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Favorite See's Candies - Holiday Edition

ipsedixit Dec 4, 2013 02:51 PM

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?

  1. Ruth Lafler Dec 4, 2013 03:38 PM

    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
      emily Dec 5, 2013 12:06 PM

      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
        Isolda Dec 6, 2013 12:55 PM

        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
          Caroline1 Dec 6, 2013 03:51 PM

          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
            Ttrockwood Dec 6, 2013 04:22 PM

            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
            g
            Georgia Strait Dec 7, 2013 06:22 AM

            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
              Caroline1 Dec 8, 2013 12:03 PM

              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
                Ruth Lafler Dec 8, 2013 10:59 PM

                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. s
              sedimental Dec 4, 2013 05:30 PM

              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
                ipsedixit Dec 4, 2013 06:17 PM

                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
                  s
                  sedimental Dec 4, 2013 08:24 PM

                  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. Ttrockwood Dec 4, 2013 09:41 PM

                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
                  ipsedixit Dec 4, 2013 09:52 PM

                  All holidays are fair game. Even Festivus!

                  1. re: ipsedixit
                    Ttrockwood Dec 4, 2013 10:22 PM

                    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. mamachef Dec 5, 2013 01:34 PM

                  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. e
                    Erika L Dec 6, 2013 08:26 AM

                    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
                      ipsedixit Dec 6, 2013 10:37 AM

                      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
                        e
                        Erika L Dec 6, 2013 01:58 PM

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

                        1. re: ipsedixit
                          Ttrockwood Dec 6, 2013 04:15 PM

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

                        2. re: Erika L
                          Steve Green Dec 7, 2013 06:54 AM

                          "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
                            mamachef Dec 7, 2013 07:42 AM

                            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. :)
                            Not.

                            1. re: mamachef
                              Kate is always hungry Dec 7, 2013 09:31 AM

                              Have a light Bordeaux for me! Thanks! :)

                              1. re: mamachef
                                e
                                Erika L Dec 9, 2013 10:13 AM

                                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
                                e
                                Erika L Dec 9, 2013 10:12 AM

                                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!

                            2. BiscuitBoy Dec 6, 2013 11:04 AM

                              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
                                bbqboy Dec 6, 2013 12:51 PM

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

                                1. re: bbqboy
                                  BiscuitBoy Dec 6, 2013 01:46 PM

                                  hammer? What have I been missing?!!

                                2. re: BiscuitBoy
                                  Ttrockwood Dec 6, 2013 04:17 PM

                                  Please send me any boxes you aren't interested in :))

                                3. s
                                  scarsdalesurprise Dec 6, 2013 01:11 PM

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

                                  1. Caroline1 Dec 6, 2013 03:44 PM

                                    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
                                      mamachef Dec 6, 2013 04:49 PM

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

                                      1. re: mamachef
                                        Caroline1 Dec 6, 2013 06:06 PM

                                        They still make them:
                                        http://tinyurl.com/a6u3f83
                                        #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
                                          mamachef Dec 6, 2013 06:23 PM

                                          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
                                            Caroline1 Dec 6, 2013 06:45 PM

                                            Need a taster? Just whistle! '-)

                                            1. re: mamachef
                                              RWCFoodie Dec 8, 2013 01:52 PM

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

                                      2. f
                                        Fida Dec 6, 2013 04:18 PM

                                        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
                                          e
                                          Erika L Dec 9, 2013 10:14 AM

                                          Another vote to revive Marshmints!

                                        2. pikawicca Dec 6, 2013 05:02 PM

                                          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. j
                                            Jeri L Dec 6, 2013 06:09 PM

                                            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. s
                                              SilverMoth Dec 7, 2013 12:12 PM

                                              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
                                                Ttrockwood Dec 7, 2013 03:49 PM

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

                                              2. i
                                                Island Dec 7, 2013 01:07 PM

                                                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
                                                  mamachef Dec 8, 2013 10:52 AM

                                                  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
                                                    i
                                                    Island Dec 8, 2013 10:58 AM

                                                    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
                                                      mamachef Dec 8, 2013 11:50 AM

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

                                                2. f
                                                  flavrmeistr Dec 8, 2013 11:06 AM

                                                  Nuts and chews. My favorite selection for any season.

                                                  1. f
                                                    fourunder Dec 8, 2013 11:15 AM

                                                    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
                                                      i
                                                      Island Dec 8, 2013 11:25 AM

                                                      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
                                                        f
                                                        fourunder Dec 8, 2013 11:27 AM

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

                                                        1. re: fourunder
                                                          i
                                                          Island Dec 8, 2013 11:29 AM

                                                          What are your favorite brands in NJ?

                                                          1. re: Island
                                                            f
                                                            fourunder Dec 8, 2013 11:44 AM

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

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

                                                            http://www.hannakrausecandy.com/

                                                            or.:

                                                            Crithley's in River Edge

                                                            http://www.critchleyschocolates.com/

                                                            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.

                                                            http://www.getfreshchocolate.com/

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

                                                            1. re: fourunder
                                                              i
                                                              Island Dec 8, 2013 07:36 PM

                                                              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: Island
                                                          Caroline1 Dec 8, 2013 11:54 AM

                                                          You win the cigar! Nostalgia.

                                                        3. re: fourunder
                                                          mamachef Dec 8, 2013 11:49 AM

                                                          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
                                                            f
                                                            fourunder Dec 8, 2013 12:01 PM

                                                            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.

                                                            http://www.jamescandy.com/

                                                            http://www.fralingers.com/

                                                            1. re: mamachef
                                                              s
                                                              Sharuf Dec 8, 2013 01:41 PM

                                                              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
                                                                Ruth Lafler Dec 13, 2013 08:59 AM

                                                                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
                                                                  Ttrockwood Dec 14, 2013 02:48 PM

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

                                                                  1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                    f
                                                                    flavrmeistr Dec 17, 2013 03:29 PM

                                                                    Hear, hear, Ruthie!

                                                                2. re: fourunder
                                                                  ipsedixit Dec 8, 2013 06:28 PM

                                                                  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
                                                                    e
                                                                    Erika L Dec 9, 2013 11:16 AM

                                                                    Does anyone else remember (and miss) malt truffles?

                                                                    1. re: Erika L
                                                                      b
                                                                      BangorDin Dec 12, 2013 11:16 AM

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

                                                                      1. re: BangorDin
                                                                        e
                                                                        Erika L Dec 13, 2013 08:39 AM

                                                                        That's the only one I know of.

                                                                3. b
                                                                  BangorDin Dec 12, 2013 11:10 AM

                                                                  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
                                                                    Ruth Lafler Dec 12, 2013 01:03 PM

                                                                    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
                                                                      Ttrockwood Dec 12, 2013 05:10 PM

                                                                      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. DiningDiva Dec 13, 2013 11:11 PM

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

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