Just when I start to shed those extra holiday pounds and get my figure back into fighting shape, here comes Valentine’s Day and sundry tasty edible gifts from myriad admirers. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I’m talking about chocolate. Life is for the living, and I dare say I’ve been known to indulge in one of my favorite treats—both on the giving and the receiving end—and it’s made right here smack dab in the center of the Palm Springs Valley in Rancho Mirage.
If you’ve never been to Brandini Toffee, do yourself a favor and hightail to the candy company’s toffee shop on Highway 111 at Bob Hope Drive. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. The product is perfect purity: a precise blend of butter and sugar covered in dark chocolate topped with crushed organic almonds. Created with an old, secret family recipe, the confection is the brainchild of Leah Post and Brandon Weimer, who came up with the idea of paying for a high school trip to Italy back in 2006 by selling this sticky stuff by the bucketload. Such a hit was their flash of genius that a business was born, and the young adults and recent college graduates now run their growing empire with the help of their parents.
“Toffee is one of the iconic gourmet candies, yet many think it is limited to the winter holiday time,” Weimer told me recently. “We want to change that perception. Brandini products make the perfect gift for any occasion, especially Valentines Day.” How right this handsome young man is. I’ll take roses and jewelry any day, but for good measure, I want me some Brandini Toffee—or some of the brand’s delectable popcorn, pretzels, or new brownies—come February 14. This year, Leah, Brandon, and their folks have had the bright idea to commission beautiful decorative tins that can be used long after the candy is history—and, for most of us, that would be on February 15. Three options await: a round tin with two pounds of toffee ($46.95), a rectangular tin with 2 pounds of toffee ($46.95), or a rectangular tin with one pound of toffee plus a quartet of toffee brownies ($37.95).
Let those special someones know you love them Brandini-style. And if you play your cards right, I might just let you be my Valentine.