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Thursday, March 26, 2009

See What See's Has Hatched for Easter and Toffee-ette Tortoni

toffeeette-tortoni3

Last December, in a mad dash to beat the Christmas Rush, I stumbled upon an interesting new kiosk in one of our local malls. The kiosk was filled products from a company called See's Candies.

See's Candies???

Ahem......It goes without saying that I had to stop and investigate. Here's what I found out.

See's Candies is a manufacturer and distributor of candy, primarily chocolate, in the western United States. It was founded by Charles See and his mother Mary See in Los Angeles, California, in 1921. The company is now headquartered in South San Francisco, California. See's Candies is famous for its delicious and diverse roster of products, which it largely markets only in its own stores, as well as in kiosks at malls and other shopping centers in select markets around the country and abroad.

The friendly See's ladies in their signature black and white uniforms were very helpful and were nice enough to let me try out a few samples while I was there. Thanks to them, I also learned that See's produces some pretty freakin' awesome chocolate! Of course, I left that day with a shopping bag full of little chocolate somethings for everyone on my list.

toffee-ettes

I hot-footed it back to the mall after the Holidays to stock up on some more of See's delicious chocolate, especially my new best friend: Toffee-ettes. Toffee-ettes are irresistible bite-size pieces of rich butter toffee with almonds, which are smothered in See's creamy milk chocolate and then covered with bits of toasted almonds. They are To. Die. For. Alas, when I got to the mall, the kiosk was gone. And, so was all of the chocolate. I was majorly bummed!

toffeeette-tortoni5

Imagine my delight when, a few weeks ago, I received an email from a rep at See's asking me if I was interested in sampling some of their chocolate, and perhaps using it in a recipe. Do I even need to tell you what my response was?

OMG, YES!!! PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, SEND CHOCOLATE!!! YEEEESSSSSSS!!!!

And, they did.

A few days ago, a box of my beloved Toffee-ettes was delivered to me, me, me! After I safely hid them in the back of my pantry behind the pickled beets, I sat down to figure out a recipe to use them in.

toffeeette-tortoni4

At first, I thought of a toffee ice cream. But, my friend, Chocolatechic, had already beaten me to it with a lovely Victoria Toffee Salted Butter Caramel Ice Cream. I also remembered that I had made my own version of toffee ice cream several months ago. So, as much as I love ice cream, I decided to go another way. I still wanted to make a frozen dessert, so I adapted my Tortoni recipe and made Toffee-ette Tortoni. What a great idea THAT was!

My Toffee-ette Tortoni was scrumdiddleyumptious! It was creamy and crunchy and chocolatey and almondy all at the same time. And, it is a snap to whip up. Aside from the freezing, it took me less than 20 minutes to make them. You have really got to try these!

toffeeette-tortoni2

Toffee-ette Tortoni
(Printable Recipe)

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons butter
1 cup sliced almonds
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 cups Toffee-ettes
1 cup heavy cream, chilled
2 teaspoons almond extract
1 quart homemade or premium quality vanilla ice cream, softened
Maraschino cherries, drained and halved for garnish

Directions:

Melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the almonds and sugar and saute until almonds are lightly browned and caramelized, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool. When cooled, break almond mixture up into small bits.

Crush the Toffee-ettes into small nuggets. You can do this by putting them in a zip lock bag and smacking them with a rolling pin or meat mallet. Be careful not to turn them into crumbs. Place the crumbled candy in a bowl and toss with the cooled almonds. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whip cream with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Spoon the candy mixture into the whipped cream, reserving 3/4 cup or so for topping.

Add the almond extract to the softened ice cream and stir until blended and very smooth. Fold candy/whipped cream mixture into ice cream.

Spoon into little pastry cups or ramekins. Sprinkle each cup with some of the reserved candy mixture and top with a cherry. Freeze until firm.

Makes about 1 quart of Tortoni mixture.

Enjoy!

The folks at See's also asked me if I would let you all know about their recently released line of Easter candies. With the promise of free Toffee-ettes, how could I refuse? Check out their complete selection of Easter candy for yourself. They have everything from jelly beans to chocolate bunnies and then some. I'm particularly partial to their Scotchmallow Eggs, a combination of smooth caramel and fluffy honey marshmallow, covered with rich dark chocolate.

