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Happy holidays and a frosty new year from CG&DB!

24 Dec


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Chomp, Chomp, Gone: A Return to Krispy Kreme

10 Sep

Krispy Kreme is one of those rare brand-names that has become virtually synonymous with the product it sells (see also: Kleenex, Band-Aid).  Unfortunately, a few years back, some quack named Atkins came out with a fad diet that frowned upon certain awesome foods.  Krispy Kremes bore the brunt of this shunning, and locations everywhere began shutting down.

However, if you do a little searching, you can still find a few store locations open.  The closest one to Donut HQ is located in Elk Grove, IL, and they are serving up fresh Krispy Kremes in a variety of flavors.  We’ve been here before (and we had a great time), but we decided to make a return trip this morning in order to objectively score the pastries.

Here’s what we found:

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Munchin’ On Some Munchkins: Let’s talk about donut holes

16 Jul

This week, we wanted to take a second to talk about donuts’ little brothers, donut holes.

A long time ago, some thrifty baker thought to him- or herself, “Hey, all these holes I’m cutting are leaving a lot of leftover scraps.  I should fry these, too!”  And thus, donut holes were born.

Someone with their Thinking Cap on decided to fry the holes, too.

In today’s Pastry Landscape, most people probably don’t get much farther than Dunkin’ Donuts when it comes to donut holes.  To be fair, donut holes are a lot harder to find.  Most donut shops we’ve been to, however fantastic, have not offered donut holes.  We decided to do a little Pastry Investigating (what we really do best) and see if we could turn up any alternatives.  It was hard work, but someone had to do it.

Here’s what we found:

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In front of you all the time: The pastry offerings at Starbucks and Caribou

4 Jun

An American relaxing at Starbucks

If you drink coffee and live in America, you’ve probably been into either Starbucks or Caribou within the past week.  If you’re like us, you might have noticed the small selection of pastries offered at either coffee place.

Our experiences with donut-eating told us that we were not likely to enjoy anything these stores had to offer.  Most likely, these pastries would prove stale-tasting and lackluster.  We were aware of this going in.

Nevertheless, in our quest to continue to provide Full Donut Coverage, we took it upon ourselves to sample the pastry offerings of these two Coffee Giants and report to you our findings.

Here’s what we found:

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Dunkin’ Donuts: A thorough look at the corporate giant

23 Apr

Dunkin’ Donuts is everywhere.  Like it or not, that much is undeniably true.  We here at Breakfast Adventures are often thwarted by it — it invades our Google searches for “donuts in Chicago” and taunts us every few blocks when we venture into the city.  Nevertheless, we felt it was our Breakfast Duty to thoroughly examine this corporate giant for the benefit of Pastry Eaters everywhere.

Over the past few months, we have been slowly compiling an entry on this Donut Juggernaut.  Dutifully, we have sampled a donut or two each Saturday, recording our observations and waiting until we had enough data to present a comprehensive report.  The entry below consists of these Taste Trials.

Here’s what we found:

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Paczkis: The National Pastry of Fat Tuesday!

12 Mar

Here at Breakfast Adventures, we live in a sort of constant state of Pastry Celebration.  Our daydreams and plans for the weekend often revolve around baked goods, and we’re not ashamed to admit it.

Once a year, though, the rest of the country shares our obsession.  We are speaking, naturally, of Fat Tuesday, a day when many Americans rise early to get their hands on paczkis.

Paczkis for Fat Tuesday

In case you didn’t know, paczkis (pronounced PUNCH-key or PONE-CH-key, depending on who you talk to) are a traditional Polish pastry, conceptually similar  to jelly donuts and Boston kremes (see the Wikipedia article here for further explanations).  In Chicago and the surrounding area (where we’re from), we benefit from a large population of Polish inhabitants; there are many great places to pick up some paczkis year-round.

Box full of paczkis: A pretty sight.

This past Tuesday, we got up at the crack of dawn to set out on an adventure.  After gathering a myriad of paczkis from a few nearby bakeries, we returned to the Donut Lair for Pastry Tasting & Analysis.  What follows is the breakdown of our Paczki Tests:

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Valentine’s Day at Dunkin’ Donuts: Good idea, but…

12 Feb

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and Dunkin’ Donuts is well aware: The national donut giant recently rolled out four new flavors for the season, in hopes that an earnest romantic might buy his/her valentine a box of these pastries as a gift.

We take V-Day pretty seriously, and so we felt it was our duty as Dedicated Donuteers and Holiday Enthusiasts to sample these four new flavors and give you the scoop.  We’d hate for anyone to give a bad donut as a gift.

Here’s what we found:

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Donut #1: Cupid’s Cocoa w/ Jelly Filling

Coffee Girl: Very nice for a franchise!  The combination of chocolate cake, chocolate frosting and raspberry jelly filling is very successful, even when none of the individual ingredients achieves maximum freshness or lack of preservatives.  Show up with a couple of these for your sweetie and you’ll definitely score Valentine’s Day points.

Donut Boy: Yeah, it’s important to cut Dunkin’ Donuts a little slack: This is a tasty donut, to be sure.  My largest complaint would be with the lackluster dough, which really just serves as an envelope to hold the jelly and support some nice frosting.  Pleasing overall, though. Continue reading