December 12, 2009

See's Candies - Sweet Holiday Traditions

seesholiday.JPG
It seems the older I get the more I want to relive the experiences of my youth around the holiday season. That is particularly true when it comes to food... I want my house to smell like the gingerbread wafting from my grandmother's oven and I want her homemade brittle in my candy dish. This year I found three traditional treats from See's Candies that make me feel like maybe you can go home again.


seespeptwist.jpgSee's Peppermint Twists
I was never a big fan of peppermints... you know the small round peppermints that you get at restaurants. As they melt on your tongue the sharp minty ravines cut little slits in your taste buds. And I never had the patience to get through the candy canes in my stocking. A few errant licks and my sticky sticks found themselves unceremoniously attached to the slipcover on the sofa or adhered to the shag carpet in the living room. Ahh... but See's cheery little gems have changed my minty mind forever. They are something of a cross between a butter mint and a soft peppermint stick. Soft enough to bite into but still firm and smooth, the texture of these twists is perfectly married with bright minty freshness and no cloying sweetness that you get from canes and hard mints. I suppose you could let it melt in your mouth but I like the bite. My new holiday addiction, they are perfectly pop-able bits of Christmas joy.


seesballs.JPGSee's Dark Chocolate Foil Balls
Once again, I am amazed and impressed. These are not your run-of-the-mill stocking stuffer balls. Unwrap one of these festive foils and you are greeted by a smooth, dark marble that is wonderfully aromatic. The texture is firm and the flavor is all chocolatey goodness: rich cocoa with just the right amount of sweetness and no bitter bite or aftertaste. In fact the cocoa flavor lingers on your palate for a bit and just when you think you need to pop another to get the taste back, you get a wee hint of cinnamon.


seeschanukahpb.jpgSee's Chanukah Peanut Brittle
One of the many fun and festive Chanukah candies from See's, I intentionally saved this one for last. Peanut brittle is tough thing to get just right. You have to take care not to scorch the brittle as it can turn dark and almost nutty and overpower the nuts. Of course you also need to make sure you don't burn the peanuts, lest you overwhelm the sweet buttery goodness of the brittle. My grandmother always seemed to get it just right and so does See's. I don't know where to begin... what comes first? The brittle or the nuts? Okay, lets just say the nuts are great. They are most definitely NOT burned and their sweet nutty goodness truly enhances the texture of the brittle. But ahhhh, the brittle... so rich and buttery... great caramelly flavor with a crunchy, yet slightly flakey texture that is so soul satisfying. I could smell it for days. I could eat it until I am sick. It is ridiculously, dangerously good.

Stayed tuned: I've decided to experiment with my Christmas treats. Let's see how See's brittle tastes dipped in their melted dark chocolate balls...

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Posted by Noël Wallace at December 12, 2009 9:30 AM
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