Happy Pretzel Day

Happy Pretzel Day

National Pretzel Day is April 26th! To celebrate, Winans is offering 25% off all chocolate-covered pretzels Tuesday April 26th through Sunday May 1st! To help you get in the spirit of National Pretzel Day, here are some fun facts about one of our favorite snacks: The first National Pretzel Day was declared in 1983 by Robert S. Walker. Pennsylvania’s Governor Ed Rendell re-declared the holiday in April of 2003. Pretzels are one of the world’s oldest snacks, dating back to 610 AD in Southern France. Monks folded thin scraps of dough into the shape of a child’s arms folded in prayer. They added salt and baked them, making the first pretzels. Pretzels were originally called pretiola, which is Latin for “little reward.” Next the name evolved to brachiola, which means “little arms” in Italian. When pretzels made their way to Austria and Germany they were called “bretzels.” The knotted shape of pretzels has represented many different things, from the Holy Trinity in the Catholic church to the bond of marriage. It’s where the phrase “tying the knot” originated! Hard pretzels are a more recent snack. They are thought to have been created in the late 1600s when a baker in Pennsylvania forgot a batch of pretzels in the oven. The pretzels were dark and hard, but the baker tried them anyway and loved how crunchy they were. Pretzels were made by hand until 1935 when an automated machine was created, allowing factory bakeries to make 245 pretzels per minute! Southeastern Pennsylvania is considered the birthplace of the American pretzel industry, and many pretzel bakeries are still located in the...
The Bunnies Are Back!

The Bunnies Are Back!

Spring is almost here and the bunnies are back at Winans! We’ve been busy at the factory making marshmallow, bagging up novelty Easter candies and of course, making lots and lots of chocolate bunnies! Winans has been making chocolate molds for over 50 years! Chocolatiers began using chocolate molds in the mid-1830s in France. These molds were made of sheet copper, stamped with geometric shapes to make solid chocolate candies in mass quantities. Prior to the advent of chocolate molds, chocolate was consumed in liquid form only. As the popularity of molded chocolate rose, small animals and other figures were also created in mold form. Max Winans, founder of Winans, used metal molds from Germany. Many of the metal molds that Winans owns were made by Anton Reiche. Some are just marked as being from West Germany. Anton Reiche is a famous mold manufacturer from Dresden, Germany. He founded his mold company in 1870. German mold manufacturers excelled at making chocolate molds in a variety of sizes with incredible detail and designs. Molds of sitting rabbits or bunnies are the most common of the antique chocolate molds. We still make many of the molds that Max Winans first made at Winans in the 1960s, but we no longer use the original metal molds. We took the metal molds and had them recast in plastic. This allows us to make more bunny molds at a time and results in a higher quality mold. Chocolate picks up any imperfections in the mold. Over time metal molds lose shine and are easily scratched, both the lack of shine and scratches would show...
Recipe: Valentine’s Surprise Brownies

Recipe: Valentine’s Surprise Brownies

  Mmmm… brownies with Winans candies? Yes, please! These fabulous brownies are super chocolate-y with a texture in between cake-y and fudge-y. They’re also full of hidden Winans deluxe Valentine’s mix in festive red, white and pink colors!     They’re super easy to make and are delicious. We’ve got the recipe for you below. Use it for any of your leftover Winans candy (we’re kidding, obviously, hide some of your Winans until you’re ready to make these brownies). We think it’s delicious with any of our seasonal deluxe mixes!     Winans Valentine’s Surprise Brownies Makes 9×13 pan of brownies (24 individual brownies) Ingredients: Canola oil 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter 1 ½ cups sugar 1 teaspoon baking powder ½ teaspoon salt 4 eggs 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1 ⅓ cup all-purpose flour* ½ cup cocoa powder 1 teaspoon espresso, finely ground ½ cup Winans deluxe Valentine’s mix candies, cut larger pieces into small half-bite pieces Directions: Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line a 9×13 baking dish with foil so that it extends up the sides and over the edges of the pan. Coat the foil generously with canola oil. Place the chopped unsweetened chocolate and butter into a small pot over medium-low heat. Stir until both the chocolate and butter are melted. Remove from heat and let cool. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, baking powder and salt until combined. Add the eggs and vanilla, whisk well. Add the melted chocolate mixture. Stir in the all-purpose flour, cocoa powder and espresso powder until smooth. Pour half of the batter and...

