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Favorite See's Candies - Holiday Edition

Just tried the Egg Nog Truffles.

Pretty fabulous. But I can only eat about 2 of these at a time, then I want to gag. Too much white chocolate sweetness. Still good, but not more than 2.

Mint cream lollypops are good too. But then I'm a natural born sucker.

Any seasonal favorites on your end?

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  1. The "mincemeat": See's dark chocolate covering a creamy center filled with pieces of citron, raisins, lemon peel, orange peel, glace fruit, brandy flavoring, spices and English walnuts.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Ruth Lafler

      I will have to try those - they sound great (except for the raisins!).

      My favorite is the California Crunch, though they are not seasonal.

      1. re: Ruth Lafler

        I've never even heard of that one, but it sounds like my kind of treat. Will now become obsessed trying to track it down.

        1. re: Ruth Lafler

          I used to love those too, but I haven't seen them in a while, and they're not shown on the custom mix menu this year. Or maybe I looked in the wrong place?

          1. re: Caroline1

            Says they're only available in stores seasonally- i'm going to have to get my sister to pick up a few since i'm not near any stores....

          2. re: Ruth Lafler

            definitely the mincemeat creams - or maybe something marzipan

            i have never seen mincemeat creams elsewhere - only at See's

            i did not realize til recently that Warren Buffet owns See's.

            1. re: Ruth Lafler

              Ruth, I just read this year's FAQ on See's website, and it says they will not be doing the mincemeat this year, but are planning to make this seasonal favorite again in 2014. <sigh> I have no idea what that can be about. Has anyone heard of a great mincemeat shortage for 2013?

              Of well. Back to my Cross & Blackwell's or Nonesuch as ice cream topping.

              1. re: Caroline1

                That's too bad. I know they also temporarily discontinued the chocolate covered ginger, due to some quality issues with the ginger they were sourcing. Maybe something similar with the mincemeat.

            2. Any of the caramel ones.

              When my grandfather was alive, when I was a kid, he would send us the biggest box of See's candy each Christmas. I was always in trouble for poking them for the caramel ones. I would still do it though...worth the scolding.

              2 Replies
              1. re: sedimental

                You know they sell just caramel chocolate boxes, right?

                Although I don't blame you for enjoying the hunt -- it makes finding and eating them all that much better.

                1. re: ipsedixit

                  Ha. I have no idea what they have. I don't eat candy anymore. I don't think I have had a see's candy in 40 years. Maybe I should buy a box :)

              2. I grew up with see's!! Good memories.... Recently i tried the pumpkin spice suckers- holy crap they are sweet! Yummy, but i can't seem to finish one.
                Their divinity candy is awesome, but i think that's year round.... My favorite seasonal candy is the "potato" made of divinity at st patrick's day-but i don't think that's the holiday you mean in your title....;)

                2 Replies
                1. re: Ttrockwood

                  All holidays are fair game. Even Festivus!

                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    Haha! I wonder what a Festivus candy would be....aside from cheap and angry......and from nyc. Hmm.

                    My mom loves those molasses chips, i would get the chelsea candy (chocolate walnut fudge inside), and to this day my dad loves the peanut brittle and looks surprised when he gets a can from santa every year.

                2. I like the Chanukkah gelt and the mini pastel foil-wrapped milk chocolate Easter eggs.
                  And pretty much everything else See's sells, especially seafoam candy and all nuts and chews, but since you specified holidays, there's your answer.

                  1. When I was a kid, See's didn't have an illustrated field guide so my mom taught me how to "read" a box of chocolates: squares and rectangles are caramels and chews; round are soft centers. She also taught me how to read the swirls and squiggles. It's one of the most useful things I learned! But now See's has ID cards and also sooooo many more types of goodies. I have a weakness for Scotch kisses and Scotchmallows, which thankfully are not seasonal.

                    8 Replies
                    1. re: Erika L

                      You come from good parents, Erika.

                      Happy Holidays.

