Thanksgiving in donut form

It’s a big surprise to absolutely no one that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year. More than Christmas, more than my birthday, certainly more than Valentine’s Day (really, whose favorite holiday is that? No one.) Thanksgiving though, is seriously my jam.

And as such, I’ve been all sorts of excited in the weeks, now days, leading up to it. When I recently read about Zucker Bakery in the East Village and their seasonal Thanksgiving donuts, my head practically exploded. Thanksgiving AND donuts? Combined into one thing? YES.

They come in four flavors: cranberry turkey, turkey gravy, cranberry, and sweet potato. Due to a mix up with the order I placed (because duh, I placed an order) cranberry wasn’t available, but I made sure to get my grubby little fingers on the other three.

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My lovely selection of Zucker Thanksgiving donuts

For savory pastry lovers, the turkey gravy donut is the way to go. This spiced pumpkin donut stuffed with gravy and turkey is a definite departure from its glazed and frosted cousins of the donut world. It would make a great lunch paired with soup, in my opinion.

A donut stuffed with turkey and gravy? God, I love the holidays.

A donut stuffed with turkey and gravy? God, I love the holidays.

Slightly sweeter, thanks to a dusting of confectioner’s sugar and some cranberry filling, is the cranberry turkey donut. If you’re like me, and enjoy the mixing of sweet and savory flavors, this could be for you. The cranberry sauce is tangy and just subtly sweet, and goes great with the turkey and gravy. (In case you somehow had never had a Thanksgiving meal and didn’t already know that.)

Turkey, gravy and cranberry sauce... all inside a pumpkin donut.  Uh huh, that's right.

Turkey, gravy and cranberry sauce… all inside a pumpkin donut. Uh huh, that’s right.

But because I’m a complete sugar junkie, my favorite was the sweetest of the bunch, the sweet potato pie donut with marshmallow filling. Like the pie itself, the sweet potato part of this isn’t super sweet, but the delicious glob of fluffy marshmallow cream inside? Well that’s pure, sugary perfection… especially warm and just out of the oven the way I had it.


My fave, the sweet potato donut. (And how bout my nails? Pretty spiffy, no?)

Thanksgiving donuts, a new thing for me to give thanks for this Thursday!


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.

Always room for more

I approach Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday and perhaps plain ol’ favorite day of the year, with a no-holds-barred mentality. If it’s on the table, I’m eating it. If there are leftovers after everyone’s done, I have seconds… and then thirds. If there’s gravy, it’s getting poured on everything short of cranberry sauce. Oh and if there’s cranberry sauce, I’m eating enough to have it coursing through my veins. And there’s never ever a question of which dessert to have, because the answer is  always all of them. That’s pretty much how this year’s Thanksgiving, spent with my boyfriend’s half-Florentine half-Floridian family, played out anyway.

But then of course, there’s the day-after remorse. The slightly tighter waistband, the mental hazinness brought on by excessive eating, the guilt. But so help me God, if I see or even hear mention of pumpkin pie (my absolute faaaaave), I snap right out of my slump and put my game face back on.

Mercer Kitchen's pumpkin pie

That’s what happened today when through a series of fortunate events, the pumpkin pie from Mercer Kitchen found itself in front of me. More of a mini-pie than a slice, MK’s version had a fluffy dollop of maple creme fraiche in place of whipped cream and a creamy, caramely blob of candied cashews next to it. Also on the plate, adding more autum color and taste was a rich, sticky caramel sauce (that I would like to guzzle by the mug-full, might I add) which was perfect for running forkuls of pumpkin pie through.

It never fails. I could be in the depths of a profound food coma, but like sleeping salts to someone knocked out cold, my tried and true favorite, pumpkin pie, will always bring me back, because there’s always room, even if just a little bit, for more pie.