinionatedchef RE: eriberri Dec 1, 2006 04:49 AM

                  eri, thanks much for that gloucester tip. i'll follow up on that!

                2. re: opinionatedchef
                  Feed_me RE: opinionatedchef Dec 6, 2006 07:31 AM

                  opinionatedchef, I was reading down further and CynD posted a url for a place here in Los Angeles that sounded interesting for English Toffee. Checking out their website they sell a dark chocolate turtle, but they call them gadgets. You might be interested.

                3. d
                  Dave Feldman RE: eriberri Nov 29, 2006 07:47 AM

                  Keller's Crunch is the best I've ever had, but alas it is no more.

                  I have friends who would kill me if I didn't buy Enstrom's for them. I've been using Enstrom's for at least 15 years, and service has been flawless.

                  1. e
                    eriberri RE: eriberri Nov 29, 2006 01:35 PM

                    I am always amazed with the breadth of knowledge and incredibly helpful suggestions here. I'm going to check out all of the sites, buy some for SO and make some for gifts. If it comes out good, I'll make his gift toffee next year. Excited to try my new (and first!) candy thermometer!

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: eriberri
                      Dave Feldman RE: eriberri Nov 29, 2006 09:52 PM

                      One "warning" about the toffee at Enstrom's. It ain't elegant-looking. The toffee starts with large slabs, and most of the time, it breaks up into irregular pieces in shipment. And then the nuts on the outside of the candy tends to break up and form a wonderful melange of pebbles in the box as the candy is eaten. I love all this about Enstrom's, but it might not be for everyone.

                      1. re: Dave Feldman
                        cookie monster RE: Dave Feldman Nov 30, 2006 06:13 PM

                        all true. and the toffee "pebbles" in the bottom of the box make a great topping for ice cream.

                        1. re: cookie monster
                          Dave Feldman RE: cookie monster Nov 30, 2006 09:10 PM

                          Now THAT is a great idea -- why have I never thought of doing that?

                    2. f
                      Fleur RE: eriberri Dec 1, 2006 08:14 AM

                      We were disappointed with the toffee from ENSTROM'S because of the mess of crumbs and lack of real pieces. They actually sell the crumbs to use in baking, and I wondered if anyone had used them.

                      We got Butter Crunch Toffee from LI-LAC in NY and it was wonderful, less sweet.

                      There is a great recipe for Mahagony Toffee in Rose Levy Beranbaum's Christmas Cookie Book.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Fleur
                        opinionatedchef RE: Fleur Dec 2, 2006 07:11 PM

                        fleur, thanks for those helpful comments. i'll try to google li- lac.
                        i ALWAYS prefer my candy on the less-sweet side.

                      2. n
                        Nancy Berry RE: eriberri Dec 5, 2006 02:58 PM

                        I'm a fan of See's Victoria Toffee. Last year I bought the Engstrom's toffee because so many Chowhounds recommended it, but I didn't like it as much as I like See's.


                        1. CynD RE: eriberri Dec 5, 2006 08:40 PM

                          Outstanding English Toffee from a confectionary shop in Los Angeles' Farmers' Market, where you can still see it being made:


                          1. f
                            Food Appraiser RE: eriberri Dec 20, 2006 05:35 PM

                            Hands-down the absolute best we've had is from Mrs. Primrose in Southern California.It's always fresh and very yummy. Their site is http://www.mrsprimrose.com

                            1. a
                              annimal RE: eriberri Dec 20, 2006 10:30 PM

                              I love the Vosges toffee. They seem to have some to sample half the time i go to the store, and it's always deeeeeelish! YUM!

                              1. s
                                shortstop RE: eriberri Dec 21, 2006 11:25 PM

                                I have been a long time fan of Enstrom's. (just tried the toffee crumbs for the first time - very good - but I like the whole pieces crushed as a topping, better than this.)

                                Just came across Valerie Confections toffee (thanks to the Candyblog for this rec.) and this is good stuff! More upscale and refined packaging and product than Enstrom's, this makes a beautiful gift. They have different flavors - the almond, hazlenut, peanut, are my favorites, and most come in both milk and bittersweet. (their rocher is also delish) I could also post this on the thread "food you ship to yourself" as after my first order to sample it for possible gift giving, I have already sent myself a few boxes, along with the gifts I ordered.

                                Here is the link to their site:


                                And to pictures and the review on the Candyblog:


                                Valerie doesn't knock Enstrom's off its perch, they are two different types of toffee in two different price ranges, but it could vie for top honors in its category. Like Dave F. above, there are people on my list who adore the Enstrom's and "expect" it this time of year - I wouldn't give them Valerie's. But there are the chocolate lovers on my list, who might less appreciate the simple deliciousness that is Enstrom's, for whom Valerie's is a great gift.

                                Currently, I have open boxes both in my fridge, that will not be around for long. :-)

                                1. p
                                  paisleypark20 RE: eriberri Dec 21, 2006 11:33 PM

                                  I have always had great experiences with Ethel M. chocolatiers out of Las Vegas. They make a butter crunch that is out of this world!! They also make wonderful filled chocolates and amazing chocolate liqueurs. Very highly recommended. Web site is www.ethelm.com

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