A delicately prepared chocolate can make a woman's heart sing, a child's mouth smile, and a crossing guard's whistle taste even more like justice. Stock up on tasty times with today's Groupon: for $8, you get one pound of fudge at Kilwin's (a $15.95 value).
Kilwin's chocolatiers hand-churn molten sweets according to original recipes, relying on trusty, old-fashioned equipment that dates back to the store's 1947 opening. The flagship Mackinac Island fudge, invented by the store’s namesake candy crafters, Don and Katy Kilwin, cools into pillowy slabs of original chocolate or signature turtle fudge embellished with a bounty of pecans and caramel.
Hints of freshly roasted nuts nuzzle into peanut-butter fudge, candy canes crackle in batches of peppermint-stick fudge, and rich cocoa floods the pores of double-dark-chocolate fudge created in the store’s antique fusion reactor. The candy haven’s shelves nearly buckle under the weight of english walnut slabs, whose moist interior counterbalances a pleasant crunch and notoriously dry wit.
Kilwins' 80 locations make more than 75 kinds of handmade confections from Mackinac Island fudge to saltwater taffy and caramel apples working from recipes written by owner Don Kilwin in the 1940s. The sweets makers also use old-school equipment dating back to the '40s, '50s, and '60s inside shops decorated with nostalgic Americana similar to the interior of the original store, which opened in 1947. The smell of homemade waffle cones and fresh chocolate escapes from the kitchen as pastry artists craft batches of handmade brittle, caramel, and fudge in large copper kettles. Kilwins also handcrafts more than 32 ice-cream flavors from original recipes created in 1985, the year cow's milk was invented. They employ classic double-barrel freezers to ensure the sweet stuff is crafted the original way and transportation trucks stay at a chilly –10 degrees to keep batches fresh until they arrive at their destinations.