Saturday, October 28, 2006

Happy Halloween from Blognut

Alright, as promised, Halloween Munchkins from Dunkin. Plus a slew of other holiday-appropriate Donuts.

So after three trips to my local Brooklyn DD, they finally had Halloween Munchkins in stock. And what a let down. I mean, you'd think the biggest Donut-dealer in the universe could come up with something a bit more inventive than a glazed cake covered in orange and yellow sprinkles. Like say for example, this scary-ass Pumpkin-shaped offering from Krispy Kreme, which we scored at the KK down the street from Graceland in Memphis (yes, Blognut somehow ended up in Tennessee and Mississippi over the weekend, resulting in some top-notch Donut-eating).

This Doughnut wasn't all that impressive either. The KK ad campaign for these terrifying creations deemed them "pumpkin shaped"Halloween Doughnuts. And the photo on KK's website shows them as having both prominent stems and well-defined facial features. Not the case. Maybe the Doughnut-maker at this particular Kreme was hungover or something, but mine was a perfectly round, yeast raised Doughnut. Where was the stem Blognut asks?! And what's with the horrific frosting job? It looks like the eyes, nose and mouth were painted on in the backseat of a highspeed cab.

But worst of all, the Doughnut was nearly tasteless. It's pretty hard to mess up frosting, but Krispy Kreme has succeeded. The orange goo topping our "Halloween Doughnut" tasted like kindergarten paste, only blander. Plus it had that bitter bite that comes from using too much food dye. And I apologize for the rant, but it didn't have any filling. What kind of a hole-less Doughnut doesn't have filling?! That's the whole reason the hole was put there in the first place, so we didn't have to waste time with a glob of taste-less dough in the middle.

But wait a minute. Maybe Krispy Kreme has succeeded in their attempt at seasonality. Because afterall, this was one of the most horrifying Doughnuts I've ever seen or tasted.

I also tried KK’s more traditional Halloween-themed Doughnut, the Pumpkin Spice (not shown). And I will say that it partially redeemed the hideous pumpkin head. Soft and spicy innards with a firm exterior made for a solid seasonal Doughnut.

Alright, next up is Starbucks. All fall this mom-and-pop coffee shop has been serving a line of pumpkin-flavored eats and drinks. Mainly because they’re a warm organization. One that knows the importance of small-town America, and the comforts of a warm muffin fresh from the oven and a cup of hot apple cider. Blognut has tried none of said offerings, save the Pumpkin Spice Doughnut.

Now Starbucks’ Doughnuts are generally pretty tasty. But something was afoul with their attempt at capturing autumn in a Nut. The cake was too soft, almost as if it hadn’t been fried long enough. And while it did have loads of fall spice – cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves – the flavors felt slightly artificial, sort of like a Duncan Hines spice cake or something. So while OK, it’s certainly not my favorite seasonal Doughnut of the year.

But there’s a twist to the Starbucks tale. While Mrs. Blognut and I were in Portland last month, we noticed that local Bucks were advertising Top Pot Doughnuts, the famed Seattle-based indie Doughnut shop specializing in ostentation (field-correspondent Beta Blognut covered TPD for us back in July and was more than impressed). And it’s too bad this partnership can’t be extended across the country, for Top Pot's Pumpkin Spice is far better than Starbucks'. Their dough is full-bodied and hearty, while the Doughnut-exterior is almost crisp. And the spices take more of a subservient role to the pumpkin which is nice. So here’s to Top Pot, for frying up the first impressive Doughnut of this post.

And I’ve saved the best for last. As usual, the Doughnut Plant has outdone itself. A few weeks ago I stopped in Joe for a coffee and a Doughnut (I was well aware that Joe only stocks Doughnuts from the Plant). Being that it was a crisp fall day, I went with their Pumpkin Glazed Cake variety. And I mean it when I say that this Doughnut is in a class by itself. Complex and spicy dough, heavy on cinnamon and clove, with a pale orange, pumpkin-infused glaze. The dough is just what I’ve come to expect from Mark Israel, soft, moist and spongy – it fights back as I chew, making me work a bit for my reward. This is certainly the best seasonal Doughnut Blognut has ever tasted.

And that’s all. Happy Halloween.

Donut Scores:

Halloween Munchkins -

Krispy Kreme "Pumpkin-shaped" -

Krispy Kreme Pumpkin Spice -

Starbucks' Pumpkin Spice -

Top Pot Pumpkin Spice -

Doughnut Plant Pumpkin Glazed -


Anonymous said...

In defense of Krispy Kreme, I tried these donuts at a store in NYC, and they did in fact look just like the picture, little stem and all. They didn't have the extreme orange color and creepy face like the one yours did. Also, I brought them to a party, and the concensus there was that they were quite tasty. Texture and flavor were well recieved. Maybe it was the store you were at. Just had to defend the Kreme.

theblognut said...

Fair enough. I'll foward this to the Memphis Krispy Kreme.