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(Don't they look great?)

Or, how about these fresh, fruity Springtime Truffles, which are raspberry and lemon truffles covered in creamy white chocolate, and topped with delicate pastel flowers. Mmmmm!

springtime-truffles

These Hollow Eggs with Novelty are hollow milk chocolate eggs with an adorable little white chocolate chick hidden inside. How cute are they?

Novelty-Eggs

If you're looking for some fun and fabulous treats this Easter season, look no further than See's Candies. You won't be disappointed. Would I ever steer you wrong?

46 comments:

Brenda S Okie in Colorado said...

Scotchmallows have always been my favorite at See's. My husband and I only go to See's once, maybe twice a year and we get about $150 worth of chocolate at a time! Now living in Colorado, we have also found a local company from Grand junction, called Enstrom's. If you love toffee, this is by far the best I have ever eaten. You can order online. Hope you will try it and let me know what you think.

pinkstripes said...

YUM!
The See's outlet (where we get discounted candy) is open for the Easter holidays. They open for holidays. I sould go get some. TYour tortini's look delicious.

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Your tortoni look particularly wonderful in those little cups. Where do you find those? I enjoy See's candies too, but I do wish they made those toffee treats in dark chocolate rather than milk chocolate.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

So pretty and promising! Your tortoni look scrumptious!

Cheers,

Rosa

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

Ah...the classic Italian-American restaurant staple Tortoni. I always think of you when I see these now. This was a great idea and it looks yummy.

I want people to send me free chocolate! I gotta start sucking up to the right people.

Half Baked said...

I love See's candies. Your Tortoni looks delish!

Rachelle @ "Mommy? I'm Hungry!" said...

Looks delish!! I love SEE'S candy too!

Marthe said...

Yum!! Those chocolates look soooo tasty! Unfortunately we don't have a See's here...

Snooky doodle said...

looks awesome. I like this fantastic topping . looks yummy :)

Helene said...

I love See's Candies What a great dessert you made.

Scate said...

I love your use of these candies in creating memorable and beautiful desserts. Thanks!

Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary said...

My heart just sped up reading about all the candy!! ME WANT!

City Girl said...

I *love* See's - I discovered them on a trip to SF 3 years ago and they are delicious :) The dessert is beautiful too

Nanc Twop said...

They have dark chocolate with walnuts! I love that combo - thanks for the link!

Nicole said...

You really didn't know or taste See's before this last Christmas? OMG! See's has been an Easter and Christmas tradition in our family for years! The Easter Bunny wouldn't think of bringing any other kind of chocolate!

What a delumptious (delicious and scrumptious) dessert! Love their toffee.

A Feast for the Eyes said...

Uh-oh. You discovered my dirty little secret. I have TWO See's store's where I have lived for most of my life. My other dirty little secret? I can identify each See's chocolate, without a label. OMG, the bourdeux's are my fave...and the coconut creme...and the Scotchmallows... I'll have to try your recipe.

Enjoy!

Christine said...

Weird! I thought See's was way bigger than that. Maybe I'm biased though, because I drive by See's headquarters on Fairfax (in LA) regularly. Growing up See's was always the candy kids used for fundraisers, kind of like Girl Scouts. I've spent many precious childhood dollars on their chocolate toffee bars! I agree with Nicole, the chocolate Easter bunnies are terrific too.

Farmer Jen said...

Oh,I am very familiar with See's living out here in CA. Maybe a little too familiar around the holidays! Your post about them was wonderful and your Tortonis look great.

Tara said...

Before I moved to Arizona, I had never heard of See's, but once I discovered them, I fell in love! Their toffee-ettes are my weakness! I'll have to give the tortoni a try - looks amazing!

MaryBeth said...

I love See's candy, it is very classic and adorable. Your dish is awesome as well.

Ingrid said...

MMmmm, that looks fabulous! Only since starting my blog have I realized that I love toffee (& so many other yummy foods) so I know you're spot on with that almond toffee.
~ingrid

Nina Timm said...

Free sampling and free boxes of chocolate...you certainly have a way with people!!! Theses desserts made my jaw drop!! Oh, how I would love to eat little bites at a time of this lovely dessert!

