HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >


What are you favorite not so crazy expensive box of chocolates?

  • r

I like to have a box of chocolates when I entertain friends and am always looking to try different brands from around the country. This time around I am considering Sees Candies. What are your favorites and have you ever tried Sees? I'm a confessed chocoholic.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I am a chocoholic too! :-) And above all Sees is my favorite.

    My faves are:
    Dark Chocolate Bordeaux
    Molasses Chips
    Milk chocolate buttercream
    Butterscotch square (my very favorite)
    And while not chocolate I love the carmel/marshmallow confection.

    Sees is something I grew up with, so lots of sentimentality is attached.

    As has been stated here many times, Trader Joes price on Valrhona is great.


    1 Reply
    1. re: David

      How could you forget California Brittle?

    2. Even today, they come up with new varieties at Sees. My favorite are some of the oldies:
      chocolate covered almonds
      Toffeette (like almond roca)
      coconut special (chocolate covered coconut)
      California brittle
      dark chocolate (except they don't have the bars anymore without almonds)

      1. Ah, yesss! Sees has been the traditional California candy purveyer for over half a century. It is reasonably priced, but nobody, no matter how well-heeled, turns up her nose at it. When I was in school, it was a big day when your dorm mate was given a box of Sees.

        My favorites are the truffles, and they come in several flavors.

        Link: http://www.sees.com

        1. See's is absolutely the best. Not fancy, just plain good. My sister in San Fran sends me a box every year at Christmas. The Nuts 'n Chews assortment is the fave at my house. Pretty soon, it'll be time to start watching the mail. Here in West Palm Beach, Hoffman's is a fine local chocolatier. I especially like their champagne and Gran Marnier truffles. Not quite on the level w/See's, though.

          1 Reply
          1. re: flavrmeistr

            Yup. See's Nuts 'n Chews, baby. Nothing finer.

          2. Yes, Sees. I like them better than Godiva, to tell the truth. I especially love the Bordeaux truffles. Yum.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Seattle Rose

              If you love the Bordeaux, try the Bordeaux ice cream sauce the sell by the jar. Those are my sister's favorites, too, and having that flavor over ice cream..... well, does it get any better than that for a chocoholic??

            2. sees rocks. the best part is you can go in there and request any sample you want, and they have to give it to you (i was clued in to this by a soon-to-be-quitting employee of the see's in salt lake city). so you can find out which ones you like best!

              i went through a phase with the butterscotch one--i don't remember what it's called, but it's basically a rich brown sugar fudgy thing. and i love the ones that have rum and fruit in them. there's a white-chocolate-covered cashew brittle that is quite special.

              but the best thing there is the bridge mix. by far.

              1 Reply
              1. re: emily

                The "brown sugar fudgey thing" is called a butterscotch square -- and they're very good.

                Other favorites of mine:

                Scotchmallows (a layer a caramel topped with a layer of marshmallow covered in dark chocolate). Someone else mentioned the caramel marshmallow without chocolate -- those are called scotch kisses and are also good. For just caramel with dark chocolate, the best is the dark butterchew (much better than the caramel patties).

                Mint truffles
                dark chocolate chip truffles
                lemon truffles
                dark chocolate chocolate buttercream

                and my all-time favorite: raspberry cream

                This time of year they also have a seasonal flavor I like: "mincemeat" (lemon buttercream with finely chopped nuts and raisins and rum flavoring).

                The pecan roll is also excellent, as is the chocolate walnut fudge.

                Looking at the link someone posted, you'll note one of the coolest things about See's is that you can order a completely custom assortment with however many of whatever you want.

                I've been eating See's my whole life, and I work across the street from one now -- is it bad when the counter staff at See's knows you by name and comments when you haven't been in for a week?

              2. It seems the overwhelming favorite seems to be Sees, which I've had once when I was on the West Coast (we only get "temporary stores" with prepackaged goods during Christmastime in the Boston area).

                But since they're not available most of the time, my vote goes for Dan's Chocolates.

                They are mail-order only, and make their truffles fresh to order. My favorites are the Carmalita, Razz-matazz, Transcendental Toffee and Chief Chokolada. They donate a portion of each sale to various charities, including Second Harvest, CARE, and City Year.

                I usually get my mother a small box of the all dark mix for her birthday - she tries to keep it to one truffle a day to make them last, but usually doesn't.

                Link: http://www.dans.com

                1. Well, I shouldn't be giving away one of the most important secrets of San Franciso culinary excellence, but here goes...

