The holidays are in full swing, and if you have last-minute gifts to get, think chocolate.
Hoffman’s Chocolates has chocolate Santa pops, Christmas trees and Hanukkah dreidels, white-chocolate peppermint bark, tangerine creams and Champagne truffles, to name just a few, available by the pound, single piece or in assorted gift boxes.
The 39-year-old chocolate company was founded by Paul Hoffman, an engineer who liked to tinker in the kitchen and became a chocolatier so his family could work together. From a small shop in Lake Worth, he expanded to a castle-like factory in Greenacres that includes a holiday winter wonderland with light displays, plus a chance to see candy being made.
Paul Hoffman is now retired but still creates the recipes. Last December, Hoffman’s was sold to BBX Capital and Sweet Holdings. The president, Jarett Levan, knew the Hoffman family as bank customers when he was CEO of Bank Atlantic and has a passion for chocolate, touring factories wherever he travels, dreaming of finding Willy Wonka. The first Hoffman’s shop in Broward County opened two months ago on Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale.
No one can seem to buy just one chocolate here, and choices are varied from best-selling double-dipped white-, milk-or dark-chocolate pretzels to pecan, almond or cashew jitterbugs. There are also dried apricots, pineapple chunks and orange peels dipped in chocolate; soft-center bonbons filled with marzipan or raspberry jelly; maple, butter and Key lime creams; honey nut nougat; almond butter and coconut cashew crunches, toffees and brittles; and sea-salt marshmallow squares dipped in caramel and enrobed in chocolate.
Truffles range from pumpkin spice to mocha cream and Swiss rum, all a reason to celebrate.
Linda Bladholm is a Miami-based food writer.