Nina Timm said...

Free sampling and free boxes of chocolate...you certainly have a way with people!!! Theses desserts made my jaw drop!! Oh, how I would love to eat little bites at a time of this lovely dessert!

TeaLady said...

Lucky you. We don't have Sees here in Podunk, Deep South. They look like the perfect candy. Love your recipe to use them. Umm Umm Umm

Sandie said...

I've heard of See's Candies, but never tried them before. Come to think of it, I'm not even sure where I've seen/heard of them (probably a food blog, but I keep thinking it was in person somewhere). Oh well...

By the way, your toffee-ette-infused creation looks fabulous. I'm a HUGE fan of toffee myself, and find this treat hard to resist!

Tracey said...

Great photos! I've recently seen a number of bloggers posting about See's candies but I've never tried them.

Esi said...

Sees is awesome! We are lucky to have them everywhere here. I didn't even know Toffe-ettes had a name, but I love them! So addictive.

Elyse said...

I love See's candy! When I was growing up, my mom would always stock up on Toffee-ettes around the holidays, and I loved sneaking them from our pantry. Your tortoni looks FABULOUS. What a great way to showcase the candy!! And of course, all of See's Easter treats look great, too.

Paula Maack said...

What a tasty dessert idea!

I love See's Candies. Especially the Easter offerings.

It's almost time to head down the street to my local See's and load up on their classic eggs. My faves are the Mayfair, Divinity, Rocky Road, and the Vanilla Creme with Chocolate Chips (on years they make it).

Don't they put out just the cutest stuff at Easter? I can hardly wait.

Cheers,

~ Paula

Hillary said...

Oh no! How did I miss the toffee-ettes?! I had a gift card to Sees candies and would have ordered these in a heartbeat had I known. Great idea to use them in your own dessert!

onlinepastrychef said...

I keep hearing so much about See's, but I have yet to experience them:( I believe that toffee-ettes might be delightful, though:)

I wonder if the beets were resentful of your hiding the toffee-ettes behind them. "Oh, sure. They won't find them there, not behind me. Nobody even wants me around. Perfect." Beets have an inferiority complex!

Steph said...

How creative of you! I bet it was difficult to eat only one.

Sarah said...

Oh. My. Goodness. These look heavenly!

Simple Simon said...

Lucky lucky you getting to have free samples of wonderful See's Candy. Your recipe looks delicious.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

They aren't in NYC, as far as I know, but my son lives in Colorado and I've visited a few stores there. Their chocolate is incredibly good!

Stephanie said...

Wow! Your photos are gorgeous.

Cakelaw said...

Your tortoni looks great - though I am eyeing off those gorgeous white chocolate eggs at the end ...

Sophie said...

MMMMMM...What a pretty dessert!! Your pictures are mouthwatering!!!!

Maris said...

DELISH! See's hooked me up too...I hope I can come up with something as beautiful as you did!

kellypea said...

Gorgeous photos on this piece, Susan. Outstanding job all 'round!

Tangled Noodle said...

I've never had tortoni before - it looks so good! I have, however, enjoyed See's candies. I always find myself loading up on a couple of boxes at LAX as we head back to MN from visiting my family. When the kiosk opens at the mall during Christmas, I hover nonchalantly until the salesperson asks if I'd like a sample. "Oh! Perhaps just a small piece . . . " 8-)

J.Danger said...

Oh I love See's! My grandma would get boxes for everybody in the family at eery holiday- thanksgiving, easter, christmas, Valentines day, every single one of them. My mom would always get into mine after she finished hers, and she would try to justify it by only eating a bit, and putting it back! Like that made it ok! I love Sees. I still get a craving for it! Good thing they give out samples!

Katrina said...

The tortini looks SO yummy! Love See's Candies! Seriously, they can contact me anytime!

Bek said...

There is a See's factory in our town and one the right day, at the right playground, the smell of chocolate comes wafting over and you can sit and enjoy the smell (while watching your kids fight over sand toys).

I always loved their peanut butter lollypops, but I don't know if they make them any more... I am going to try this one b/c I LOVE that toffee..

job hiring said...

looks awesome. thanks for sharing.

Jennifer said...

I love tortoni. These pics looks fab too!