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Thread: See's California Brittle

  1. #1
    Jim Elbrecht Guest

    Default See's California Brittle

    Darn that's good stuff! My daughter gave me some for Christmas
    and I'm running low.

    I can take or leave the chocolate coating, but the 'toffee brittle'
    is by far the best I've ever had. It is the perfect texture--
    doesn't break your teeth to bite off a piece [1/4" thick] - but still
    crumbles in your mouth.

    Is it the generous use of almonds? Or is there another secret?

    I do several brittles every year- some in the microwave, and some on
    the stove-- All use baking soda to introduce air- Mine is good.
    See's is fantastic.

    Any thoughts?

    Jim

  2. #2
    Sqwertz Guest

    Default Re: See's California Brittle

    On Sun, 30 Dec 2012 17:13:14 -0500, Jim Elbrecht wrote:

    > Darn that's good stuff! My daughter gave me some for Christmas
    > and I'm running low.
    >
    > I can take or leave the chocolate coating, but the 'toffee brittle'
    > is by far the best I've ever had. It is the perfect texture--
    > doesn't break your teeth to bite off a piece [1/4" thick] - but still
    > crumbles in your mouth.
    >
    > Is it the generous use of almonds? Or is there another secret?
    >
    > I do several brittles every year- some in the microwave, and some on
    > the stove-- All use baking soda to introduce air- Mine is good.
    > See's is fantastic.
    >
    > Any thoughts?


    Victorian Toffee kicks ass. A big, thick 1.5lb Heath Bar covered with
    almonds. It came with a little metal hammer tchotchke.

    I don't even see it on their website any more. But their
    "Toffe-ettes" look the same, just in small chunks.

    -sw

  3. #3
    Mark Thorson Guest

    Default Re: See's California Brittle

    Jim Elbrecht wrote:
    >
    > Is it the generous use of almonds? Or is there another secret?


    What are the ingredients? That would
    be a clue. I tried looking for them,
    but sees.com loads too slowly for me.

  4. #4
    Jim Elbrecht Guest

    Default Re: See's California Brittle

    On Sun, 30 Dec 2012 14:39:18 -0800, Mark Thorson <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    >Jim Elbrecht wrote:
    >>
    >> Is it the generous use of almonds? Or is there another secret?

    >
    >What are the ingredients? That would
    >be a clue. I tried looking for them,
    >but sees.com loads too slowly for me.


    "sugar, butter (milk), almonds, chocolate, cocoa butter, salt,
    vanilla, soy lecithin (an emulsifier), vanillin (an artificial
    flavor). May contain traces of eggs, other tree nuts and peanuts."

    The soy lecithin is a new one on me-- Google led me to this page;
    http://www.articlesnatch.com/Article...Recipe-/401655

    I like his recipe- no corn syrup- no baking soda- lots of butter. . .
    and aside form the soy lecithin, he also uses some "Baker's Special
    Sugar". That is apparently a super-fine sugar. Makes sense that it
    might help.

    I'll give his recipe a shot next week.

    Jim


  5. #5
    notbob Guest

    Default Re: See's California Brittle

    On 2012-12-30, Jim Elbrecht <[email protected]> wrote:

    > See's is fantastic.


    Yep.

    Despite having a friend who worked for See's commercial sales center
    and getting 50%-60% off everything for about 10 yrs, I still miss the
    brittle. We'd buy boxes of that stuff every year. No more. (sigh)

    nb

  6. #6
    sf Guest

    Default Re: See's California Brittle

    On Sun, 30 Dec 2012 17:13:14 -0500, Jim Elbrecht <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    > Darn that's good stuff! My daughter gave me some for Christmas
    > and I'm running low.
    >
    > I can take or leave the chocolate coating, but the 'toffee brittle'
    > is by far the best I've ever had. It is the perfect texture--
    > doesn't break your teeth to bite off a piece [1/4" thick] - but still
    > crumbles in your mouth.
    >
    > Is it the generous use of almonds? Or is there another secret?
    >
    > I do several brittles every year- some in the microwave, and some on
    > the stove-- All use baking soda to introduce air- Mine is good.
    > See's is fantastic.
    >
    > Any thoughts?


