Items tagged with 'donuts'

Trying the "Super Hole" donuts at Cider Belly

Cider Belly Super Hole donuts 2017

One of these donuts has Buffalo sauce in it.

By Deanna Fox

When you think of the Super Bowl -- that high holy American holiday -- and all the food and feasting it entails, the first thing you think of is donuts, right? Right! We thought so, too.

That's why when Nick at Cider Belly in downtown Albany reached out to Daniel B. (and Daniel B. reached out to us) to come check out some donut creations inspired by the game, we jumped at the chance.

Fun names, interesting flavor combos, and an excuse to eat donuts for lunch like real adults. We're all for it.

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The Best Dozen: Numbers

park side eatery donuts in box

Park Side Eatery had some of the most expensive donuts by price and price per weight -- but two of its donuts made it into the ultimate dozen.

By Daniel B.

Think of it like a bonus track: During his tasting tour of Capital Region donut shops, Daniel compiled a bunch of numbers about the donuts -- weights, prices, scores.

So we thought it'd be fun to share the numbers, along with a little a summary from Daniel.

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The Best Dozen: Ultimate Dozen

best dozen ultimate dozen composite

By Daniel B.

We've enlisted Daniel B. to survey Capital Region donut shops -- and pick his favorite donuts -- for a short series called The Best Dozen.

Donuts test our ability to make choices.

When you walk into a shop and are confronted with a selection of deliciousness, how can you possibly decide which twelve to take home? Hopefully these past three months have helped in that regard.

For this series, I've evaluated the wares from 11 different places to buy donuts throughout the Capital Region and identified my favorite dozen from each stop.

But let's say you were interested in putting together the ultimate Capital Region dozen in which you could include donuts from each of these 11 places? Where would you even begin?

You can start right there.

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The Best Dozen: Dunkin' Donuts

Dunkin Donuts in box

By Daniel B.

We've enlisted Daniel B. to survey Capital Region donut shops -- and pick his favorite donuts -- for a short series called The Best Dozen.

Donuts are popular. And one shop is more popular than any other in the Northeast by far. You know its name.

Whether or not America runs on the stuff is an open question. I really, really hope that's not the case.

Mostly because after eating through a dozen of these mass-produced donuts that have become the definitive versions of their respective form for most, it was a struggle to find any that I'd want to eat again.

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The Best Dozen: Nibble

best dozen nibble donuts in box

By Daniel B.

We've enlisted Daniel B. to survey Capital Region donut shops -- and pick his favorite donuts -- for a short series called The Best Dozen.

Donuts can be an adult indulgence. And I'm not even talking about Nibble's cocktail donuts in flavors like Old Fashioned, which has a whiskey glaze.

Usually I will share the remains of these weekly donut tastings with my children. And while I found that there was a lot to love about Nibble's unique form of potato donuts, my progeny were less enthusiastic. They were not sure whether to call these donatoes or potonuts, but they felt strongly that these should not be called donuts

Here's what I came to understand from that interaction. It's hard to have something called a donut be so different from something you think of as a donut. Go back and read that again, because it holds true for adults, too.

Fortunately, after eating through 12 of these hand-crafted treats, I have a much better understanding of their strengths and their weaknesses. And I have a strategy for making sure you bring home the best dozen.

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The Best Dozen: Hannaford

Hannaford donuts in a box

By Daniel B.

We've enlisted Daniel B. to survey Capital Region donut shops -- and pick his favorite donuts -- for a short series called The Best Dozen.

Donuts are defined by their garnishes. Yeast-raised donut shells aren't very fun on their own. They require something extra to make them come to life. It can be as simple as a dusting of sugar. But part of the joy comes from the variety of toppings and fillings that make these fried rounds of dough a sweet treat.

A professional baker might be able to detail the technical difference between glazes, icings and frostings. For the purpose of this series, glaze is a clear sugar coating; icing is a thin, dense top coat; and frosting is what you typically find on cakes.

At Hannaford, many of the donuts from their bakery appeared to be frosted and drizzled with a fudgy icing. An abundance of caution and gut instinct told me to avoid the ones with bright red icing. Past experience ruled out the specimens covered in sprinkles.

But there were still plenty left to try in the search for the best dozen, including a cro-dough.

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The Best Dozen: Schuyler Bakery

schuyler_bakery_donuts_in_box.jpg

By Daniel B.

We've enlisted Daniel B. to survey Capital Region donut shops -- and pick his favorite donuts -- for a short series called The Best Dozen.

Donuts are old fashioned. Sure, there are new places sprouting up all the time offering a new take on the classics, whether via new flavors or new processes. But Schuyler Bakery offers those who walk through its doors a look into the past.

The trays of donuts that sit in the window are clearly made by human hands. The shapes are not uniform and the toppings are uneven. You will not find a hibiscus-glazed donut in this Watervliet institution. What you will find are some excellent versions of the classics.

Surely, each and every donut the bakery makes has its fans. And there may be some flavors that have been family favorites for over 60 years. However, if you're stopping in for the first time -- or willing to stop in again while taking a little friendly advice -- here's how you can cobble together the best dozen.

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The Best Dozen: Cider Belly

Cider Belly Albany donuts in box

By Daniel B.

