Knock off Cronut

I’m not usually one for blatant knock offs —the only thing you’ll find me buying in Chinatown are dumplings and noodles (aaand egg custard tarts and pork buns and egg rolls and wontons and, well, you get it!)— but I made an exception this week when I found myself at Dunkin Donuts ordering a Croissant Donut i.e. the not-so-cleverly named Cronut knock off.

Like a Cronut... kinda

Like a Cronut… kinda

I’m at DD a lot because in my mostly cash-only Brooklyn neighborhood, it’s the only place where I can pay for a morning coffee with a credit card. At first I scoffed at the Croissant Donut— after all, I’m a BIG fan of the original Cronut— but each time I saw it, I got a little more curious. It was only a couple bucks and at the ungodly hour that I’m usually there each morning, there was none of the infamous Cronut line, so I thought why not, let’s see what this knock off has to offer.

DD’s Croissant Donut is basically the Cronut’s less attractive, slightly messy second cousin. Instead of the elegant gold box there’s a square, white Dunkin box with a cellophane window. The pastry itself lacks the glittery dusting of sugar, the rich, seasonal flavors, which change monthly for the Cronut, and the overall air of a fancy pants pastry you might want spend two hours waiting in line for.

Not quite a Cronut, but not bad either

Not quite a Cronut, but not bad either

That being said though, it’s not that bad. The glaze on the outside is maybe a bit too thick, and sweet to the point that it almost makes your teeth hurt, but gluttonously good in the same way as say, Twinkies or fried Oreos. The inside, layered in croissant-like layers similar to the Cronut but not as delicate, is thick and moist (sorry, gross word, I know, but the most appropriate) like the whole thing had been injected with cream.

It’s an over the top, low brow counterpart to the Cronut, something that like a fake Louis or Gucci, wouldn’t be out of place at a county fair.  But really, I’m ok with the knock off this time.

 

 

The Cronut

Behold, the Cronut

Behold, the Cronut

Let’s cut right to the chase: the Cronut is awesome.

I didn’t wanna say it. I didn’t wanna like it.  I wanted to think New Yorkers were silly and obsessive, constantly looking for an excuse to spend hours in line waiting for something. I wanted all the hype to be just a bunch of hot air.

But it wasn’t, New Yorkers are actually on to something this time, the hype is deserved, and the Cronut is, in fact, awesome.

I showed up at 7:30am on a Sunday morning when Dominique Ansel Bakery doesn’t even open till 9, and there were already about 50 to 75 people ahead of me in line, some sprawled out on picnic blankets, others sitting in camping chairs like they were at a tailgate. I stood on the sidewalk, checked Facebook and Instagram a few hundred times, finished my book, had a lenghty phone conversation with my sister, and finally, after two hours, walked away with a shiny gold take out box, two Cronuts (the max you can buy) waiting inside.

I felt like Charlie with the golden ticket to the Wonka Chocolate Factory.

I felt like Charlie with the golden ticket to the Wonka Chocolate Factory.

On first inspection, they were pretty, definitely winning full points for presentation. Plump and round, like the part doughnut that they are, they were also sparkly with a dusting of sugar and topped with a creamy layer of purply-pink frosting on top for the flavor of the month, blackberry lime.

The Cronut, what a beaut!

The Cronut, what a beaut!

But it was the moment that I actually bit into it that I was completely won over by the Cronut. With sugar immediately clinging to my lips, chin and fingers, I chomped into the still slightly-warm-from-the-oven Cronut and was met not only with layers of soft, buttery pastry but an amazing burst of rich blackberry jam and a thick, custardy cream filling. It wasn’t just a wimpy little bit way in the back either. No, no, this delicious jammy-creamy combo oozed out of every bite, making each bite an amazing one.

A sticky, creamy, jammy wonderfully delicious mess I made

A sticky, creamy, jammy wonderfully delicious mess I made

If you’re wondering whether I ate both Cronuts I bought, the answer is yes, you bet your ass I did. I’m single and my roommate is out of town. No one else but me was getting their grubby fingers on my Cronuts. And after wolfing them both down, I am totally and completely on board the Cronut fan bandwagon. Those bad boys are awesome.

Giving thanks for the Thanksgiving croissant

In all its glory: the Thanksgiving croissant

To say that I’m completely giddy, bouncing-around-in-anticipation, so-excited-I-could-squeal over Thanksgiving would be a tiny bit of an understatement. I’m beyond that. Way beyond it.

And I’m especially beyond it since FINALLY having the Thanksgiving croissant at Momofuku Milk Bar. I’ve been trying to get my grubby little fingers on one of those buttery, flaky, fat croissants of deliciousness since last year, and every single time I’ve ever gone, both last year and this, they’ve been sold out. Last week, on one of my days off, I went first thing in the morning and snagged a couple (because yes, I bought one to take home after the one I ate immediately on the spot).

So much Thanksgiving goodness in one croissant…

All joking aside, if you live in New York and haven’t had a Thanksgiving croissant from Milk Bar, well, you’re insane. You need to stop dilly-dallying and go get yourself one. Stuffed full of juicy chunks of turkey meat, stuffing, gravy and a tart bit of cranberry sauce, this croissant just needs pumpkin pie to be the perfect pastry embodiement of all that is wonderful about Thanksgiving.

They’re pretty much the best thing ever, and your life will be better for having one, so go on, go get one. It’s the most delicious thing to happen to November since the pilgrims and the indians got together for dinner.