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Thursday, May 3, 2012

The New Top Toffee: R & J's Exceptional Dark Almond

Posted By on Thu, May 3, 2012 at 10:15 AM


We've tasted a lot of toffee for this column, and found quite a few worthy of your attention, but we recently found one that tops all the rest: R& J Toffees' Dark Almond Toffee.

The toffee is sold fresh with a notation to be refrigerated, which we did. That freshness comes through with the edge that puts this toffee on top.

First there's a crisp, thick, serious, first bite -- a bright snap. The flavor that follows is rich with butter and speckled with huge-to-whole almond chunks.

Both sides are coated with manilla-envelope thin chocolate, which is further dusted with nut shards. The chocolate stays attached throughout, a nice plus as we prefer our chocolate-coated toffee to stay that way the whole time instead of becoming two separate treats broken apart on the first bite.

The r & j stand for brothers Ryan and Joel who produce their grandparent's recipe, which started with their grandmother but eventually became their grandfather's specialty because she found that "making toffee by hand is actually quite strenuous." Ryan became an "apprentice" in toffee making under his grandfather, a diabetic who produced the toffee primarily for gifts, and in 2005 the brothers launched the company.

Their goal, they say, is simply to make great toffee and honor their grandfather. "While just making toffee can be a fairly routine pursuit, making exceptional toffee is quite elusive and difficult to achieve."

But when you achieve it, it pays. At $19.95 for a 1 pound bag, the toffee's not cheap, but we kept going back to it until it was gone, and we wished we had some more. That's pretty rare among the piles of sweets that accumulate in our tastings.

Contact Ben Narisin at . Follow us on Twitter: @sfoodie, and like us on Facebook.

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