Nuts for toffee: Steamboat transplant brings recipe for a sweet venture to Morrison

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By Deborah Swearingen

One day some 15 years ago, a friend gifted Pete DeWolf a box of toffee.

Though it was quickly devoured, the toffee got DeWolf’s gears turning.

“I thought, ‘Wow, this is delicious. However, if I were to make it, this is how I would do differently,’ ” he said.

And thus began his efforts to create his own recipe. The rest is sweet history.

DeWolf began Steamboat Toffee Co. nearly 10 years ago. Within the last few months, he expanded the business and opened Red Rocks Toffee Co. on Goddard Ranch Court in Morrison.

“I recently moved from Steamboat Springs to the Front Range, and I thought it would be nice to have a brand more appropriate to where I am,” DeWolf said last week.

Strangely, DeWolf said, it did not take long to perfect his toffee. After making just four or five batches, he knew he’d found the right balance of flavors.

To this day, DeWolf uses a single recipe. It’s heavy on almonds and topped with chopped pecans, providing a rich, nutty flavor in each bite. Plus, at 52 percent chocolate, Red Rocks Toffee uses a darker chocolate than many would.

“I’m not such a huge sugar person, so I decided that I wanted something to balance the sweetness,” he said.

“That’s why we went with the darker chocolate. … (It’s) not extreme, not bitter, but it’s balanced.”

For DeWolf, toffee making has become a zen-like process; it’s meditative.

He also says concocting the toffee at a higher altitude — his current location is at 7,000 feet — gives him a slight advantage and creates a tastier treat.

“It’s not as ‘shard-y,’ like shards of glass. It crumbles. And it doesn’t stick to your molars,” he said.

Red Rocks Toffee joined the Conifer Area Chamber of Commerce and the West Chamber of Commerce, hoping to build a relationship with the community it serves.

So far, DeWolf commented, he has been pleased with business at his new location. In the future, he’s even hoping to join with other local companies to create some new toffee concoctions — possibly a toffee-topped ice cream or yet another delicious sweet treat.

To purchase a box of Red Rocks Toffee for $15, visit www.redrockstoffee.com or stop by the Goddard Ranch Court location in Morrison.