See’s Butterscotch Pecan Bar

The See’s Candies stand has returned to my local mall for the holidays! When I saw it, I had to pick up a few of my favorite Scotchmallows, which are currently available in Christmas tree shapes, and I got this Butterscotch Pecan Bar while I was there.

The bar had a milk chocolate base, a generous layer of butterscotch sugar paste, and a topping of pecan quarters and halves. The butterscotch was the brown sugar and vanilla buttercream from their Butterscotch Square: a little grainy and super brown-sugar sweet.

See’s Butterscotch is the sweetest confection that I still love to eat. I think the brown sugar notes tone down the sweetness and keep it from becoming cloying.

The pecan bits were crunchy and nutty and did a great job balancing out the extreme sweetness of the butterscotch sugar. Finally, the milk chocolate base added a sweet milk chocolate flavor to the finish.

The chocolate was just an afterthought, though. It wasn’t super noticeable in the wake of all the other flavors going on.

The whole treat was like an extra decadent bar of pecan pie, only without crust. And let’s face it, crust just gets in the way of the good stuff. An OM.


See’s Assorted Chocolates Week 2 – Day 3

Back in 2009, I devoted a whole week to See’s Chocolates as I reviewed an assorted box that they sent me. This week will be another week of See’s Chocolates reviews, only this time, I’ll be reviewing a box that I bought and picked out myself in Seattle.

On Monday, I covered four of their truffles. Wednesday, I reviewed four Dark Chocolate without Nuts pieces. Today, I’ll wrap up the week with reviews of two Dark Chocolate with Nuts and two Milk Chocolate without Nuts pieces.

Dark Cocoanut (sic) was “buttercream with angel flake coconut”. I’ve reviewed the milk version of this before, but the fresh version of the cocoanut was world’s better. It also turns out that my coconut tastes have changed over the years!

The fresh Cocoanut blew my mind, as its coconut center was so fresh that it was shiny and moist. It tasted strongly nutty with great fresh coconut flavors.

The chewy shreds squeaked between my teeth and left behind a sweet finish that was tempered by the dark chocolate shell. An OMG.

Marzipan was dark chocolate around “honey almond paste”, and it was another truffle that I’d previously reviewed. This, too, was greatly elevated while fresh, as the flavors were far stronger and more delicious.

My fresh Marzipan had a softly grainy center with just enough moisture to hold it together. It had lovely floral overtones of almond and a nutty finish that lingered after the treat was gone. An OM.

Milk Butterchew was the milk chocolate version of the Dark Butterchew from Wednesday. The caramel was buttery sweet and chewy, and here it was paired with a sweet milk chocolate with a great caramel finish.

I preferred the Dark to the Milk Butterchew, as I felt the dark chocolate better balanced the sweetness of the caramel, but I still wouldn’t turn down a Milk Butterchew. OM.

Finally, the Butterscotch Square was “firm brown sugar buttercream”, which I’d also reviewed before. In my maximally fresh version, the ganache was soft and slightly moist with a pleasant graininess.

I took a bite to take photos, let it sit for a day or two, and when I came back, it had dried and stiffened. It tasted of honey sweet brown sugar, which was complimented by the dusky cocoa finish of the milk chocolate coating.

It was so sweet that I couldn’t eat more than a bite at a time, but I enjoyed all of those measured bites. An OM.

I was pretty happy with all of my See’s selections. At $17.50/lb, See’s is pretty hard to beat in bang for your buck. Highly recommended all around!

See’s Assorted Chocolates Week 2 – Day 2

Back in 2009, I devoted a whole week to See’s Chocolates as I reviewed an assorted box that they sent me. This week will be another week of See’s Chocolates reviews, only this time, I’ll be reviewing a box that I bought and picked out myself in Seattle.

On Monday, I covered four of their truffles. Today, I’ll review four Dark Chocolate without Nuts pieces (categories per See’s flavor guide).

Dark Bordeaux (TM) was simply described as “brown sugar buttercream”. It was a round truffle that was covered in dark chocolate and chocolate sprinkles.