    Order more. I haven't heard of "California Brittle" (not a big candy
    eater, so I don't frequent See's outlets although many are easily
    accessible - as is their factory store), but their toffee is totally
    divine. I'm a big See's peanut brittle fan. Bought Trader Joe's
    peanut brittle recently and realized on first bite why I'd rather pay
    more for See's.


    --
    I take life with a grain of salt, a slice of lemon and a shot of tequila

  7. #7
    Sqwertz Guest

    Default Re: See's California Brittle

    On Sun, 30 Dec 2012 18:32:56 -0500, Jim Elbrecht wrote:

    > On Sun, 30 Dec 2012 14:39:18 -0800, Mark Thorson <[email protected]>
    > wrote:
    >
    >>Jim Elbrecht wrote:
    >>>
    >>> Is it the generous use of almonds? Or is there another secret?

    >>
    >>What are the ingredients? That would
    >>be a clue. I tried looking for them,
    >>but sees.com loads too slowly for me.

    >
    > "sugar, butter (milk), almonds, chocolate, cocoa butter, salt,
    > vanilla, soy lecithin (an emulsifier), vanillin (an artificial
    > flavor). May contain traces of eggs, other tree nuts and peanuts."


    The butter is the difference between a toffee and a brittle. The
    later does not contain any dairy product. So that there is a toffee
    rather than a brittle.

    > The soy lecithin is a new one on me-- Google led me to this page;
    > http://www.articlesnatch.com/Article...Recipe-/401655


    The lecithin is a component of the chocolate rather than the
    toffee/brittle.

    -sw

  8. #8
    Judy Haffner Guest

    Default Re: See's California Brittle


    Jim wrote:

    >I can take or leave the chocolate coating,
    > but the 'toffee brittle' is by far the best
    > I've ever had. * It is the perfect texture--
    > doesn't break your teeth to bite off a
    > piece [1/4" thick] - but still crumbles in
    > your mouth.


    >Is it the generous use of almonds? Or is
    > there another secret?


    >I do several brittles every year- some in
    > the microwave, and some on the stove--
    > All use baking soda to introduce air- *
    > Mine is good. See's is fantastic.


    >Any thoughts?


    I will put my Peanut Brittle and Almond Roca (which is basically a
    Almond Brittle) up against anyone's...commercial, or otherwise. I've won
    blue ribbons with my Almond Roca, and my Peanut Brittle is always in
    demand, so make several batches to share with friends and family, and
    they always comment on how it is so hard to the touch, but as soon as it
    hits your mouth, it just melts like butter. I've had See's candy, but
    not their brittle, so can't comment.

    I made my Peanut Brittle in the microwave and the first time I tried it,
    I burned it, so had to adjust the recipe to the wattage of my particular
    microwave and now it comes out perfectly every time, and stores well and
    ships great. It has soda in it, but not my Almond Roca (brittle). I stir
    1 cup finely chopped toasted almonds into the cooked mixture, when it
    reaches the right temperature, and I coat both sides with melted milk
    chocolate and coat each side with 1 cup (total) coarsely chopped
    blanched almonds. Some just use chocolate on one side, but we prefer it
    on both sides. It is out of this world!

    Judy


  9. #9
    Cheri Guest

    Default Re: See's California Brittle

    "Judy Haffner" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]..

    Jim wrote:

    >I can take or leave the chocolate coating,
    > but the 'toffee brittle' is by far the best
    > I've ever had. It is the perfect texture--
    > doesn't break your teeth to bite off a
    > piece [1/4" thick] - but still crumbles in
    > your mouth.


    >Is it the generous use of almonds? Or is
    > there another secret?


    >I do several brittles every year- some in
    > the microwave, and some on the stove--
    > All use baking soda to introduce air-
    > Mine is good. See's is fantastic.


    >Any thoughts?


