I'm meandering the aisles at the Treasure Island Flea Market, taking in the wares and minding my own business, when what to my wandering eye should appear but A CRONUT! Wow, I hadn't really thought about these things since the craze swept through town then out over a year ago. During that maddening time, I bought and ate more than my fair share of these mostly flaky, sugary glaze encrusted treats. At the time, I felt sure I'd had my fill of 'em and had moved on to other more tantalizing pastries of the moment. But like a moth to a flame, I found myself being drawn to We The Minis booth and their promise of 3 desserts for $9 to see if I needed to rekindle my affair with to this once popular concoction.
Looking over his display and later their website, it seems the main focus is on cupcakes and French macarons. Today's 3fer deal included a mix of what he had so after careful examination, as I am want to do, I settled on 2 cupcakes and 1 cronut to raise my sugar levels for a late Sunday afternoon crash down, in front of the TV, on the couch--no judgement!
Let's start with the cronut. It had the proper look and when sliced in half you could see the layers of croissant like, deep fried dough. Sadly, the one thing missing that most all the others have had is the cream filling. I was more than a little bummed by this as I was looking forward to that kind of creamy surprise in the middle. I soldiered on anyway. In comparison terms, it was cooked properly and doesn't suffer from any excess oil to make it mushy. Though it is not quite as fluffy as some of the other ones I've had in the past. And while it is generously coated with glaze, said glaze is also extremely sweet, maybe some dense cream filling might have offset that. As is, it is a perfectly fine, yet sweet, donut with croissant like dough. I'm not gonna call it a cronut without the filling--standards must be kept people! But it won't bad and it won't great, more like just okay. Though not in a "you must try this now" way. More like, oh, it's there, why not way.
I'm also not one to pass up a cupcake or two (or three or four, etc.) and picked the pumpkin spice (duh! It's fall) and the red velvet (duh! again). Yes, I'm consistently predictable, most of the time. One of the other reason I got these two is because of the choices, they were the only ones with cream cheese icing (yes, blah, blah, something else I don't pass up). Size wise, these were on the small side for a $3 cupcake. The pumpkin was moist but the pumpkin flavor was very subtle. As with most things pumpkin, it just needed more. The icing, wow, it was teeth achingly sweet. (Seems to be a trend here.) Lots of cinnamon and sugar in this baby. Kind of overwhelmed the cupcake itself. The red velvet was better. The cake part had that nice taste of a chocolate cupcake mixed with red food coloring, as it should be. And just moist enough without being too sticky. The icing, while not as sweet as the others still veered in the tad too much sugar direction, but not enough to detract from the whole thing. I will give props too for covering the whole cupcake and not just some swirl in the middle--I hate that. The goal is a bite of cake and icing in every bite, and for this one, it was spot on.
Well, two overly sweets but sort of okay and one good. Though, it's always hard to tell if subconsciously you lower your standards after the first couple of tries doesn't work and if the "third times the charm" thing really means, at least it was better than the other two. For now, I'm gonna air on the no side and say while I still think they are too small, the red velvet was a tasty version of a standard cupcake flavor. Plus, the donut/croissant thing isn't that far off either. If they cut back the glaze a tad and add that missing cream filling, it could really work. For the pumpkin spice cupcake, eh, the seasons almost over anyway. May as well move on to a Christmas themed flavor--'tis the season already folks!