The center was soft and sweet with an almost whipped texture. It reminded me of the first stages of cookie making when you whip sugar and butter together into a fluffy mixture of delicious fat and sugar.

The brown sugar and butter center was deliciously sweet, but also so sweet that it burned my throat a bit. The dark chocolate coating was mild with a cocoa-flavored finish.

Though I found it too sweet to have more than a little bite or two at a time, it was deliciously addictive enough to warrant an OM.

Dark Molasses Chip was “molasses honeycomb crisp”. One paper flute of these contained four 2-inch long fingers.

The honeycomb was sweet, crunchy, brittle foam candy. It was golden colored and golden honey flavored with a touch of amber sweetness and just a hint of sour fruitiness.

It crunched up easily, but it also got a bit stuck in my molars. The dark chocolate complimented the center well and a brought a bit of dusky cocoa finish to the end. A tasty enough OM.

Dark Butterchew was a “vanilla brown sugar caramel” coated in dark chocolate. That caramel was chewy with a smooth texture. It tasted sweet and buttery with no scorched notes.

The dark chocolate coating was a great foil to the sweet caramel. It could have been elevated with a hint of salt or scorch to the caramel, but it was still pretty darn good. OM.

Finally for today, Dark Patties were two disks of chocolate covered “chocolate vanilla caramel” per paper flute. This was one of my favorite treats of the box, thanks to its intense chocolate flavors.

The chewy caramel center was lightly sweet with strong cocoa notes and a bit of plumminess, while the dark chocolate coating was intense and bittersweet. An OMG.

One more set of See’s reviews to come!

See’s Assorted Chocolates Week 2 – Day 1

Back in 2009, I devoted a whole week to See’s Chocolates as I reviewed an assorted box that they sent me. This week will be another week of See’s Chocolates reviews, only this time, I’ll be reviewing a box that I bought and picked out myself in Seattle.

Today, I’ll go through the four Truffles that I bought. First up, the trademarked See’s Apple Pie Truffle, which they describe as rich buttercream with Granny Smith apples and cinnamon. This was a vaguely heart-shaped white chocolate truffle with a light brown center filling.

The white chocolate coating was sweet and took a backseat to the filling, which was quite the standout. It was extremely bright and fruity with a spot-on apple pie-filling flavor.

It tasted intensely of sweet cooked apples with just a smidge of cinnamon. I swear there was also some notes of toasted crust as well, or at least the crust of McDonald’s apple pie. It was basically a slice of apple pie distilled into a truffle. OM.

Almond Truffle was “rich dark chocolate buttercream with ground almonds”. It was a soft square of chocolate ganache covered in little bits of almond that were bound together with some white chocolate-looking butter thing.

The ganache center was sweet with a mild cocoa flavor, while the almonds in the coating were roasted and nutty. While the almonds were nice, I found them to be too tannic. They sapped all the moisture out of my mouth, so just an O.

Cafe au Lait Truffle was simply described as “rich coffee buttercream”. It had a milk chocolate coating with dark chocolate stripes for contrast.

The texture of the golden brown buttercream center was lovely – solid yet lightly fluffy. Its flavor started off strong with mocha coffee notes, lightly bitter but overall sweet, and the milk chocolate added a great caramel finish. OM.

And last for today, the Dark Chocolate Chip Truffle, “rich chocolate buttercream with chocolate chips”. This buttercream held its shape as I bit into the treat but then melted away on the tongue.

I didn’t notice any extra chocolate chips in that ganache; the texture was perfectly smooth.

It had an incredibly intense semisweet chocolate flavor which was redoubled by the dark chocolate shell. The chocolate didn’t have a terribly nuanced flavor profile, but it was deep and it was good. An OM.

Back on Wednesday and Friday with more See’s!

See’s Scotchmallow

Surprise! I’ve got one more See’s review for y’all. An extension of last week’s See’s week, I guess.

I’ve breezed over the See’s Scotchmallow before, and it’s near the top of my list of favorite candies. It’s about time it warranted a full review.

