November 15, 2011

See's Chocolate Report: Continuing the Revisitation!

Previous posts in this series:
See's Chocolate Adventure: A First-Round Report
See's Chocolate Report Continued: The Weird Intriguing Ones
See's Chocolate Report Concluded: The More Ordinary Flavors
See's Chocolate Report: REVISITED!

By the way, I suggest taking a screen shot (or writing it down, pfff, whatever) of your custom-mix order before you place it: the boxes arrive labeled, but with a small handwritten label that only mentions a couple of varieties in the box, not all of them. Oh...I wonder if it was printed on the packing slip as well? I forgot to notice.

But if you forget to write it down (or if you remember but still can't tell some of the pieces apart), the custom-mix ordering form doubles as a chocolate-identification cheat sheet. I appreciate the way they make them all look different, so I don't have to bite into what I think is a vanilla cream only to find a chocolate cream. Because that is true suffering.

Also, if you're ordering more than one pound of custom-mix, customize each pound separately. You can choose up to ten different kinds of candies per custom box---but if you select "3 pounds," it considers that "a 3-pound custom box" and you can choose ten different candies total for it. Whereas if you say "1 pound" and you do it three times, you can choose ten different candies for each pound---or up to thirty different kinds of candies total. Is this clear? No? Here's the "Don't try to figure it out, just obey me" version: add each custom pound to your cart separately if you want to try more than ten kinds.

One more note: the smallest amount you can choose for a variety is 5%. There are ABOUT 20-24 pieces per pound-box, but of course this varies depending on piece-size. Still, it's a good rule of thumb. So 5% is about 1 piece, and 10% is about 2 pieces and might be 3, and 15% might be 3 pieces or might be 4 pieces. I think of it as "one piece per 5%, but round up." I ordered 10% Polar Bear Paws and I got 3 of them.

Now back to the flavor-trying:

Milk Cocoanut is the first OMG reaction of this order. I like coconut fine, and I'll eat a miniature Almond Joy out of the Halloween bag after I've eaten all my favorites, but I often share the Russell Stover coconut ones with Paul because they're his favorites and I'm just so-so with them. But this! This is not just all-coconut like I'm used to: it's like a dense buttercream filling combined with coconut flakes. YUM YUM YUM. It's very sweet, especially with the thick milk chocolate coating, so I can imagine it being too sweet for some people---but it's upper tier for me, and I would definitely order more next time. I'm sad that I only ordered one piece this time.

Milk Cocoanut
(photo from

The Raspberry Truffle was also delicious. Nice raspberry flavor, with LOTS of dark chocolate flavor: the inside of the truffle and the nicely-thin coating. Upper tier for me; I'd want several in a box.

Raspberry Truffle
(photo from

I wouldn't have thought to put lemon and chocolate together, but it works! I like these more than the Key Lime Truffles, less than the Raspberry Truffles. I'd want one in a box.

Lemon Truffle
(photo from

I'm not sure I would have bothered to try a Polar Bear Paw, but SOMEONE sent me a Crappy Day Present that included some and I loved them. It's salty peanuts and some caramel (but just a little caramel, not a huge chewy amount), covered in white chocolate. So good. Upper middle or lower upper tier for me, and I love them mixed in with the more chocolate-dominated flavors.

Polar Bear Paws (photo from

I think of marzipan as yucky, without ever having had any. Did I have a children's book that described it as gross and dry and disappointing? That's the sort of opinion-forming memory I have of it. But in fact it turns out to be yummy if you like almond flavor, which I do. My mother-in-law had a pastry recipe that called for an almond-paste-based filling very similar to what's in these chocolates, and although I didn't bow down before that pastry as she said everyone in her town did (only because she repeatedly told them they were expected to do so, is my guess), I thought it was quite nice. In the Marzipan chocolate, there's too much of it for me, and I'm not crazy about the texture: it's probably the same texture that makes me think "Little bits of apple peel and pie crust!" for the Apple Pie Truffle, but I liked it less in the Marzipan. I finished the piece and was glad to have tried it, but I wouldn't order it again and I'd probably give it to someone else if I encountered one in a mixed assortment.

(photo from

Chelsea is one of the varieties I ordered so I'd be sure I'd have a nice number I already knew I liked. It's like a piece of chocolate walnut fudge, coated in milk chocolate. Except that description sounds way too heavy and sweet, and it isn't. It IS one of the sweeter ones, though, like the Milk Cocoanut.

(photo from

Strawberry Cream is another I already know I like. Nice strawberry flavor, and I like the milk chocolate with it.