                  Link: http://www.xoxtruffles.com/

                  7 Replies
                    1. re: Paul H

                      I'm firmly in the XOX camp too. Cognac's my fave.

                      1. re: Paul H

                        I looked all over the XOX site to find out how much their truffles cost. I finally found the only price information under the packaging topic, and even there they didn't say what the weight was for the different packages.

                        BYW it's getting increasingly more common on sites hawking something (e.g. travel packages, seminars, software, etc.) to hide the price info, forcing you to call up the order form to find out if it's a reasonable deal or not.

                        1. re: Sharuf

                          Last time I bought some it was $6 for 25 pieces.

                          1. re: Paul H

                            How many pieces to a lb?

                            1. re: Sharuf

                              I don't know how many pieces there are in a lb. BUT, I'm curious, and I haven't had any XOX truffles in the house for about four months, so I think I'll walk on over that way and buy some. I'll let you know current price by the pound a bit later today.

                              1. re: Sharuf

                                The prices for XOX truffles are shown on the packaging links below.

                                In the store, you can buy 20 for $6, 40 for $11, and 80 for $20. 40 is about 9 oz. So the price is somewhere between $18 and $20 per pound.

                                Link: http://www.xoxtruffles.com/xox/specia...

                        2. There's a place in the East Village in NYC called El Eden that's really good. Maybe a bit pricey, but their truffles are fun and imaginative. Look at their website.

                          Link: http://www.eledenchocolates.com/

                          1. Not a great amount of chocolate involved, but Enstrom's Almond Toffee is excellent.

                            1. Another vote for See's -- I must heartily recommend their Raspberry flavor. Amazing -- it actually tastes like it's made from raspberries! (imagine that)

                              1. I love See's candies:

                                Scotch Mallows
                                Raspberry Buttercreams
                                Dark Chocolate covered candied ginger
                                Caramel Patties
                                Mint Patties
                                Blueberry Truffles
                                Orange Buttercreams
                                Almond Buds (like turtles)
                                Bourdeaux Buttercreams


                                Link: http://www.sees.com

                                1. See's, the California Brittle. You can order from them via the Internet. They have a lot of selections or you can have them put together a custom box of all of one kind.

                                  1. Leonidas Belgian pralines are the best!

                                    Link: http://www.Leonidas.com/

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: zora

                                      I concur. For reasonably priced chocolates, i.e., $20 a pound or less, Leonias, though mass produced, are excellent.

                                      One day I walked into Philadelphia's Belgian Chocolate House, a purveyor of fine, $38/pound pralines, and enquired of the proprietress if should could acquire some Leonidas for me.

                                      She put her nose in the air and huffily stated: "We do not carry Leonidas. That is what you give your domestic for Christmas!"

                                      Well, I could do windows.

                                      1. re: zora

                                        Leonidas has a store on 5th Ave. in NYC.

                                      2. Go no further...See's is hands down the best REASONABLE chocolate in the U.S.

                                        1. w
                                          Wendy Leonard

                                          Another vote for See's--I love all their dark nut chocolates. I always buy See's chocolates for my kids on Valentines Day.

                                          Trader Joes has a superb box of truffles--believe it's 2.99!!!!--and better than many far more expensive brands including most Godiva truffles. Not that Godiva is very good anyway, but just to show the price differential!

                                            1. re: bunnyr

                                              Wow. I love Ritter Sport! I seem to remember that they are one of the rare chocolate bars that's made with real vanilla.

                                              I think Ritter Sport bars would be just fine to serve guests if you broke them into pieces and served on a pretty plate.

                                              1. re: bunnyr

                                                Goodness, I'm glad I'm not the only one. Fell in love with Ritter Sport at German language camp when I was twelve. My fave is their marzipan bar.

                                                1. re: dtremit

                                                  My wife just adores them, and I have to tell you that there's nothing even close to them made in America (certainly not See's!)

                                                  To me, it's a slam dunk.

                                                  My favorite is the milk chocolate (vollmilch).

                                                  Link: http://www.ritter-sport.de/sites/prod...

                                                  Image: http://www.ritter-sport.de/sites/prod...

                                              2. See's dark chocolate nuts and chew varieties are the only chocolate that I can and want to eat a whole box of at one sitting. Ordering it online or with a catalog gives you a much wider choice of selection. (It's also the only way here in NYC)

                                                1. I spent some of my childhood in CA, so I have fond memories of Sees - esp the Bordeaux. On a recent trip to CA I went on and on to my boyfriend about how great Sees is. But then we got some and I was really let down. Everything was way too sweet. Just not what I remember.

