Dunkin' Donuts has just launched its new croissant donut, a hybrid of the best of American and French artery-cloggers.
The pastry, which hit the streets this week, is the fast-food, mass-produced version of Dominique Ansel's cronut, which still causes mass hysteria and hours-long waits at his Soho bakery in New York City. The trademarked pastry even has its own rules attached to it, including the suggestion that you arrive prior to 7 a.m. to claim your treat, which sells for $5. There's also a two-cronut minimum and a no-holding-a-place-for-friends rule.
Until now, restaurants and shops that have tried to make their own versions of the croissant/donut hybrid have been greeted with pushback from Ansel's people, who fiercely protect the pastry as it it were a cure for Ebola. So much so, that Clean Plate Charlie was actually warned not to use the name "cronut" in an article about Disney's Epcot offering croissant donuts.
We're not sure whether Dunkin' Donuts has worked out an agreement with Dominique Ansel's bakery (we do have a call to its media relations department), but a news release quotes Dunkin' Brands executive chef and vice president of culinary innovation's Jeff Miller as saying, "The Croissant Donut has 24 layers of buttery dough and is covered with the same sweet distinctive glaze used on our Glazed Donuts, creating the ultimate pastry that is crisp on the outside and soft and flaky on the inside. We look forward to bringing this new, unique bakery item to our guests nationwide."
And Dunkin' is taking this croissant donut thing seriously, offering white branded gift boxes to hold each precious pastry that sells for half the price of the Ansel original. So how is the Dunkin' version?
First off, Dunkin' isn't kidding when it states that the croissant donuts are offered in limited batches daily. My first two attempts at procuring one left me empty-handed. At the third Dunkin' location -- all the way in Coconut Grove -- I hit pay dirt. The shop had a batch of the suckers (although there were no cute boxes to be had).
The Dunkin' croissant donut is less greasy than a regular doughnut and richer tasting. The fact that the croissant isn't as sugary as doughnut batter counteracts the glaze, making this pastry buttery yet not cloyingly sweet. All in all, a good little morsel (although I wouldn't wait in line for an hour for this version -- or for the real deal, for that matter).
The croissant donut is available at all South Florida Dunkin' Donuts shops. If you happen to see it when you stop in for coffee, it's worth a try.
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