You can get Scotchmallows by the box, as part of an assorted box, or as a hefty, 1.5 oz. individually wrpaped bar, as I did here. The website calls them, “a delicious layer of See’s caramel with a layer of See’s honey marshmallow enrobed in rich dark chocolate”.

In bar form, they only come in milk chocolate. That milk chocolate shell had a slight snap. It had a great duskiness with hints of malt and slight notes of coffee.

The marshmallow was dense and foamy with a light pull when bitten into. It’s unlike anything you could pick up in a grocery store – it’s lightly sweet and vanilla-y, and the texture is a toothy pleasure.

The caramel was extremely chewy and sticky. It tasted of sweet, brown sugar with a slight grit at the end.

The mix of flavors and textures was sublime. The sticky caramel chew combined with the fluffy marshmallow chew plus the melting milk chocolate is a chomping pleasure, and the malty chocolate goes great with the scorchy brown sugar caramel and vanilla marshmallow.

It’s incredible how the different types of sweetness play off each other and bring out each others’ flavors. I could eat Scotchmallows for days.

I prefer the dark chocolate version because it better cuts the sweetness, but this bar version is still a favorite. An enthusiastic ZOMG!


See’s Cafe Latte Krispy and Mint Krispy

Happy Friday the 13th! Great time to wrap up a week of See’s reviews (see Monday and Wednesday for previous reviews this See’s week).

I got today’s candies the best possible way: the mall See’s stand had a little basket of individually wrapped candies by the register, and the owner told me to help myself to as many as I wanted. I nabbed a Cafe Latte Krispy and Mint Krispy, along with a Butterscotch Square and Dark Butterchew.

Both pieces were squares of flavored toffee covered with a thin layer of chocolate. The Cafe Latte Krispy was a golden brown coffee toffee hidden in milk chocolate.

The toffee chip cleaved into shards with a great crunch. It had a bit of a tendency to gather as grit in my molars but mostly melted on my tongue.

The thin milk chocolate coating melted thickly and tasted of malt and caramel. The toffee had a nice coffee flavor without any bitterness. Combined with the chocolate, it had a nice mocha frappucino effect.

The toffee crispness kept the whole treat feeling light. It was a nice mix of texture and flavor and OM-worthy.

The Mint Krispy was a white mint toffee covered in dark chocolate. The texture of the mint toffee was the same as that of the Cafe Latte: light and crisp.

The minty center was powerful in flavor and scent. It tasted strongly of peppermint oil and was nearly spicy in how it set my mouth a-tingling, with just a hint of bitterness to the finish.

The strength of that mintiness overpowered the dark chocolate, which came through as just a hint of cocoa flavor undertone. I enjoyed the treat but it was too minty. An O.

See’s has long been one of my favorite confectioners for good reason. They make delicious treats at reasonable price points, and they may be enough impetus to get me back to the mall more than once every six months.

See’s Awesome Nut & Chew Bar

This See’s Awesome Nut & Chew Bar was another mall stand buy. The 1.5 oz bar was described as “chewy nougat with almonds and honey covered in dark chocolate.”

The bulk of the rectangular bar was a log of chewy nougat covered with a dark chocolate hsell. The texture was great. It was chock full of crunchy whole almonds surrounded by a lightly sweet and chewy nougat.

The nougat had the amber undertone of honey, which nicely set off the crisp, fresh almonds. The dark chocolate shell was only lightly sweet and brought a great cocoa depth to the bar.

I loved this bar. The honey in the nougat added a delicious complexity while the almonds had a great crunchy nuttiness.

The chewy nougat and the crunchy almonds and the dusky chocolate also made for a great textural mix. It was a near perfect treat.

My only complaint was that the dark chocolate shell shattered and made a bit of a mess when I bit into the bar, but it’s a minor one. An OMG.

Again, here are Cybele and Sera’s takes.

See’s Awesome Peanut Brittle Bar

I am no longer the mall shopping machine that I was when I was in middle school and high school. These days, I just don’t have the patience anymore and mostly shop online.

Thus, I had lived in Durham for nearly six months before I finally set foot in a mall for an Apple store errand. Lo and behold, the mall had a See’s stand! I picked up enough treats to make this week another See’s week.