It’s All About the Wurtle

  What’s a Wurtle? Wurtles are Winans’ version of the whimsically named chocolate turtle. Chocolate turtles were created by Johnson’s Candy Company in 1918 when a salesman pointed out a candy to one of the candy dippers, who said that it looked like a turtle. Johnson’s Candy Company began selling these chocolate covered pecan and caramel treats as “turtles” shortly after. Today many candy companies offer their own version of the chocolate turtle, some are even made in turtle shaped chocolate molds! At Winans we make our wurtles the old fashioned way, by hand, with soft and chewy caramel, delicious roasted nuts and smooth milk or dark chocolate. The caramel is cooked in our original copper kettles, then poured into a depositor which drops evenly spaced dollops of caramel onto wooden trays of roasted nuts. The caramel is allowed to settle before the final step: the chocolate enrober! Each morsel of caramel and nuts is sent down the enrober to be fully enveloped in Winans rich milk or dark chocolate. The result? A delicious combination of our buttery, chewy caramel nut patty covered in chocolate: a wurtle.     Chocolate covered pecans have been a popular chocolate convection since the early 1900s, which might explain why our milk chocolate pecan wurtles are our most popular wurtle! In addition to pecan, Winans wurtles are also made with almonds and cashews. To discover your favorite wurtle, we recommend trying one of each of our six wurtles, just to be sure!: Milk Chocolate Pecan Dark Chocolate Pecan Milk Chocolate Cashew Dark Chocolate Cashew Milk Chocolate Almond Dark Chocolate Almond Winans loves wurtles so...

Make Winans Part of Your New Year Resolutions Part II: Mesocacao Chocolate

  Dark chocolate, like Winans Mesocacao chocolate, is a healthy indulgence you can include in your New Year’s Resolutions to be healthier in 2016. Mesocacao is a single origin (bean to bar) chocolate line that Winans uses to make delicious chocolate bars. Our very own Joe Reiser has visited the cacao farms in Honduras and Nicaragua to help with the process of transforming raw cacao into chocolate. Cacao has many health benefits and the best way to get a high dose of cacao is to try our Mesocacao chocolates. These lovely chocolate bars, molded with an intricate, geometric cocoa pod design, have the highest cacao content of all the chocolate Winans offers. Mesocacao bars are a great way to experience chocolate in its purest form. Joe Reiser, Winans owner, has a personal relationship with the cacao farmers and helped produce the first batch of this unique chocolate in Honduras. Nothing extra like preservatives, lecithin or additional sweeteners are added to the chocolate before they reach your palette. The taste of the Mesocacao chocolate is fantastic with a wonderful texture and consistency. The Honduran chocolate is fruity with notes of dates and cranberries while the Nicaraguan chocolate has more of a nutty taste, reminiscent of a French roast. In case you need more encouragement, these are just some of the benefits of cacao: Improves weight loss: cacao can help stabilize your blood sugar, increase metabolism, control your appetite and reduce cravings. Improves mood: cacao increase the amount of time anandamide, nicknamed “the bliss molecule”  stays in the body. Dark chocolate also decreases the production of stress hormones in the body....

6 Things to Remember About Easter at Winans

Welcome back and thank goodness spring is on it’s way. I think we are all ready for some color and warmth. At Winans, we have been preparing for this time for two months now! Yep, that’s right. We got started on preparing the chocolate factory for Easter products as soon as we got all the Valentine’s chocolate made. It was refreshing to bring in light colors and the traditional chocolate bunny molds back into the stores. Anyway, we wanted to share a few things with you about Winans during this time of year that you may or may not know. 1. This is Winans’ fifth generation of celebrating Easter with the families of the mid-west. Whether Winans chocolate is a Easter tradition in your family or you’re just getting started with your traditions you will find all that you need in our stores. 2. We currently have 7 variations of bunnies, available in milk chocolate/dark chocolate/white chocolate and some even in peanut butter. If you’re an Easter veteran to Winans and do not see an Easter mold we’ve had in the past that your family cherishes, feel free to ask to put in a special order because we may have the molds tucked away at the factory somewhere!   3. One of our variations of chocolate bunnies is Big Max. He is a whopping 20# and semi-solid! He was first introduced in 2013. Big Max is named after Max Winans, the founder of Winans Chocolates and Coffees. He stands up on his own and is perfect for family get-togethers or an office event. Ask about “Big Max Gives Back” in...