Dunkin' Donuts goes upper crust, debuting its new Croissant Donut on Monday. This is their version of the fabled cronut, offered for $2.13 including tax (a regular DD doughnut rings in at 99 cents plus tax).
At the peak of the frenzy, black market cronut mules in New York offered to wait in line and deliver your half-croissant, half-doughnut pastry for $50. Each. Celebrities, politicians and the nation's foodie pilgrims cooled their heels in long lines for a chance to eat one. The inventor of the cronut, Dominique Ansel, has moved on to other cultish confections, but bakers around the country continue to tinker with the formula. Last year Piquant in Hyde Park Village was thronged for their guava- and nutella-filled croissant doughnuts.
And on Tuesday morning, Dunkin' dove into the fray. What's so special about these glazed rounds? It's all about physics: Puff pastry is a bit like sticky origami, the dough folded precisely to, in this case, have 24 layers of dough, some of which are mostly flour and some of which are mostly butter. The upshot is that the buttery layers give off steam that is "capped" by the floury layers, creating tectonic plates of dough, which result in chewier strands of flaky pastry.
Does Dunkin' have a winner on its hands? At 8 a.m. on Monday morning the Gandy Boulevard location had sold out entirely and was feverishly baking up a new batch. I waited patiently to get my hands on one: Taller than a traditional glazed donut but with the same sticky-crunchy glaze, this is not a filled pastry. With more tooth resistance than a regular DD offering, it's crunchy on the exterior and pulls apart in layers. Its flavor is appealing, although I'd say the texture verges on tough.
Ansel upped the frenzy factor by producing only a couple hundred cronuts a day. Dunkin' Donuts is debuting this new product in 7,900 stores nationwide (there are 11,000 Dunkin' Donuts restaurants in 33 countries). With that kind of widespread launch, the cronut black market may go belly up.
Contact Laura Reiley at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 892-2293. Follow @lreiley.