The See’s Awesome Peanut Brittle Bar was a 1 oz. bar that they described as “crunchy peanut brittle drenched in milk chocolate.” It was a beautifully enrobed slab.

The brittle cleaved cleanly and was full of peanuts, some whole and some in pieces. When chewed, some of the brittle shards came together and got a bit stuck in my molars, but it was mostly a clean chomp.

It was salty and buttery with a hearty nuttiness thanks to the roasted peanuts. The milk chocolate added a light duskiness that was a great pairing with the salty sweet brittle.

I’m generally meh about peanuts, but I really enjoyed this treat. I love toffee that cleaves like this brittle did, and the flavors were great – predominantly that of roasted peanuts with a nice balance of salty and sweet. An OM.

If you want other opinions, Cybele and Sera both reviewed this on their sites long before I did. In my defense, I’ve never lived in a city with any sort of See’s shop before!


See’s Assorted Chocolates Week – Day 3

Today marks the conclusion of Rosa eats her way through an entire box of See’s on her own because it’s delicious and free. I began my journey on Monday, continued on Wednesday, and today, the finish line is in sight.

I’m not sure what makes the California brittle Californian. It’s a hard toffee with almonds that’s covered in milk chocolate. Unlike some toffees, this brittle doesn’t really cleave. It kind of just breaks. I could almost feel the tiny air bubbles dissolving on my tongue as I chewed it. The salty almonds go well with the brittle, which was pretty throat-burningly sweet. An O, but a positive one that I can see others enjoying.

The Mayfair was probably the easiest to identify, at least once I bit into it, because it was shockingly pink. This is described as buttercream with cherries and English walnuts. I don’t care for buttercream chocolates in general because I find them too sweet, and this guy is both too sweet and unappetizingly bursting with artificial cherry flavor. An O.

Two of my favorite See’s chocolates were the most simple, the above milk peanuts and the dark almonds (photo here). Good quality roasted nuts plus good quality See’s chocolate makes for yum. Both were great combinations of salty/sweet and melty/creamy/crunchy with toasted nut overtones. I could eat these all day. OMGs for both.

The cocoanut (sic) was milk chocolate around a coconut buttercream. I actively dislike most coconut candies, so to say that I found this tasty is a significant compliment. It had a nice coconut flavor without too much of the shreddy textural issues I have with sugared, dried, and shredded coconut. It helped that the milk chocolate mostly overpowered much of the coconut flavor. An OM.

Last up in our pictorial component is the milk pattie, vanilla caramel in milk chocolate. The caramel is soft with a moderate level of chewiness and stickiness. It doesn’t have much flavor that stands up to the milk chocolate, but I did enjoy its dusky finish. I’d love to try the dark version, which may let the caramel assert itself more. An OM.

Finally, I’d like to note two See’s chocolates that I do not have photos for. First, the molasses chips that were in my box got damaged during shipping and ended up in bits and pieces all over the box. I greatly enjoyed picking those pieces out and devouring them. Molasses chips are one of my favorite See’s products. They’re a thin brittle sweetened with honey and molasses and covered in chocolate, and they are divine. They come in dark and milk, and while I prefer the dark, I still love the milk. A ZOMG! for either iteration. You can see them in the below photo of a box I bought myself over a year ago. They’re the four thin rectangles on the left. You can also buy them by themselves, in a mixed assorted box or in milk and dark boxes.

The other See’s chocolate that I do not have a photo of is their Scotchmallow. The Scotchmallow is  absolutely, hands-down my favorite See’s product, and I have no photo of it because I am saving mine for a special occasion. An ex-boyfriend of mine loves them (in fact, he’s the one who introduced me to them), and I knew he really liked me when he was willing to share his beloved Scotchmallows with me. See how seriously I take my Scotchmallows? They’re even at the top of my all time favorite candies list.