                      (As an aside, wouldn't being "not seasonal" be actually worse? That means you have access to them, with or without your secret decoder skills, year-round? In any event, have you seen this? http://www.sees.com/index.cfm/about_u... )

                      1. re: ipsedixit

                        No I have not seen that recipe! I *must* try it!!

                        1. re: ipsedixit

                          Holy crap!!! I had no idea they even had a recipe section! I love/hate this!

                        2. re: Erika L

                          "But now See's has ID cards..."

                          What?! Are you saying they now have a guide to tell you what's inside each piece? When I was a kid, I used to like the Whitman's Sampler, mainly because they had that map on the box. But even then, I knew it was inferior to See's.

                          My favorite seasonal pieces are the Bordeaux eggs and divinity potatoes. I have many other favorites, but I try to stay out of See's these days because of a tendency to overdo it.

                          Not seasonal, but their peanut brittle gets an honorable mention.

                          1. re: Steve Green

                            I LOVE YOU I HATE YOU I LOVE YOU I HATE YOU!!
                            I have to go up to Berkeley today, and RIGHT there on Shattuck Ave. is a teensy-tiny See's store. And I will be going there, to get some light Bordeaux and the apricot candies C1 mentioned.
                            Oh, the shame. :)

                              1. re: mamachef

                                Oooh, those apricot ones are soooooo good, really tart little bits against the super sweet white chocolate. I might have to make a field trip, too!

                              2. re: Steve Green

                                The stores have little ID cards in front of each type of goodie that names and describes it. They don't put little guides in boxes, I am assuming because there are endless permutations of what can be in a box.

                                And I didn't know about the recipe section of the website, either! Ruh roh...

                                The do-it-yourself boxes are great. When a friend's four kids were little, one liked only white chocolate so the See's folks would make me a box with *exactly* one-fourth white chocolates--because you know the kids were counting!

                            1. When I was a kid, See's was an "old lady" treat...Now that I'm older, there's still nothing in that box that's appealing

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: BiscuitBoy

                                Even the toffee? Especially when you got the little hammer with them.

                                1. re: bbqboy

                                  hammer? What have I been missing?!!

                                2. I don't think it's specifically for the holidays, but Scotchmallow.

                                  1. Apricot Delight! Years ago, like forty or more, it was only available in the spring and early summer, and you could buy them individually in a store (California only back then) or in the one pound boxes of their springtime mix made up entirely of pieces with pastel exteriors and mostly divinity-like fillings, and not available year round. If you like apricots, you will love these. mmmm... But I haven't had them in a years, and Mary See's original recipes were different than today's. MUCH richer! I think there are still a few stuck to my hips... '-)

                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: Caroline1

                                      They still make a marvelous apricot bonbon, C1. Did the original contain coconut? Or was it a classic cream?

                                      1. re: mamachef

                                        They still make them:
                                        #64, Apricot Delight.

                                        For me, and at my age, the problem is that they just don't make them or any other of their original long-ago delectables the same way as they used to using real dairy cream in their milk chocolate, real dairy butter, and such. I'm one of those poor tortured souls who has been dragged, kicking and screaming, into the 21st Century because my taste buds grieve so over foods and flavors lost in the name of "progress" and "chemistry." Like Mother Nature didn't know what she was doing when she made butter? <sigh> When it comes to anything food, I'm a living anachronism. '-(

                                        1. re: Caroline1

                                          Boy, do I have a lot to say about this topic, C1. And I think you're just the one to start a new thread about it.
                                          I, too, mourn the original versions of that which has been tampered with in the name of progress-that-is-not-progress.
                                          I'm making fondant candies this year. I think I'll experiment w/ something apricotty.

                                            1. re: mamachef

                                              mamachef: I don't recall anyone saying that the filling was dried apricots. The only bonbon type of candy I've ever liked....

                                      2. I see you're getting few direct answers, so I'll chime in. I don't live in See's territory any more, so I only get to load up during trips. But it broke my heart when they discontinued Marshmints as a regular offering. It's apparently now just at Christmas - although interestingly their decision evoked such indignation that they created a Marshmint Club.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: Fida

                                          Another vote to revive Marshmints!