    I will put my Peanut Brittle and Almond Roca (which is basically a
    Almond Brittle) up against anyone's...commercial, or otherwise. I've won
    blue ribbons with my Almond Roca, and my Peanut Brittle is always in
    demand, so make several batches to share with friends and family, and
    they always comment on how it is so hard to the touch, but as soon as it
    hits your mouth, it just melts like butter. I've had See's candy, but
    not their brittle, so can't comment.

    I made my Peanut Brittle in the microwave and the first time I tried it,
    I burned it, so had to adjust the recipe to the wattage of my particular
    microwave and now it comes out perfectly every time, and stores well and
    ships great. It has soda in it, but not my Almond Roca (brittle). I stir
    1 cup finely chopped toasted almonds into the cooked mixture, when it
    reaches the right temperature, and I coat both sides with melted milk
    chocolate and coat each side with 1 cup (total) coarsely chopped
    blanched almonds. Some just use chocolate on one side, but we prefer it
    on both sides. It is out of this world!

    Judy


    ============

    I've never had anything as good as here. We used to get a box at Christmas
    every year from a customer. Simply wonderful.

    http://www.enstrom.com/


  10. #10
    Jim Elbrecht Guest

    Default Re: See's California Brittle

    Sqwertz <[email protected]> wrote:

    >On Sun, 30 Dec 2012 18:32:56 -0500, Jim Elbrecht wrote:


    -snip-
    >>
    >> "sugar, butter (milk), almonds, chocolate, cocoa butter, salt,
    >> vanilla, soy lecithin (an emulsifier), vanillin (an artificial
    >> flavor). May contain traces of eggs, other tree nuts and peanuts."

    >
    >The butter is the difference between a toffee and a brittle. The
    >later does not contain any dairy product. So that there is a toffee
    >rather than a brittle.


    How did you know that I *was* wondering what the difference was? <g>
    Now, can you explain what See's means when they say 'toffee brittle'?
    http://www.sees.com/prod.cfm/Brittle...fornia_Brittle
    "two delightful flavors: toffee brittle and a coating of smooth milk
    chocolate"

    Not a *lot* of butter? A texture between?

    The 'brittles'(?) I make have a token amount of butter/margarine.
    [one is 1/2 cup butter to 2 cups sugar- another is a tsp to 1 cup
    sugar]

    >
    >> The soy lecithin is a new one on me-- Google led me to this page;
    >> http://www.articlesnatch.com/Article...Recipe-/401655

    >
    >The lecithin is a component of the chocolate rather than the
    >toffee/brittle.


    You *know* that? The recipe on the link I posted has the lecithin
    in the brittle to keep the copious amounts of butter bound to the
    sugar. [4 cups butter to 6.3 cups sugars]

    I just noticed that it is *toffee* not brittle- and that it is *cut*
    in the end. I thought toffee was the brittle one, taffy was the
    cutting one? If that regional? Am I just wrong?

    Jim

  11. #11
    Jim Elbrecht Guest

    Default Re: See's California Brittle

    Sqwertz <[email protected]> wrote:

    >On Sun, 30 Dec 2012 17:13:14 -0500, Jim Elbrecht wrote:
    >
    >> Darn that's good stuff! My daughter gave me some for Christmas
    >> and I'm running low.


    -snip-
    >
    >Victorian Toffee kicks ass. A big, thick 1.5lb Heath Bar covered with
    >almonds. It came with a little metal hammer tchotchke.


    Is that See's, too? [she brought home See's from SF-- then we
    discovered that one of the malls I avoid like the plague has a See's
    store]

    Sounds good to me-- especially a tchotchke.<g>

    Jim

  12. #12
    Jim Elbrecht Guest

    Default Re: See's California Brittle

    [email protected] (Judy Haffner) wrote:

    >
    >Jim wrote:

    -snip-
    >>I do several brittles every year- some in
    >> the microwave, and some on the stove--
    >> All use baking soda to introduce air- *
    >> Mine is good. See's is fantastic.

    >
    >>Any thoughts?

    >
    >I will put my Peanut Brittle and Almond Roca (which is basically a
    >Almond Brittle) up against anyone's...

    -snip
    > and
    >they always comment on how it is so hard to the touch, but as soon as it
    >hits your mouth, it just melts like butter. I've had See's candy, but
    >not their brittle, so can't comment.