They also come in bar form, as in the photo above, in heart form for Valentine’s Day and in egg form for Easter, but the round chocolate form in their assorted chocolates selection is really the best, I think, as it gets the proportions just right: thick squishy honey marshmallow over a wonderfully butterscotchy caramel, all enrobed in dark chocolate… If you couldn’t see it coming, it gets a ZOMG! like whoa.

So after all this See’s reviewing, what would go in my ideal custom box? At least two sets of dark molasses chips, a set of milk molasses chips, a dark cocoanut, a dark pattie (which I didn’t get to try), a dark almond and a dark peanut, a milk almond and a milk peanut, a caramel with almonds, a couple of marzipans, a dark nougat, a butterscotch square, and fill the rest of the box to the brim with Scotchmallows. The next time I’m in a See’s store, that’ll be exactly what I’ll order (plus a few Scotch kisses, Almond Royals, and Toffee-ettes).

I can’t stress enough how great a value See’s is. They may not be as fancy or as dazzlingly pretty as some of the more expensive chocolates that I’ve tried, but you really can’t beat paying just under $20 a pound for great tasting chocolate. Even I can afford that. And as a bonus, at that price, you don’t feel so bad when you come across one that you don’t love.

See’s Assorted Chocolates Week – Day 2

Today we have the next batch of chocolates out of the free sample box of See’s Assorted Chocolates that I started reviewing on Monday.

First up, their vanilla nut cream, a vanilla buttercream with English walnuts. What makes English walnuts better than walnuts unaffiliated with a specific nation? I suppose that’s a moot point. Anyway, this is a nicely creamy buttercream with tiny bits of walnut sprinkled throughout. The milk chocolate coating is nice, but the filling is just too much sugary overload for me. An O.

See’s marzipan fared much better. I really enjoyed this one. Their guide just describes it as “honey almond paste,” which I suppose just makes it regular marzipan with a touch of honey. It’s enrobed in their bittersweet dark chocolate, which balances nicely with the nutty almond filling, and the whole thing has just a touch of fruity sweetness to the finish. I found it especially refreshing because it was barely sweet, in contrast to the rest of See’s filled chocolates. An OMG, and quite a coup from See’s, as it was far more enjoyable than Charles Chocolate’s much more expensive version, if not as pretty to look at.

The mocha was easily identifiable, as it was covered in chocolate sprinkles, or jimmies, as some like to call them. This is a coffee milk chocolate buttercream, and it definitely packs a punch of coffee flavor. It also packs a punch of sugar sweetness, which was too much for me. I did enjoy the textural contrast provided by the jimmies, at least. An O.

The rum nougat is one of See’s stranger concoctions: English walnuts, rum, cherries, and raisins in nougat. That’s an awful lot to be going on in one piece of candy. The cherries and raisins aren’t really distinguishable in the mix, though they do give the whole thing a noticeable fruitiness. I can definitely taste the rum as an overarching hint of liquor. Between the chewy nougat, the gummy dried fruits, and the softly toothy walnuts, this chocolate was texturally… interesting. Another O.

I adored the caramel with almonds. This chocolate featured whole or sizeable chunks of almonds embedded in caramel, all covered in milk chocolate. The almonds had lovely roasted notes that nicely mitigated the sweetness of the creamy milk chocolate and the buttery caramel. The caramel with almonds had just the right amount of chew to get your jaw going without taking out fillings. An OMG.

The almond square has nearly identical ingredients to the caramel with almonds. Its description, “roasted almonds with caramel,” leaves out the dark chocolate base that the square is dipped into. In the almond square, however, the combination of roasted almonds, caramel, and chocolate doesn’t achieve the same levels of candy nirvana as the caramel with almonds because there’s much less chocolate. In the almond square, the nuts are the focus, and the whole thing gets a bit overly dry. It’s still good, but the caramel with almonds is better. An OM.

Last for today, the walnut square. It was like the almond square, only with English walnuts instead of roasted almonds. Walnuts rank pretty low in my hierarchy of nuts, definitely below almonds, so you can guess what I thought of this – similar to the almond square, but not as good. An O.

Phew. That’s a lot of chocolates for one day. Onward to Friday, where Rosa finishes the box, pretty much.