Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A beautiful Wedding.... of flavors!

As a food blogger, you are always looking for a subject to blog about, and it is sometimes hard just to enjoy a new place or experience without trying to "mine" it for material. However, when I went to my niece's wedding nearly two months ago, blogging or blog material was the last thing on my mind. For awhile in our family, it seemed that the only time we got together was for a uneral, but over the past two summers we have had two weddings, and they have been wonderful events, a chance to bring together cousins, aunts and uncles, from the West Coast to New York from Virginia and as far away as Ireland to celebrate whole new branches of the family tree. For the aunts and uncles, to see the children that all played together as toddlers all grown up, the young adults they have become, and to see them laughing and enjoying each others' company like they had not been states or countries or oceans apart, well, that is really special. The point is , when I went to my niece's wedding, all I really hoped to do was to catch up with the cousins, dance with my kids, toast the bride and groom(see the wedding party, left!), and just generally have a great time.

So why am I blogging about the wedding - was it the food ? Well, though the food was very good, good food in and of itself is not necessarily fodder for a blog post. What piqued my interest was when I saw guests trawling tables to see if other guests (their relatives and friends no less) had left their favors on the table so that they could scarf them up. It made me curious as to what was in the little bags on the table at each place. In the coveted bags were generous servings of Taylor's Toffee, chocolate-covered toffee that is handmade in small batches by Marilyn Taylor, a Coast Guard wife who is also a friend of the mother of the bride. Marilyn's recipe has been perfected from a family recipe, and she keeps it a secret, even today. I figured that since my nieces and nephews knew Marilyn, they had probably had this confection before, and since they were encouraging everyone to take the unclaimed bags, it must be something special, and when I tasted it, I knew why. The chocolate was creamy and had just the right balance of bitter and sweet, and the toffee center was sweet and crunchy with the rich flavors of pure ingredients shining through. I love toffee and this was one of the best I have ever had.

I asked Marilyn about her toffee (after I sent my kids trawling for unclaimed bags) and found that she started making her toffee as gifts for friends and neighbors along with cookies but after awhile, people only requested the toffee, so she abandoned the cookies and began making toffee for gifts and special occasions, and now she fills orders for weddings, Christmas lists, and other special occasions with her sweet treat. She still makes the confection in her own kitchen in small batches to maintain quality control, with the Christmas season being her busiest time. If you are looking for a special treat for your employees, something unique for a wedding, for a gift, or just to enjoy yourself or impress your guests, you can order your own Taylor-made toffee by contacting Marilyn at, and have the benefit of really homemade taste without the work (at least for you!). Marilyn asked me to warn you, though, that her toffee is so addictive, you might have to enroll into TTA (Taylor's Toffee Anonymous)!

Need an idea of something to do with toffee (if you don't eat it all immediately)? Try this elegant but simple dessert for your next dinner party, it is sure to be a hit!

Adults-Only Toffee Sundae

For each sundae:

1 scoop of premium coffee ice cream or gelato

1-2 tablespoons Kahlua, Creme de Cacao, or chocolate flavored liqueur

2-3 tablespoons crushed toffee bits

Place scoop of ice cream in a dish, drizzle with liqueur and sprinkle top with toffee bits. Serve and collect the compliments!


Jade said...

That toffee sounds great and is making me hungry! Would be a great addition to my holiday baskets this year...

Deborah Dowd said...

Jade- You can email Marilyn. She stops taking orders December 10 to make sure her holiday orders can get to customers in time!

Kelly Mahoney said...

Mmm, that sounds like a great combo.