Caramel Apples: the Flavor of Fall

Caramel Apples: the Flavor of Fall

Fall is time for hot and sweet apple cider drinks and our specialty caramel apples. We dip thousands of caramel apples every week during October. Apples have been a popular fruit in North America for hundreds of years. The only apples that are native to North America are crab apples. Crab apples are much smaller than regular apples and are usually extremely sour. European immigrants introduced the tree we know today; Apples were first grown in America in 1625. Before there were caramel apples, there were candy apples. William W. Kolb invented red candy apples in New Jersey. He experimented with red cinnamon candy for Christmas. He started dipping apples in the mixture and made the first candy apples in 1908. Caramel apples were also invented by a candy maker experimenting with holiday candy. In 1950, Kraft Foods had extra caramels left over from Halloween. An employee, Dan Walker, had an idea for the caramels. He melted the caramels and started dipping apples in them. They were very popular! For the next ten+ years, all caramel apples were hand-dipped. In 1960, Vito Raimondi invented the first automated caramel apple machine in Chicago. We like to do things the old-fashioned way at Winans, which often means by hand. We use our original caramel recipe, handed down from Max and Dick to Joe and Laurie. Our Ohio-grown apples are locally sourced by Fulton Farms in Troy. We put wooden sticks in our apples by hand before hand-dipping them in caramel. The caramel is extremely hot when we dip the apples! We make five different types of caramel apples. We have a...
Buckeyes: the Perfect Combination of Chocolate + Peanut Butter

Buckeyes: the Perfect Combination of Chocolate + Peanut Butter

Chocolate and Peanut Butter is such a classic flavor combination! Its popularity is up there with cheese and crackers, tortilla chips and salsa, and milk and cookies. Chocolate’s sweetness combines well with peanut butter’s salty, creamy and savory flavor. These are so many delicious ways chocolate and peanut butter can be enjoyed together: brownies and bars, cake and cupcakes, pies, cookies, cheesecake, ice cream, scotcheroos… the list goes on! We can’t forget Ohioan’s favorite way to eat chocolate and peanut butter: the Buckeye candy! The Buckeye is an Ohio symbol in so many ways. Our state tree is the Ohio Buckeye. Ohioans have been called “Buckeyes” since the late 1700s to early 1800s. The word buckeye was probably first used to describe the nut of the Ohio Buckeye tree. Male deer are called bucks and since the nuts looked like deer eyes, they were known as “buck-eyes.” The famous Ohio State Buckeyes, the sports teams from The Ohio State University, use the nickname for Ohioans and our state tree. OSU’s mascot, Brutus, is actually a giant buckeye — and we’re nuts about him (pun intended)! Candy Buckeyes are a popular treat not only in Ohio but in most of the Midwest. They are often made at home during the winter holidays or before football games. Buckeyes are made by rolling a sweet peanut butter candy into a ball and dipping it in chocolate. Here at Winans, all our Buckeyes are hand-rolled from the same candy center used in our Peanut Butter Delights. They are then hand dipped in our sweet milk chocolate. Buckeyes are not the first candy to combine...
Winans Candy Guide

Winans Candy Guide

“My momma always said, “Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get” – Forrest Gump, played by Tom Hanks in the 1994 film Forrest Gump Life is full of surprises, that’s what this often quoted saying from the film Forrest Gump, means to illustrate. It’s a great analogy for people that like surprises, or for folks who like all different kinds of chocolates. We realize, though, that not everybody wants a surprise when they bite into a piece of candy. That’s why we’ve created our Candy Key. Our Candy Key, along with a few helpful tips, will allow you to decode your box of Winans chocolates. Candy makers use similar techniques to make the centers of their chocolates which mean many candies will have similar shapes. Here are some basic candy decoding rules to keep in mind: Rectangle and square pieces tend to have chewy or crunchy centers; like a caramel, peanut butter delight or toffee square. Round or oval candies have soft centers; like our candy creams and mint patties. Markings are used to indicate what is inside of a candy. Usually, the marking used on top of a candy is the first letter in the name of the candy; like “M” for meltaway or “B” for butter cream. Toppers are also placed on top of candies to give customers a hint as to what is inside. Our sea salt caramels are sprinkled with sea salt and our cookie dough creams are topped with mini chocolate chips. And here is a key to our most popular box of chocolates, our 1 pound assorted...
We’ve Gone Coconuts!

We’ve Gone Coconuts!

We’ve gone coconuts here at Winans Chocolates + Coffees! We’re featuring all of our favorite coconut sweet treats this summer, including a blast from the past: our coconut chews! We used to make coconut chews on a regular basis at Winans, but about ten years ago we debuted a new cream: coconut almond bliss. We’re not getting rid of coconut almond bliss, but our coconut chew is here to stay! These are some of our favorite coconut treats: Candy Coconut Chew: chewy coconut enrobed in milk or dark chocolate Coconut Almond Bliss: chocolate-covered coconut cream with almonds scattered throughout the chocolate Coconut Haystacks: chocolate-covered coconut flakes Coconut Brittle: coconut and peanut pieces that are buttery and crunchy with a touch of salt Beverages Piña Colada Smoothie: non-alcoholic smoothie made with real pineapple puree and cream of coconut Toasted Coconut Flavored Coffee: a customer favorite! We recommend pairing our coconut treats with our fair trade and organic single origin Honduran coffee. This coffee has notes of lemon and a hint of caramel, which perfectly compliment the tropical coconut flavor of our coconut chews! Coconuts are used around the world for a myriad of purposes – and not just for eating! Check out some of these fascinating facts about the coconut tree! Fun facts about the coconut tree The coconut tree (Cocos nucifera) is a member of the palm family. Coconut palms are grown in more than 90 countries of the world, most of the world production is in tropical Asia. A coconut is not actually a nut, it is a fruit called a drupe. Other fruits that are drupes are...
Sea Salt Caramels

Sea Salt Caramels

Mmmm… sweet and salty. A classic, yet unlikely flavor combination. At first glance, the union of sweet and salty sounds strange, doesn’t it? It doesn’t sound like it would taste good, but it does and we love it! The savory flavor of salt enhances the sweetness of some of our favorite treats, just try sprinkling a little salt on your watermelon this summer, you’ll definitely notice a difference! These are some fairly common examples of sweet and salty flavor combinations: Fruit and cheese plates Chocolate covered pretzels (or wetzels as they’re known at Winans) Trail mix with nuts and chocolate or dried fruit French fries dipped in a Wendy’s frosty (it’s an Ohio thing!) Peanuts and Dr. Pepper (it’s a southern thing!) Peanut butter and banana sandwiches… You get the idea right? We could go on but we’re starting to get hungry! The combination of salt with sweet, buttery caramel is one of our favorite new flavor pairings! This tasty union has seen a surge in popularity in the past 10 years. Salted caramels are a traditional treat hailing from Brittany, France. In the late 1990s and early 2000, American chefs became interested in the flavor combo after French pastry chef Pierre Hermé invented a salted caramel macaron. This isn’t to say that salted caramel as a flavor was completely unfamiliar to Americans. Just think of chocolate turtles (like Winans’ wurtles), pralines and Cracker Jack, which was created in 1893. We’ve been making caramels for over 50 years at Winans. We still use Max Winans’ original recipe for buttery rich and chewy caramels. For our sea salt caramels, which...