    Do you use lecithin, a thermometer, and/or beaucoup butter?
    >
    >I made my Peanut Brittle in the microwave and the first time I tried it,
    >I burned it,


    I think it was your post last year that got me to try the microwave--
    Pretty amazing-- I was doubtful, but hey, it works!


    -snip-
    >ships great. It has soda in it, but not my Almond Roca (brittle). I stir
    >1 cup finely chopped toasted almonds into the cooked mixture, when it
    >reaches the right temperature, and I coat both sides with melted milk
    >chocolate and coat each side with 1 cup (total) coarsely chopped
    >blanched almonds. Some just use chocolate on one side, but we prefer it
    >on both sides. It is out of this world!


    Sounds good from here-- No soda? What makes it chewable-- temp
    or almonds?

    Thanks,
    Jim

  13. #13
    Jim Elbrecht Guest

    Default Re: See's California Brittle

    sf <[email protected]> wrote:

    >On Sun, 30 Dec 2012 17:13:14 -0500, Jim Elbrecht <[email protected]>
    >wrote:
    >
    >> Darn that's good stuff! My daughter gave me some for Christmas
    >> and I'm running low.
    >>
    >> I can take or leave the chocolate coating, but the 'toffee brittle'
    >> is by far the best I've ever had. It is the perfect texture--
    >> doesn't break your teeth to bite off a piece [1/4" thick] - but still
    >> crumbles in your mouth.
    >>
    >> Is it the generous use of almonds? Or is there another secret?
    >>
    >> I do several brittles every year- some in the microwave, and some on
    >> the stove-- All use baking soda to introduce air- Mine is good.
    >> See's is fantastic.
    >>
    >> Any thoughts?

    >
    >Order more.


    Hehe-- what's the fun in that? If I can duplicate it, I can eat all
    I want *when* I want. [*and* say 'I made it myself'.<G>

    Jim

  14. #14
    Sqwertz Guest

    Default Re: See's California Brittle

    On Mon, 31 Dec 2012 08:44:58 -0500, Jim Elbrecht wrote:

    > Sqwertz <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >>On Sun, 30 Dec 2012 17:13:14 -0500, Jim Elbrecht wrote:
    >>
    >>> Darn that's good stuff! My daughter gave me some for Christmas
    >>> and I'm running low.

    >
    > -snip-
    >>
    >>Victorian Toffee kicks ass. A big, thick 1.5lb Heath Bar covered with
    >>almonds. It came with a little metal hammer tchotchke.

    >
    > Is that See's, too? [she brought home See's from SF-- then we
    > discovered that one of the malls I avoid like the plague has a See's
    > store]


    It was See's. I don't see too many mentions of it on the web, so they
    may not have produced it recently.

    Looks like it was called "Victoria Toffee" (no "N").
    http://reviews.sees.com/3973/358/rev...=6&sort=rating
    The link to it on their own page is broken, so it looks like it they
    haven't made it for a couple years.

    -sw

  15. #15
    Sqwertz Guest

    Default Re: See's California Brittle

    On Mon, 31 Dec 2012 08:43:37 -0500, Jim Elbrecht wrote:

    > Sqwertz <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >>On Sun, 30 Dec 2012 18:32:56 -0500, Jim Elbrecht wrote:

    >
    > -snip-
    >>>
    >>> "sugar, butter (milk), almonds, chocolate, cocoa butter, salt,
    >>> vanilla, soy lecithin (an emulsifier), vanillin (an artificial
    >>> flavor). May contain traces of eggs, other tree nuts and peanuts."

    >>
    >>The butter is the difference between a toffee and a brittle. The
    >>later does not contain any dairy product. So that there is a toffee
    >>rather than a brittle.

    >
    > How did you know that I *was* wondering what the difference was? <g>
    > Now, can you explain what See's means when they say 'toffee brittle'?
    > http://www.sees.com/prod.cfm/Brittle...fornia_Brittle
    > "two delightful flavors: toffee brittle and a coating of smooth milk
    > chocolate"
    >
    > Not a *lot* of butter? A texture between?


