Today, June 6, is National Donut Day. The day was started in 1938 by the Salvation Army to honor the “Donut Lassies,” women who gave donuts to soldiers during World War I. Entenmann’s teams up with Salvation Army to give out free donuts in Madison Square Park until 3 p.m. today. And you can see a 7-foot replica of a red velvet doughnut too.
Is there anything better than a doughnut, a croissant or a bagel? Can you really improve upon perfection? Well, the popularity and the “black market” cronuts would have one believe that you can. Having never tried a cronut, I can’t speak to them. I have tried the knockoff at Crumbs and wasn’t impressed. On a recent trip to the grocery store Food Emporium, I tried two of its “croissant donuts”: strawberry and salted caramel. At first glance, they look delicious. Knowing that they come from Food Emporium makes one believe they will taste like grocery store baked goods. And guess what? They do–but in a really yummy way. I have to say I enjoyed the cream in both of these, especially the strawberry. I still have yet to taste an authentic cronut, but these are pretty darn good. They have layers like a croissant but more of a doughnut flavor.
Is this better than a doughnut or a croissant? Well, no, I like both for different reasons. I like my doughnuts sweet with jelly or sugar and my croissants savory with butter. So I probably think of these more as doughnuts.
At Bantam Bagels on Bleecker Street in the West Village, the bagels are small, round balls of bagel dough filled with cream cheese…well, not always. The takeout spot has a variety of bagels to choose from. I got a French toast, an everything and an onion bagel. The first thing they do is toast these in a small oven. I wish they would ask if you want them toasted before they put them in the oven because I don’t like toasted bagels. The French toast bagel was my favorite. It was flavorful, cinnamony and had an ample amount of a sweet cream cheese inside. The onion bagel had a dot of butter inside. These were a real disappointment because they didn’t have enough cream cheese inside and some had no cream cheese at all (which I didn’t know because I made an assumption when I saw onion that it would just have cream cheese in it). Also, the dough is hard.
Bantam bagels are $1.35 each. While I enjoy a little experimentation, it’s hard to justify charging a high price for something that just isn’t that great.
This idea reminded me of bagel knots from Chesapeake Bagel Bakery. They were a pastry made from bagel dough with an icing on top. They were delicious, but the bakery discontinued making them.
Posted in Bakery, Doughnut
Tagged bagel, bagel knots, Bantam Bagels, Bleecker Street, Chesapeake Bagel Bakery, croissant, croissant donut, croissant doughnut, cronut, doughnut, Food Emporium, West Village
OMG Crumbnuts are here! screams the sign outside a Crumbs store in Midtown. I’m not sure if Crumbs was preparing for a long line outside to rival the line at Dominique Ansel’s bakery, but there were plenty of crumbnuts on the shelf at 2 p.m. in the afternoon. There are three varieties available of crumbnuts: plain, powdered sugar and Bavarian cream. I opted for powdered sugar, although I can tell you the Bavarian cream looked like the most popular, as it was nearly out.
Maybe I should’ve gotten the Bavarian because the outside of this one was a bit hard, as if it were getting stale. The inside had more give and tasted fresher.
It tasted like a grocery store doughnut that’s very airy. It’s not very impressive. I’d opt for the cupcakes at Crumbs. They have some great-looking ones for the season like pumpkin and apple. They also have some Italian-bakery-inspired cupcakes like cannoli and rainbow cookie with a mini cannoli and mini rainbow cookie on top. I am curious to try the Cronut from Dominique Ansel, but I just can’t get myself to get up that early and really can’t wait in line that long.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the cronut on my blog. The cronut is a new pastry creation by Dominique Ansel. It’s a hybrid of a doughnut and croissant. The trademarked cronut is selling out like crazy. I’ve heard that they sell out within 45 minutes. Dominique Ansel says he has a small kitchen and can’t produce more and also prefers quality over quantity. Long lines have formed outside the bakery on Spring Street, and I know I will be on that line soon.
The winter brings certain flavors like cinnamon, ginger and cranberry. Most businesses create some kind of seasonal treat to enjoy with these flavors or that are reminiscent of the season.
The mini-cupcake shop Baked by Melissa has a special “Snowball” cupcake. These cupcakes are about the size of a quarter, so they are perfect if you are watching your weight for the holidays. The Snowball cupcake is white cake with white frosting and little white snowflakes.
The Doughnut Plant has some special doughnuts for the season. I am a fan of the yeast doughnuts here, so instead of getting the cranberry yeast doughnut, I tried the cake doughnuts. Here are cranberry and ginger, both very good. The ginger has real ginger in the glaze.
Posted in Cupcake, Dessert, Doughnut, Holiday, New York
Tagged Baked by Melissa, cranberry, cupcake, cupcakes, doughnut, Doughnut Plant, doughnuts, ginger, New York, snowball