Strawberry Cream
(photo from

Ditto the Vanilla Nut Cream: already a favorite. Some vanilla cream, a nice number of walnuts (i.e., not just a fragment here and there, but a lot), and a nice amount of milk chocolate coating.

Vanilla Nut Cream
(photo from

There are still more to go!


Nikki said...

It's like eating chocolate for science! We need to know what to order.

DomestiKook said...

We have 2 See's stores within 10 minutes of our house (nottorubitinoranything), I am so glad that I can try just a few at a time. Though I have been known to buy entire half pounds of just Walnut Squares. Also, yum on the scothmallow and the mint truffle. My husband loves loves loves the Milk Molasass Chips.

Elizabeth said...

Are you seriously not getting ANY free chocolate for this? Get with the programs, Sees! Send Swistle one of ALL KINDS!

Nik-Nak said...

I also hate when you bite into something thinking it is one thing and turns out it's something you hate/weren't expecting. But this usually only happens because I am holding the lid with the descriptions a different way than the actual chocolates are.

lifeofadoctorswife said...

I love these descriptions.

And I too have a very strong opinion against marzipan - although I can't remember having ACTUALLY tried it. I think my opinion must come from a book as well, because I have a strong (okay, not strong ENOUGH) memory of a description of how beautiful and lifelike marzipan fruits were and then biting into them was a gritty, disappointing experience. But alas I cannot remember which book I found that in. (Was it Heidi? A Laura Ingalls book? I have the feeling it was a book set in Olden Times of Some Sort.)

fairydogmother said...

I love this series. Yay for chocolate research! I'm finding it especially entertaining & pleasing while I'm trying to distract myself from an appointment I have later this afternoon that I am suddenly feeling nervous about.

Swistle said...

Elizabeth- It's true! I'm doing this at my own (considerable) cost!

Elizabeth said...

I hope I didn't make it sound like I doubted you were doing this on your own dime. I just meant that this is a golden opportunity for some serious marketing being missed by Sees. Due to your intense amount of research and all. And also because I think it would be SO COOL if they sent you a giant box with one of each kind.

Josefina said...

This is so much fun. Also, it never occurred to me to find out the names of my favorite See's candies, or order them for myself. I usually wait to get a box as a gift, which happens, oh, every three years or so. Duh.

I love the Milk Bordeaux and the Rum Nougat. Seriously, I am FLOORED by the idea of CHOOSING which chocolates go in the box. Thank you, Swistle! (And yes, the posts are very entertaining.)

Carmen said...

Two things. No, wait. Three things:

1) now I want some chocolate;

2) now I am regretting anew that I didn't go to the See's store in Seattle when I was there last month;

3) I thought I remembered from a long-ago post that you're Dutch. No? I thought that you would have been exposed to marzipan before, then. My dad was born in The Netherlands and my grandma made boterletter every Christmas (marzipan-filled pastry in the shape of a letter). Mmmm. I lived in Denmark for 3 years and nearly every dessert has marzipan in it -- I was in heaven!

Swistle said...

Elizabeth- Oh! No! I didn't hear it that way at all! (And oh, man, YES on the giant box idea.)

Swistle said...

Carmen- Wow, you've got a good memory! Yes, Dutch---but for some reason, no marzipan. But Paul's family (also Dutch) did a lot of the almond-paste pastry, which my late MIL said was a Dutch Thing. I never looked into it, but it sounds like boterletter except without the letter part.

Nicole said...


Jessica said...

I too have never had marzipan but must have read the description in a book. I am mining Amazon to figure out what book it was. It is driving me crazy now!

Shalini said...

One should not read a See's report while one is cooking a dinner that consists of absolutely no chocolate but a lot of collard greens.

Nancy said...

One should also not read a See's report when one has recently purchased chocolate but only in the form of an Advent calender.

Kelsey said...

I don't even like this kind of chocolate much, but I love reading your descriptions! So fun. Before this is over I will probably order a box for myself...

Anne said...

I commented, I promise1 Ugh. ANYWAY, now I want that dark almond nougat again. So glad you tried it! I wish I had recorded us walking around San Francisco and seeing a random See's store and me going, "OH OH we have to go! For Swistle!" My husband was very confused.

Noelle said...

I grew up in California and LOVE See's Chocolate. This post is mouth watering! Now I need to go order some.

Anonymous said...

I'm with Kelsey. I am not a fan of boxed chocolates but these reports make me want to run out and buy See's.