                                                  My vote goes to Jacques Torres in Dumbo, NYC. As odd as it may sound I love the Earl Grey chocolates. They may be a little pricey, but so worth it. You can also order milk & dark chocolate by the pound - that is reasonable.

                                                  Link: http://www.jacquestorres.com/

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: JesseLou
                                                    Caitlin McGrath

                                                    See's bordeaux was a favorite when I was a child, but it is definitely too sweet for my taste now. I still enjoy See's, but I like certain flavors that aren't too sweet, in partcular: marzipan (many makers' are too sweet, but not See's), chocolate-covered ginger, dark chocolate molasses chips.

                                                    Of course, Jacques Torres is terrific, though expensive; last year at the NY Chocolate Show, I had the Bandol Breeze (marzipan w/apricot pate de fruit in bittersweet chocolate, and it was one of the best chocolates I've ever had.

                                                  2. Living near the See's factory (and being a profound chocoholic, I can attest to an interesting bit of See's trivia...

                                                    The dark chocolate-covered ginger was a favorite of the company's CEO but is never put in a pre-packaged box. For those of you living outside of California, ou would have to special order that particular piece separately. Because it was the CEO's favorite (and not an especially good seller), it remains part of their production but not part of their packged sets.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: Eviter

                                                      Interesting, thank you!

                                                      The ginger is one of my (and my family) favorites, too. My mother usually gets my father a whole box for Xmas.

                                                      For the person who said See's was too sweet, I think it's actually less sweet than similar items (filled chocolates) from Godiva and other comparable European style chocolate (which I also find to be over-refined and somewhat oily -- I think it's because I prefer buttercream to ganache).

                                                      Try the dark chocolates rather than the milk (more interesting trivia: more men than women prefer milk chocolate).

                                                    2. zchocolat, source for handmade French chocolates not available anywhere unless you fly to Provence yourself. excellent, and inexpensive.

                                                      Link: http://www.zchocolat.com/default.asp?...

                                                      1. I love See's truffles. Just recently, I reminded a friend of mine about the number of gold elastic ties in my office (See's boxed truffles come in two sizes and are wrapped with a gold elastic band).

                                                        A fun chocolate is Ghiradelli. The squares go down so smoothly.


                                                        1. i'm glad you asked, as i recently ranted on the chicago board about some overpriced local trendy chocolates and about the poor quality of godiva. a great company is chocolate potpourri in glenview, il. they have a small store and a mailorder catalog. their truffles are the best i've ever had and very reasonable. they dont say the weight in their newest catalog (arrived this week) but 15 truffles cost $15. try them, you wont regret it. i've taken several truffle making classes from richard gordon who owns the place with his mother, marsha. so i've tried most of their flavors. go to www.chocolatetruffles.com or call 1-800-555-8331. joan

                                                          1. k
                                                            Kathryn Callaghan

                                                            Nobody has mentioned Fannie Mae Candies based in Chicago? Price and quality are similar to See's, so if you're looking for something different, give them a try. They just sent out a beautiful Christmas catalog. The phone order number is 1-800-333-3629. I'm sure they could send you a copy.

                                                            1. I prefer Joseph Schmidt. The retail store is on 16th St., off Sanchez, in San Francisco. The mini-mosaics are better than the truffles, in my opinion. We sent a box to Switzerland, and the reply was "there goes another Swiss myth." SF Macy's carries the truffles, so it may be available at Macy's nationwide.

                                                              2 Replies
                                                              1. re: Michael

                                                                Joseph Schmidt sells online. These are really wonderful chocolates -- they taste great, look really pretty and the packaging is spectacular.

                                                                They have a very nice website. Here's the link:

                                                                Link: http://www.jschmidtconfections.com/

                                                                1. re: Nancy Berry

                                                                  Loved J. Schmidt so much. We served them at the close of our wedding reception paired with a Cotswold Vintage Port. Closed in 2009.

                                                              2. Here's a box of Mon Cheri...

                                                                1. I like See's and Fannie Mae. Don't eat them any more though.

                                                                  1. See's is great, and I also like Purdy's. Love the Rum Nougats from See's. We had a relative visit this past summer who brought a bag of Malley's milk chocolate pieces and they were awful. Don't know if that's the case with all their chocolate, but I wouldn't try them again.

                                                                    1. This post goes way back, but anyway, not really boxed chocolates, but has anyone tried the milky way simply caramel bars, I love 'em!