Last week we pitted the dosants from Pena's Donut Heaven against the cronuts from River Oaks Donuts in a "cronut" food fight. The Pearland doughnut shop (Pena's) came out victorious because of its flaky layers, sweet glaze (in a variety of flavors) and overall taste.
A couple of our commenters mentioned that the Kroger in Pearland (11003 Shadow Creek Parkway) just down the street from Pena's and the Randalls in Meyer Park (4800 West Bellfort Street) both offered croissant doughnuts.
So, of course, further research was required.
Unfortunately, the Randalls in Meyerland does not sell cronuts anymore. I scanned the doughnut shelf searching for the croissant-doughnut hybrid, then asked a bakery employee if there were any available. She said the pastries weren't selling as well as they had hoped and the manager decided to stop making them. However, she did say that there was a chance they would make a reappearance.
Leaving the store empty handed, I decided to drive across the street to Kroger (10306 South Post Oak Road) and see if they had cronuts like the Pearland Kroger. They did, and they were a million times better.
At least on the day I tried them, the kronuts in Pearland were stale and appeared to have been sitting on the shelf for a while even when I purchased mine at 7:45 in the morning. The Meyerland location's "cronut" was much warmer, yielding a softer and stickier pastry.
Regardless, both hybrid treats had similar exteriors to that of a flaky croissant with visible ridges and the typical gold color. Each is shaped like a volcano with the top slightly smaller in diameter than the bottom. A simple doughnut glaze is poured on the top, brushed on the sides and spread between each layer.
The Meyerland cronut was so soft that that the layers separated when I picked it up -- and the bottom stuck to the tray, unlike the pastry from Pearland. Texture differences aside, both still tasted like buttery croissants dipped in and old-fashioned doughnut glaze. Clearly Meyerland's interior was much more buttery and sugary than the one from Pearland, but both were nice alternatives to a standard glazed doughnut or morning pastry.
Were they better than the ones from Pena's? Not at all. You've got to do more than just a regular glaze brushed on a flaky croissant-doughnut to beat Pena's cream cheese icing spread between soft and crispy layers of fried dough. Oh and the absence of powdered sugar on Kroger's cronuts was a disappointment. But if you're in a hurry and happen to be in those stores, their cronuts are not a bad choice.
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