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Top Pick Of The Week

June 14, 2005

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Enstrom Toffee sushi
There’s a reason that 500,000 pounds of this
gourmet toffee are sold each year, and shipped to every state in the Union
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suhi

Daffy for Toffee:
Enstrom’s Almond Toffee
(& New Peppermint Bark)


CAPSULE SUMMARY: It may be the best toffee in America, and the sugar-free version is as good as the regular. The toffee popcorn is similarly splendid. The package design is stuck in the 1950s, but after one bite of the toffee, you’ll forget. The new Peppermint Cookie Bark, in a snazzy red and white box, is dazzling. The products are certified kosher.

Almond toffee is an all-American confection—and a popular one at that. It is we Yanks who improved upon the British sweet by coating it with a finesse of chocolate and a dusting of finely-chopped almonds. Like topping ice cream with hot fudge and whipped cream, some lilies can be even more lovely when gilded.

It’s not difficult to make good toffee: the basic ingredients are butter, sugar, almonds, chocolate, and a pinch of salt. Use the best almonds, chocolate and butter and you get a great product. Substitute margarine and corn syrup, and people with palates will taste the difference.

As with any food product, recipes vary. Some candy makers craft a product that is more or less sweet, has more or fewer almonds crushed coarser or finer, a thicker or thinner chocolate coat. Then, there’s the issue of English-style toffee (a sheet of toffee one breaks into pieces with a hammer; or an individual candy with a similarly hard center, like Heath Bar), versus American-style (a softer toffee, also called buttercrunch, like Almond Roca).

Enstrom’s Almond Toffee

Enstrom’s of Grand Junction, Colorado has found the recipe for success. Their delicious American-style toffee hits the jackpot because it’s rich but not too rich, sweet but not too sweet, crunchy but pliant (no dental work is in jeopardy), and of extremely high quality. No wonder Enstrom’s sells 500,000 pounds of it a year, and has customers in every state.

The toffee is coated on both sides with milk or dark chocolate and finely chopped nuts. It is available in one- or two-pound boxes that hold large slabs of toffee, from which you break off pieces. The toffee keeps well in the freezer for six months, and you can break off and consume a piece whenever the mood strikes you. Trust us, the contents won’t be hanging around uneaten for six months, and you may find yourself very popular with the neighbors. Enstrom’s is a fresh dairy product, by the way, and needs to be refrigerated. It has a high butter content and shouldn’t be kept at room temperature.

This toffee is a quite versatile sweet: It’s very satisfying when you want a little something; but also elegant to serve with petit fours at tea parties and with after-dinner coffee, or as a side with ice cream (a piece makes a handsome crown on the top of a scoop of ice cream). For those who can’t have sugar, there’s an absolutely superb version made with maltitol, pretty much indistinguishable from the sugar version.

Enstrom notes on its website that “it’s remarkable what four ingredients can accomplish under the right supervision.”  We agree!

Crumbs of toffee (toffee bits) can be purchased as well. They are superb mix-ins to cookie, brownie, and cake batters and fillings; and to decorate cake tops. You can sprinkle them on ice cream or layer them in parfaits; make your own toffee ice cream from scratch or mix them in to softened ice cream; and use them as filling between layers of ice cream cake.

We have mixed them into cannoli cream and have garnished dessert plates with them. While Heath Bar sells toffee bits, you can’t compare the quality. Enstrom’s toffee crumbs are a great find.

And then, there’s the popcorn.

sushi Toffee Crumbles

Dark or milk chocolate toffee crumbs add divine flavor and crunch to cookies, brownies, and cakes (inside or in frosting); are great ice cream toppers; or use them to layer an ice cream torte.

Toffee Popcorn
If you like regular caramel corn, well, to quote
Al Joelson: You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

If you were to imagine the best caramel corn...large, firm clusters coated with the best toffee...well, there it is, sitting in the bowl at the right. You just can’t place an order without including a package of this, too.

Peppermint Cookie Bark

In 2007, Enstrom’s introduced Peppermint Cookie Bark. This combination of crushed peppermint candy, chocolate cookies, and dark and white chocolate tastes even better than it looks—because it’s not cloyingly sweet. It’s just absolutely terrific. A thick layer of dark chocolate is topped with a layer of white chocolate, which is embedded with large pieces of chocolate cookies. The top is sprinkled with choppied red-and-white peppermints. It’s only available during the holiday season, so we had to lay in quite a few boxes to tide us over.

Order lots of toffee and bark—and if you think it’s too much, perhaps we can join you to ease the burden.

—Karen Hochman
Updated November 2007

Peppermint Bark
The best peppermint bark we’ve ever had.

FORWARD THIS NIBBLE to your toffee-  and bark-loving friends and to anyone looking for good corporate gifts.

ENSTROM’S ALMOND TOFFEE

Certified Kosher by Scroll K—The Vaad
Hakashrus of Denver

  • 1-Pound Box Almond Toffee
    Milk or Dark Chocolate
    $16.95
  • 2-Pound Box Almond Toffee
    Milk or Dark Chocolate
    $32.70
    Larger Sizes Available
    Gift Tins Available
  • Individually Packaged Squares
    Box of 36
    $41.40
  • 1-Pound Box, Sugar-Free Almond Toffee
    Milk Chocolate Only
    $17.95
  • Toffee-Covered Popcorn
    8 Ounces, $5.35
  • Toffee Crumbs
    1 Pound, $3.95

Purchase online* here.

*Prices and item availability are verified at publication but are subject to change. Shipping is additional.

sushi

Enstrom Toffee

Enstrom's toffee is coated on both sides in milk chocolate (above) or dark chocolate (below).

Dark chocolate toffee

Retail Stores:

  • “Full-service” candy stores in Colorado
    have a broad selection of products: Aspen,
    Denver, Grand Junction & Lakewood
  • Visit the website for addresses and hours

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION, articles, special offers, contests, opinion surveys, THE NIBBLE back issues archive, product gift-finder and more visit the home page of TheNibble.com.

 

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