County Donuts in Schaumburg: Part 1

23 Jul

Every now and then, in life and its donut-related conquests, one comes across a problem, an obstacle if you will.  When donuts are involved, these problems frequently fall under the category of “good problems to have.”  For example, maybe your problem is that you’re really hankering for a chocolate donut.  Solution: hop in the Donut Mobile and go get one.

This morning, we were faced with a problem that we consider a blessing: We found a donut shop so awesome that we simply cannot provide adequate coverage in one visit.  Allow us, Dear Readers, to discuss County Donuts in Schaumburg, IL.

A few weeks back, our friend Alexandra Kagan mentioned that there was a great 24/7 donut place near where she worked called County Donuts.  We finally had the chance to follow through and visit.  Upon entering, we were overjoyed.

Warm and welcoming, trays of donuts with all sorts of interesting names presented themselves (German Chocolate?  Cherry??)  We knew we had struck gold and, after a quick Donut Powwow, decided to cover County Donuts in two separate visits.

So allow us to present Part 1 of our findings:

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Donuts #1 & #2: Maple Frosted and Vanilla Frosted

Coffee Girl: One taste is worth a thousand verbal comparisons to Dunkin’ Donuts. The first two entries we sampled at County Donuts, while they looked just like standard franchise fare, tasted like they’d been completely disassembled and put back together by the Good Witch Glenda.  Mouthwateringly fresh, light, and sweet raised dough, topped with the simple joys of excellent white frosting and, Oh My God, a maple frosting that caused me to close my eyes and moan.

Donut Boy: Right away, you know you’re dealing with people who know their frosting.  Both donuts had smooth, creamy, sticky frosting that had clearly been recently applied.  The maple frosting evoked pancakes-and-syrup goodness, while the vanilla brought a dainty sweetness.  Both donuts had excellent, squishy yeast dough.  Grade-A donuts.

Donut #3: Buttercrunch

Coffee Girl: This donut starts with wickedly delicious cake dough, again with the mouthwateringly fresh gimmick, and then snuggles down inside a generous crumbly coating of butter and sugar pebbles.  One of County Donuts’ best.

Donut Boy: What an awesome name.  The donut itself, it turns out, is pretty awesome, too.  The “crunch” is definitely there, and the cake dough inside is pleasantly moist.  I agree, one of their best.

Donuts #4 & #5: Honeydew and Honeydip

Coffee Girl: Why have two donuts that seem so similar?  Well, obviously, although they’re the same shape, same color and share the same sugar glaze, the difference lies in the donut dough.  County Donuts’ cake dough is divine — like fresh, sweet cake.  Their yeast donut?  Divine also, but airier, the better to eat you, my dear.  Which we recommend doing.

Donut Boy: I loved the honewdew, with its great crunch and very pleasing hint of nutmeg in the cake dough, which blended with the honey well.  The honeydip was also fantastic, with a simpler, sweeter presentation, but I preferred the honeydew.

Donut #6: Vanilla Frosted Cruller

Coffee Girl: OK.  We still don’t like crullers.  We keep trying.  The frosting was mighty fine, though.

Donut Boy: Yeah, maybe we’re just not Cruller People.  I tasted the presence of more eggs, definitely, and that frosting was great.  Just not really doing it for me.  If you do like crullers, though, I bet you’d like this one.  Certainly fresh.

Donut #7: Eclair

Donut Boy: Okay, so eclairs aren’t donuts, strictly speaking, but we still had to try one.  Turns out County Donut’s eclair is basically an oblong Boston Kreme.  Let’s be clear, though: It was tasty.  Cool, creamy custard inside a sleeping bag of soft dough and a blanket of textbook chocolate frosting.  Next time, though, I’d probably just go for a Boston Kreme.

Donut #8: Chocolate Coconut

Coffee Girl: It’s now official: County Donuts does coconut donuts better than anyone else.  The combination here of excellent chocolate cake with substantially-sized shreds of fresh-tasting coconut, held onto the righteous pastry by a sugar glaze, is stunning.

Donut Boy: Yes, here we reach one of the main Inspiring Things about County Donuts: Their success with coconut donuts (more to follow below).  This chocolate cake donut was great to begin with: dark chocolate flavor, moist-yet-crunchy, but the coconut shavings really brought the whole donut home.  The coconut flavor was pronounced yet not overwhelming, a fine line that County Donuts walked well.

Donut #9: Chocolate Mint

Coffee Girl: It should have been divine, but County Donuts’ chocolate mint donut fell to its knees in comparison to its peers.  The chocolate cake seemed too dry when paired with its topping, and the pastry itself was overwhelmed by mint flavor.

Donut Boy: Such an intriguing Flavor Idea!  I love a donut shop that’s not afraid to think outside the box a little.  Unfortunately, this donut didn’t quite come together.  I think our colleague, Dame Danish, summed it up best…

Dame Danish: The mint was too strong and the chocolate flavor wasn’t strong enough.  Tasted sort of fake.

Donut #10: Black Raspberry

Donut Boy: Here’s another Inspiring Thing about County Donuts: They offer several kinds of jelly donuts (just one reason we have to go back).  This black raspberry donut was really something special.  Easily the softest, fluffiest dough I’ve ever come across in a jelly donut.  The jelly itself was fruity and cool with a natural taste.  The powdered sugar coating sealed the deal, and left me with the realization: This is the first jelly donut I’ve ever had where I wanted to keep eating the donut after the jelly was gone.  Superb.

Coffee Girl: A complete world of taste pleasure in itself, this airy pillow of squishy raised dough, generously coated with powdered sugar, gently but firmly held its generous filling of tasty jelly.  Very, very nice.

Donut #11: Blueberry

Coffee Girl: Truly excellent, but verging on too sweet for me.

Donut Boy: Okay, I’m just going to say it: This is the best blueberry donut I’ve ever had.  For my taste, County Donuts is doing everything right.  This donut has a hard crust with an excellent crunch, yet is also magically moist on the inside.  The blueberry flavor tastes fresh-picked.  If you love cake, this is your donut.

Donut #12: Toasted Coconut

Coffee Girl: I surprised myself by how much I liked this donut.  No novelty angle here, just excellent raised dough, topped with soft, chewy coconut pasted on with a generosity of sugar glaze–but Yowza!  What a happy Donut Success!  You’re geniuses, County Donuts!

Donut Boy: Again, County Donuts knows how to handle coconut.  This was my favorite donut of the morning.  At first, you taste what appears to be just an awesome glazed donut: a hint of frying oil mixed with a nice sweet glaze.  But then your teeth get the nice crunch of coconut shavings, and the coconut flavor enhances the donut’s profile, making it into a real standout.  Very possibly the best coconut-flavored donut I’ve ever had.  Mmm!

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So we’ve gotten started, but we guarantee that next week will bring even more flavor.  County Donuts is a true Midwestern Donut Powerhouse.  All we can say is: See you in a week!

-CG&DB

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2 Responses to “County Donuts in Schaumburg: Part 1”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Fresh and simple: A return to the Farmers’ Market in Oak Park « The Breakfast Adventures of Coffee Girl & Donut Boy - July 30, 2011

    […] Readers: We had every intention of returning this week to the amazing County Donuts in Schaumburg.  Alas, even the best laid Donut Plans can fall to the side in the face of automobile troubles.  […]

  2. County Donuts in Schaumburg: Part 2 « The Breakfast Adventures of Coffee Girl & Donut Boy - August 8, 2011

    […] weeks ago, we visited County Donuts for the first time and were blown away.  We realized immediately that County Donut’s plethora of donut options […]

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