    I have no idea why they call it that - maybe to appeal to more people.
    Marketing doubletalk. "High grade" toffee is equal parts butter and
    sugar. You can get away with using much less butter (as little as
    25%), and also substituting cream for some of the butter.

    > The 'brittles'(?) I make have a token amount of butter/margarine.
    > [one is 1/2 cup butter to 2 cups sugar- another is a tsp to 1 cup
    > sugar]


    A stick of butter (1/2 cup) to 2 cups sugar qualifies more as a
    toffee, IMNSHO. A brittle *could* contain a couple tablespoons, I
    guess, but it's not historically used at all.

    >
    >>
    >>> The soy lecithin is a new one on me-- Google led me to this page;
    >>> http://www.articlesnatch.com/Article...Recipe-/401655

    >>
    >>The lecithin is a component of the chocolate rather than the
    >>toffee/brittle.

    >
    > You *know* that?


    It's usually found in almost all the chocolates. So I just assumed it
    was for the chocolate rather than the toffee. Butter does tend to
    "leak" out of good toffee - kinda slippery and sticky at the same
    time.

    > The recipe on the link I posted has the lecithin
    > in the brittle to keep the copious amounts of butter bound to the
    > sugar [4 cups butter to 6.3 cups sugars]


    > I just noticed that it is *toffee* not brittle- and that it is *cut*
    > in the end. I thought toffee was the brittle one, taffy was the
    > cutting one? If that regional? Am I just wrong?


    Taffy? WTF did *taffy* come from now? ;-)

    Brittle is traditionally broken into shards. Toffee can be cut or at
    least scored for easy portioning (brittle can be scored, too, if you
    time it just right as it's cooling).

    My Lazy Toffee (too lazy to melt and spread the chocolate):
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/7275891...n/photostream/

    -sw

  16. #16
    Mark Thorson Guest

    Default Re: See's California Brittle

    Jim Elbrecht wrote:
    >
    > "sugar, butter (milk), almonds, chocolate, cocoa butter, salt,
    > vanilla, soy lecithin (an emulsifier), vanillin (an artificial
    > flavor). May contain traces of eggs, other tree nuts and peanuts."


    No baking soda. Baking soda is what makes the
    gas bubbles in a brittle, which is what makes
    a brittle easily breakable. Does this product
    have bubbles in it? If so, they must get in
    there somehow.

  17. #17
    Judy Haffner Guest

    Default Re: See's California Brittle


    Jim wrote:

    >Do you use lecithin, a thermometer,
    > and/or beaucoup butter?


    I do use a thermometer...I bought a new Taylor last holiday season, as
    the numbers were so faded out on my old original one, but not the
    lecithin, or the special butter.

    >I think it was your post last year that got
    > me to try the microwave-- Pretty
    > amazing-- I was doubtful, but hey, it
    > works!


    Do you use my recipe? Not sure if I posted it here before, but it is
    awesome! I had to adjust the cooking times though for my own particular
    microwave, so burned the first couple of batches, until I worked out the
    kinks, and now I have it down to a fine science.

    >Sounds good from here-- * * No soda? *
    > What makes it chewable-- temp
    >or almonds?


    No soda in my Almond Roca, which I would call more of a toffee actually
    than a brittle. It has the same 'crunch' to it that commercial Almond
    Roca has, but is much better, I think. We break it up in pieces, after
    it's set up and cold. Stick a sharp point of a knife down in it anywhere
    and lightly tap the end of the knife with a meat mallet, and it will
    start to crack like broken glass, into pieces.

    Here is the recipe I use:

    Almond Roca

    1 cup butter
    1 tbsp. light corn syrup
    1-1/3 cups sugar
    3 tbsp. water
    2 cups slivered almonds
    2 pkgs. (11 oz. each) milk chocolate baking chips

    Toast 1 cup of the almonds and coarsely chop; set aside. Finely chop the
    other 1 cup of almonds.