We've enlisted Daniel B. to survey Capital Region donut shops -- and pick his favorite donuts -- for a short series called The Best Dozen.

For denizens of the Capital Region apple cider donuts are a seasonal rite of passage. Can fall even happen without a trip to go apple picking at your favorite orchard, fortified with a sack of freshly made apple cider donuts?

The best apple cider donuts are those made just moments before consumption. They don't travel well, and that has led some to suggest that these donuts are tied to a sense of place. And up until now, that place has always been the apple orchard.

Cider Belly has decided to turn that idea on its head by offering a fabulous array of apple cider donuts in downtown Albany. With so many to choose from, it's tempting to order one of everything.

But trust me, after eating through a box of my own, there's a better way.

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The Best Dozen: ShopRite

best_dozen_shoprite_box_of_donuts.jpg

By Daniel B.

We've enlisted Daniel B. to survey Capital Region donuts -- and pick his favorites -- for a short series called The Best Dozen.

With donuts you can't judge a book by its cover. I learned this the hard way on a recent trip to rural Pennsylvania where I encountered some gorgeous local specimens. But they were terrible. Truly terrible. I'll spare you the gory details.

On a recent visit to the ShopRite on Central Avenue in Colonie, the donuts looked sad in a corner of the bakery case. I got there on a Sunday morning to find a selection only seven varieties deep. They seemed more of an afterthought or an obligation of the bakery, rather than something celebrated and fussed over.

Fortunately, they taste better than they look.

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The Best Dozen: Stewart's

best_dozen_stewarts_donuts_in_box.jpg

By Daniel B.

Donuts are convenient. I like to think of them as delicious energy pillows. They make a good breakfast treat, and you may also want one any time you have a cup of coffee.

Stewart's Shops is one of the more popular places for coffee around the Capital District. In some ways this regional convenience store is the heart and soul of the area. And it just so happens that they sell donuts, too.

What kind of donuts can you expect from a regional institution better known for its milk, eggs, and ice cream? Are they as good as the award-winning Philly Vanilla ice cream? Or are they a little rougher around the edges, like Stewart's Mountain Brew Ice?

The only way to find out was to eat them all.

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The Best Dozen: Cookie Factory

Cookie Factory box of donuts

By Daniel B.

We've enlisted Daniel B. to survey Capital Region donuts -- and pick his favorites -- for a short series called The Best Dozen.

Donuts are sweet. Well, technically they aren't. They are fried dough that are are then glazed, dusted with sugar, or frosted. Sometimes they are even filled. It's these finishing touches that actually make the donuts sweet.

There are forces at work to help temper the sweetness of donuts. Primarily it's the fat from the frying oil. Richness cuts the sweetness. And then of course there is the bracing bitterness of coffee. It's one of the reasons these two morning staples are almost inseparable from each other.

The best donuts are well balanced, with enough toppings or fillings to provide great flavor and enough sweetness to brighten your morning. But if you aren't careful at The Cookie Factory you could end up with a box of sugar bombs. (Unless, of course, that's exactly your aim.)

After recently trying the flavors available at this Troy shop one morning, here's how to get the best dozen...

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The Best Dozen: Market Bistro

Market Bistro donuts in boxes

By Daniel B.

We've enlisted Daniel B. to survey Capital Region donuts -- and pick his favorites -- for a short series called The Best Dozen.

Donuts don't have to come from a standalone bakery. You can also find them in your local neighborhood grocery store.

The ones at Price Chopper's Market Bistro in Latham make an impression because the store's donut rack includes a variety of signature square donuts in addition to the classics. To the eye the signature donuts are reminiscent of the more famous specimens found at shops such as NYC's Doughnut Plant and elsewhere.

But are the Market Bistro donuts any good? And which ones are worthy to pack into your dozen? Well, there's only one way to find out.

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The Best Dozen: Park Side Eatery

park side eatery dozen donuts

By Daniel B.

We've enlisted Daniel B. to survey Capital Region donuts -- and pick his favorites -- for a short series called "The Best Dozen."

Donuts are a special treat. Given the ubiquity of that one regional orange and pink chain, sometimes we forget that.

At Park Side Eatery, donuts are only available on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The flavors also change frequently, typically offering between 10-15 varieties on any given day. So all of the donuts sampled on a recent visit may not be available when you go. And they don't make a ton, so popular varieties often sell out by noon.

Still, by going to the shop and sampling one of every donut on the rack, it is possible to learn how to cobble together the best dozen.

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The Best Dozen: Bella Napoli

bella_napoli_donuts_in_box.jpg

By Daniel B.

We've enlisted Daniel B. to survey Capital Region donuts -- and pick his favorites -- for a short series called "The Best Dozen."

Donuts are a great way to start the day. Don't listen to the naysayers. Not only do fat and sugar make human beings happy, but they provide us with a burst of quick energy. This is especially true when paired with a cup of coffee.

Nobody makes the best decisions blurry eyed at the donut shop early in the morning. And picking out the best dozen at any given shop shouldn't be left to chance. So we'll be going out and trying as many different donuts as we can to help you fill your box with the best sweet deep fried breakfast treats in the region.

First up, Bella Napoli in Troy.

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