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