                                        2. See's original truffles which predated American truffles by at least 2 decades, were little logs, whose coating-to-filling ratio was perfect. They've lost that.

                                          1. I once worked for a notoriously cheap boss. The one time he'd unbend was in December, when he'd go around and ask for everyone's candy preference. Our last paycheck for the year would come taped to a box of See's chocolates. Mine was soft centers.

                                            1. LOVE See's. Love everything but if I had to choose, I'd say rum nougat and bordeaux. Ok, thrown in some Chelsea, too.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: SilverMoth

                                                Soooo with you on the chelsea candies- a favorite since my childhood!

                                              2. If we're talking only "seasonal" favorites I like the white chocolate mint truffles and cranberry orange truffles that are out this time of year. The pumpkin spice truffle I tried around Halloween was nice. The double caramel truffles they have in the summer are the bomb!

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: Island

                                                  The cran/orange truffle was wonderful, Island. I hadn't had one before, but I absolutlely loved the combination w/ chocolate. It wasn't TOO sweet, and it was nice and tart and tangy. Now, I have to make a plan. "How to Avoid Sees When I'm in Berkeley," 'cause those double caramel ones sound like The Bomb! Good thing I have plenty time to strengthen my resolve, since it's a summer thing. :)

                                                  1. re: mamachef

                                                    Yes those caramels are great and huge! Forgot all about them until this post and thought dang didn't get any this year! Had them for the first time Summer 2012 and they said people buy tons of them to freeze so they have enough until offered again. I don't think I love anything that much. White chocolate covered strawberry heart truffles are the seasonal candy for Valentines. Haven't tried those, but they'll be upon us in no time.

                                                    1. re: Island

                                                      The freezer? Oh hell yes. I do that w/ Caramello bars all the time. OMG. I want one now. NOW.

                                                2. Nuts and chews. My favorite selection for any season.

                                                  1. Can someone please explain to me the love and reverence for See's Candie's? I used to go to the Greater Palm Springs area for 15 years straight with someone who insisted on making a stop @ See's to purchase gifts to bring home to family. Every year I made a similar purchase. Not once did anyone ever request I make the special trip to bring back some candy for them a second time.

                                                    It's a nice place, don't get me wrong, but nothing more special or unique than any other local Chocolatier we have available to us here in New Jersey.

                                                    16 Replies
                                                    1. re: fourunder

                                                      For a lot of people I think it's what they grew up with. I didn't get it either when I moved to CA. Boxed that showed up at work during the holidays were swarmed on by people who could recognize there favorites by sight. I have my favorites now too, but most aren't in the prepackaged boxes.
                                                      I do like the creamy texture of See's much more than Godiva and some of the more expensive brands that seem brittle to me. I'm originally from PA and my local favorite is still Gertrude Hawks! My family there does like See's, but I also know there preferences and hand pick their favs if giving any to them.

                                                      1. re: Island

                                                        Thanks....that's what i surmised.

                                                        1. re: fourunder

                                                          What are your favorite brands in NJ?

                                                          1. re: Island

                                                            The oldest, or best known throughout my area of Bergen county is :

                                                            Mrs. Hanna Kraus in Paramus next to the Garden State Plaza Mall



                                                            Crithley's in River Edge


                                                            Matisse Chocolatier in Englewood, is excellent and the one I use for bringing gifts to Holiday Events or Business Gifts...they make more upscale, newer creations and truffles. Their specialty is chocolate covered fruits, brownies and cookies.


                                                            I've never tried Gertrude Hawk....they're only in South Jersey

                                                            1. re: fourunder

                                                              Gertrude Hawk chocolates were special treats for Easter baskets, stocking stuffers. The chocolate peanut butter santa "Smidgens" the fam sends me are addictive.
                                                              Thanks for the other links I'll check them out. NJ candy will alwyas be James salt water taffy for me. Another nostalgic treat from summers at the Shore.

