Wednesday, February 2, 2011

GoodyTwos Toffee

(Full disclosure: I wrote an article about this same shop this month. The business did not pay me, unless you count candy, which I guess you totally should if it's this good.)

More black widows soon, but first, something a little more palatable. OK, a lot more palatable, quite literally. Candy!

I didn't used to like toffee. I didn't really care one way or the other about it, I guess. I like the flavor, but the crunchy stuff sticks to the teeth so unpleasantly. It has that sort of texture, that profile, that just sets my teeth on edge (pun intended).

At least, I thought so until last month. I did a brief story on Scottsdale's GoodyTwos Toffee Company that's out this month, and they may have sent me home with enough toffee to feed several football teams. Or, you know, me, until I pulled into the driveway.

Because this stuff was in a new league. (I did manage to share, but it was a sacrifice.)

I remember when I was very young, after tasting semisweet chocolate chips for the first time, I wondered why couldn't they just make a whole candy bar out of THIS kind of chocolate? You can imagine my rapturous delight and shameful degree of indulgence when I discovered Hershey's Special Dark bars.

This was kind of like that. Wouldn't it be great, I always wondered, if they could make toffee, but without it cracking your teeth like, well, toffee?

"They" totally did. GoodyTwos mother-daughter team, Donna Gabrilson and Stacey Barnes, that is.

They won't tell their secret -- it has something to do with bringing the mix to just the right temperature -- but the toffee is crunchy but also kind of soft and delicate. Insert more superlatives here, if you like, but seriously, try this stuff if you get a chance. Their flavors are amazing. My husband favors the traditional and their peanut-butter-cup-topped one. My son loves their nutty twist toffee, made with macadamia nuts and almonds and covered in white chocolate. (I'm pretty sure he also loves telling anyone who will listen that he partakes of something made with tequila, but don't worry. It adds lightness to the toffee but not tequila-ness.)

The shop is just fun. Even the look. I never thought chartreuse walls could be so awesome. (My husband says I should say "bright green" for readers who, like him, recognize about six colors. Whatever. It's chartreuse.) The color blends so strikingly with the chocolate-brown and white accents that it's only after doing a 360 that you register the smells -- and oh. my. god. Before you know it you've scarfed down at least five tons of free toffee samples.

The ladies themselves are an absolute delight. Bubbly but smart, easygoing but professional. And they play off each other in a phenomenal way that struck such a chord with me, and I think I know why. In a million ways (they can cook, they run a business, they're not likely to be the first mother and daughter duo featured on What Not to Wear), Donna and Stacey are nothing whatsoever like my mom and me. Still, do you know how, when the chips are really down and you need a second opinion on a big-time decision, someone who will totally respect and get your take on things but will also tell you how the cow eats the cabbage? Someone who will be, for that moment, not your mom? You know how for most people, those people are not their moms? For Stacey, it totally is her mom, and she's that person for Donna. They haggle out business decisions as business partners -- and then they're right back to mother and daughter.

Countless times I've had a piece of writing I wasn't comfortable showing to anyone -- not my husband, not my writing friends -- but I needed an honest, smart person to argue with me and be right. That person is my mom. All-business, not mothery, but never really not my mom either. I'm not sure how Donna or my own mom do it, but it's a pretty cool trick.

Maybe I'll bring toffee next time I force ask my mom to edit something. I could eat a pound of their Sweet & Salty toffee each day and not tire of it, and I bet she could too.

Go get some toffee. (It's on on Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd. south of Via Linda, or you can use their website.) Or just stand in the shop and inhale. Tell 'em I sent you. Well, maybe not if you're just standing there smelling stuff. I wouldn't want people to think I'm weird. (OK. Yeah. I totally don't care about that. You can tell them then too.)

If you ever need to butter me up for some reason, this works. Just sayin'.


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Heather said... Best Blogger Tips

This stuff looks AMAZING!! I don't think I could've shared!

FireMom said... Best Blogger Tips

I don't like candy much. BUT? I do like well made toffee as long as the chocolate accompanying said toffee is of good, fresh quality. (I REALLY don't like chocolate so the chocolate I do eat, well, I'm QUITE picky about.) But this? This stuff? Looks AMAZING.

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

I am definitely going to have to visit this shop the next time I'm up your way! I love toffee and good toffee is absolutely divine. Mmm... Now I want toffee...

Kim Hosey said... Best Blogger Tips

The chocolate they use is phenomenal too. They're meticulous about all their ingredients.

I joked with them that my own palate wouldn't notice, as it's only really equipped to distinguish food vs. not-food, and my husband's, which is slightly more refined, recognizes four flavors: fried, candy, cheese, and Country Crock.

I was wrong. Ingredients matter. The things you learn.

Happy Daisy AZ said... Best Blogger Tips

Wow - I should really consider getting out of Mesa now and then. It seems there's a whole yummy world out there that I have no idea about. Off to explore more of your blog. :)

Kim Hosey said... Best Blogger Tips

Thanks; welcome and explore away! Just don't expect too much more candy. The upcoming post isn't nearly as pretty and sweet (to people who aren't me or my son, anyway).

SY said... Best Blogger Tips

NO NO NOOOOO!!!!! you tease.. there should've been a warning

Caution: this post contains deliciousness inside.. be ware if you are hungry

Carolyn Cummings said... Best Blogger Tips

Sure wish I was closer to Arizona to try this awesomes stuff.

Jessica said... Best Blogger Tips

Toffee is, I think, my favorite thing in the world. Next to my husband and my daughter. (Or not--toffee never creates epic homework battles for me, or leaves it's underwear on the floor in front of the closet door so that I have to bend down and pick it up before I can even open the door to toss it into the laundry basket...). I want some toffee.

Kim Hosey said... Best Blogger Tips

SY: Don't worry; I suffered too. I'm out of the stuff. Shoot, I'm going to have to start putting all kinds of warnings on my posts. Ick factor on the spiders, temptation warning on candy posts ... At least I don't have to include an embarrassment warning when I write about my family. They just assume that by now.

Carolyn: You can always try their online shop!

Jessica: Good point! I feel you about the homework battles. Toffee also has going for it the fact that it doesn't whine, or leave its dishes out, or send me out at the last minute for prescriptions it really should pick up itself. It asks so little, really.