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New Pastry on the Block

WEST LONG BRANCH, NJ– May 10, 2013 was a glorious day for many dessert lovers and those with a serious sweet tooth in the tri-state area. On this otherwise quiet Friday in the culinary world, Dominique Ansel, the French pastry chef who owns the Soho-based Dominique Ansel Bakery in New York City, unveiled his newest creation: the Cronut.
At first glance, the Cronut may seem like any other glazed doughnut. But those who have gotten the chance to take their first bite of this 21st century pastry dessert know that it is anything but ordinary. The innovative hybrid of croissant and doughnut is made with laminated dough, proofed and fried in grapeseed oil before being doused in sugar, puffed with custard, or glazed.

1. Cronuts or Croissant Donuts don't have to be enjoyed alone! They also go well with coffee and tea.
Nothing goes with a cup of coffee quite like a Cronut.

Despite being in the company of the mastermind chef’s other concoctions, including the cookie shot, the magic soufflé, and the frozen s’more, the Cronut is still described by Ansel’s Cronut 101 guide as “the most virally talked about dessert item in history.” Based on the long wait times reported by various sources, including the LA Times and Business Insider, it may also deserve the title of history’s most difficult dessert item to obtain.
Joseph Rapach, a junior at Monmouth University and self-proclaimed dessert enthusiast, made the trip into the city in late November to try getting his hands on a Cronut. Yet more than a year after its debut, the pastry dessert is as elusive as ever. Rapach ended up standing in a line to the bakery that snaked around the block for hours before finally giving up.
“I’ve been wanting to try the original Cronut for what seems like forever, seriously,” said Rapach. “I heard about the long lines to get into Dominique Ansel’s Bakery, but I naively thought that if I made my way to the city when it’s freezing and blustering outside, I’d have a chance. Boy, was I wrong!”
While Rapach and others like him have the option of pre-ordering Ansel’s Cronuts two weeks in advance or placing a large order of them a month in advance, Dunkin Donuts has recently presented a simpler alternative. The ubiquitous coffeehouse chain’s newly introduced Croissant Donut will allow people all over the world to try its own mainstream version of the original Ansel Cronut at half of the price.
In a press release for the new pastry, Dunkin Donuts describes the Croissant Donut as a dessert that “has 24 layers of buttery dough and is covered with the same sweet distinctive glaze used on [Dunkin Donuts’] Glazed Donuts, creating the ultimate pastry that is crisp on the outside and soft and flaky on the inside.”
2. A promotional poster for Croissant Donuts at a local Dunkin Donuts.
A promotional poster for Croissant Donuts at a local Dunkin Donuts.

Taste testers at the Daily News Taste Kitchen claim in their review that the Croissant Donut simply does not compare with the original Cronut, especially since it lacks cream filling. Although it may not taste exactly the same as Ansel’s Cronut, it will definitely be much easier and faster for pastry fans to sink their teeth into. In fact, they can pick one up at any one of the company’s approximately 11,000 locations in more than 30 countries worldwide, according to Dunkin Brands.
There is no telling whether or not other similar chains will introduce the Cronut to their menus. Zachary Bruno, a junior at Monmouth University who is currently employed at McDonald’s, hopes the fast food giant he works for will follow in Dunkin Donuts’ footsteps.
“It would be so awesome if McDonald’s decided to bring in the Cronut to expand the dessert choices they already have,” said Bruno. “Knowing McDonald’s, it would be affordable and good. Besides that, though, I would be able to eat it on my breaks without having to wait in a line for longer than just a few minutes.”