    Melt butter in saucepan. Add corn syrup, sugar and water. Cook to hard
    crack stage (300). Remove from heat and quickly stir in the chopped
    toasted almonds. Spread into a foil-lined 9x13 inch baking pan (making
    sure foil extends over the sides some). Melt chips and spread half over
    the Roca in pan. Sprinkle with half of the finely chopped almonds. Turn
    pan upside down into another foil-lined pan of the same size and remove
    foil carefully, may need the help of a table knife to "pry" it loose
    from the foil, if is still fairly soft. Spread the remaining melted
    chocolate over that side evenly and sprinkle with remaining chopped
    almonds. Chill in refrigerator before breaking into pieces.

    Be careful, as this is addictive!

    Judy


  18. #18
    Gene Williams Guest

    Default Re: See's California Brittle


    "Sqwertz" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:aakim579o1h$.[email protected]..
    > On Mon, 31 Dec 2012 08:44:58 -0500, Jim Elbrecht wrote:
    >
    >> Sqwertz <[email protected]> wrote:
    >>
    >>>On Sun, 30 Dec 2012 17:13:14 -0500, Jim Elbrecht wrote:
    >>>
    >>>> Darn that's good stuff! My daughter gave me some for Christmas
    >>>> and I'm running low.

    >>
    >> -snip-
    >>>
    >>>Victorian Toffee kicks ass. A big, thick 1.5lb Heath Bar covered with
    >>>almonds. It came with a little metal hammer tchotchke.

    >>
    >> Is that See's, too? [she brought home See's from SF-- then we
    >> discovered that one of the malls I avoid like the plague has a See's
    >> store]

    >
    > It was See's. I don't see too many mentions of it on the web, so they
    > may not have produced it recently.
    >
    > Looks like it was called "Victoria Toffee" (no "N").

    --
    > http://reviews.sees.com/3973/358/rev...=6&sort=rating
    > The link to it on their own page is broken, so it looks like it they
    > haven't made it for a couple years.
    >
    > -sw




    We got our Victoria Toffee right after Thanksgiving last year. We missed
    their window in 2011 and the kids were a little upset. Apparantly they have
    it only from Thanksgiving to Christmas.

    Happy New Year!!

    Gene & Betty



  19. #19
    Ema Nymton Guest

    Default Re: See's California Brittle

    On 1/1/2013 12:00 AM, Judy Haffner wrote:

    > Here is the recipe I use:
    >
    > Almond Roca
    >
    > 1 cup butter
    > 1 tbsp. light corn syrup
    > 1-1/3 cups sugar
    > 3 tbsp. water
    > 2 cups slivered almonds
    > 2 pkgs. (11 oz. each) milk chocolate baking chips
    >
    > Toast 1 cup of the almonds and coarsely chop; set aside. Finely chop the
    > other 1 cup of almonds.
    >
    > Melt butter in saucepan. Add corn syrup, sugar and water. Cook to hard
    > crack stage (300). Remove from heat and quickly stir in the chopped
    > toasted almonds. Spread into a foil-lined 9x13 inch baking pan (making
    > sure foil extends over the sides some). Melt chips and spread half over
    > the Roca in pan. Sprinkle with half of the finely chopped almonds. Turn
    > pan upside down into another foil-lined pan of the same size and remove
    > foil carefully, may need the help of a table knife to "pry" it loose
    > from the foil, if is still fairly soft. Spread the remaining melted
    > chocolate over that side evenly and sprinkle with remaining chopped
    > almonds. Chill in refrigerator before breaking into pieces.
    >
    > Be careful, as this is addictive!
    >
    > Judy


    You know, I am going to a big family wedding in March, I don't need this
    kind of trouble, lady. lol

    Becca


  20. #20
    Sqwertz Guest

    Default Re: See's California Brittle

    On Tue, 1 Jan 2013 09:48:01 -0800, Gene Williams wrote:

    > We got our Victoria Toffee right after Thanksgiving last year. We missed
    > their window in 2011 and the kids were a little upset. Apparantly they have
    > it only from Thanksgiving to Christmas.


    OK, I didn't know it was seasonal. Last time I bought one it was for
    a friends birthday, and her birthday was right after Thanksgiving.

    -sw

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