                                                        2. re: fourunder

                                                          See's has a unique place in many, many people's hearts. For myself, it was a holiday candy or just for special. Mom the Uncook was known for pulling up to See's and handing me (I was the oldest) a fiver and letting us each choose a few candies. And she'd buy boxes and boxes of the nuts and chews for "oh shit I forgot...." holiday gifts. Oh those were the days.Those few candies were treated like treasured little bits of gold. I'd totally make 'em last.
                                                          I'd have to say you're right about special and unique. But it's a nostalgia hit for a lotta, lotta people. The Midwest has a shop called, I think, Ethel May, and their stores and chocolates are very, very similar to See's. And on the East Coast, I've seen shops that are almost identical, but they don't have the See's name - I don't know what that one is..
                                                          But yes: for some people, and I am one of them, See's is the gold stndard. Maybe not because of the chocolates, but because of the nostalgia/reverence mix. I offered to take a friend in Palm Springs to a coffee shop that sells absolutely delicious, hand-dipped in-house, chocolate candies. And she insisted that we HAD to go to See's, because for her, there just is NO OTHER PLACE, end of story.

                                                          1. re: mamachef

                                                            Thanks...and you are correct about the similar store design of chocolate shops in just about every NJ shopping mall, the white and black motif is ubiquitous......just lie the Salt Water Taffy Shops in Atlantic City. Both James and Fralinger's are almost identical in store design...but that may be due to the fact the companies may have merged.



                                                            1. re: mamachef

                                                              I discovered Sees in 1954 when I came down from WA to the Bay Area to go to school. Half the girls on my wing of the dorm seemed to get frequent boxes of Sees from their loved ones.

                                                              Sees was the unofficial candy store in CA for most candy purposes. It had lots of candy choices, convenient stores, good quality and relatively inexpensive prices. The stores put out the aura of classiness, reliability and respectability.

                                                              1. re: mamachef

                                                                I disagree. I think See's is special not only because of the nostalgia, but because it's simply better than other chocolates of the same style in the same price range (i.e, not expensive artisan or European chocolates). I don't think Ethel M is even close: the flavors always taste artificial to me. See's uses high quality ingredients.

                                                                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                  With you on this- Ethel M is not on the same playing field.

                                                                2. re: fourunder

                                                                  Others have covered the majority of why See's appears to hold a special place with some folks.

                                                                  But one other thing to add is that See's, even shorn of all of the sentimental value, is one of the best chocolates out there if you considered quality/cost.

                                                                  Is it fancy-schmancy haute French sho-ko-lot? Nope.

                                                                  Is it a disguised Hershey's bar? No.

                                                                  Does it require a home equity line of credit to buy a box? Hardly.

                                                                  It's sort of like the Corvette of chocolates. Great car, good value, devoted and passionate fan base, but it will never be considered a top-echelon hypercar like a McLaren or a Ferrari.

                                                                  1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                    Does anyone else remember (and miss) malt truffles?

                                                                    1. re: Erika L

                                                                      I don't remember that See's had a malt candy,
                                                                      sorry I missed out. Just *one* malt candy ever?

                                                                3. Does anyone know if See's fudge is the real thing, not a melted chocolate chip/marshmallow crème sort of confection?
                                                                  I've made real fudge and you cook it to a certain temperature, then stir until it starts to "set up", quickly spread in a pan, and then it hardens. Is See's fudge made like that, anyone ?
                                                                  My favorite is California Brittle and anything with cherries or berries inside.

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: BangorDin

                                                                    I believe the fudge is "real." It's certainly not melted chocolate and marshmallow crème. It doesn't set up as firm as homemade, though, so there may be some variation in the way it's made.

                                                                    Making real fudge is labor intensive at home, but not that hard in a commercial setting with the right equipment.

                                                                    1. re: BangorDin

                                                                      I replied on the other thread- to recap: the fudge is terrible and nothing like homemade.

                                                                      However their divinity is better than any failed batch i have ever attempted.....!

                                                                    2. Butterscotch Squares...best ever. Like eating brown sugar, butter and cream...what more could you ask for???