I've been avoiding this whole "cronut" craze since the donut-croissant hybrids first appeared on everyone's radar back in early may. I just haven't been that interested. I like donuts. I love croissants. Why do I need to eat them together? What's so magical about that? Aren't some things best left alone?
After picking up some "dosants" at Pena's Donut Heaven & Grill in Pearland recently, I think I get it.
Because I didn't arrive at Pena's at 5 a.m., I wasn't able to get my hands on owner Raymond Peña's newest invention: the maple bacon dosant. By the time I picked up some dosants around noon, there were only about a dozen left in the case, so I got one each of strawberry, chocolate and cream cheese and went to work dissecting then eating them to figure out what the big deal is.
Each dosant is composed of three layers of rich fried croissant dough fashioned into a donut-shaped ring of awesome. In between each layer is a generous helping of pastry creme, available in a number of flavors including chocolate, strawberry, blueberry, cream cheese, raspberry and now the new maple bacon. Each is decorated on the top with something indicative of the flavor like a raspberry or a chocolate chip and is then sprinkled with powdered sugar.
The dosant is an intimidating pastry to tackle. It's taller and less squishy than the average donut or croissant, plus you have to worry about inhaling powdered sugar when trying to take a bite. Then there's the fact that the layers slide and ooze creme under the force of a knife or a bite. And, being a fried delicacy, the dosant is a tad crumbly.
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Once I finally got over my reservations and finished analyzing the damn thing, I took a bite. It was chewy and crispy on the outside, and smooth like the center of a croissant on the inside. It was magical. I get it now.
The chocolate and the strawberry flavors were a little too sweet for my liking, but the cream cheese version was pretty perfect. It is neither donut nor croissant, and yet it is both. It's complicated to make and tricky to eat and entirely worth the $3.50 price tag (less than the $5 price of the originals out of New York).
Peña says they've been selling out nearly every day, even though the dosants have now been on the menu since mid June. He also says they won't be going anywhere any time soon.
Now that I've been exposed, would I wait in a three-hour line just to get my grubby hands on one extra-special cronut? Probably not. Will I eat all three of Pena's dosants even though I'm not hungry? You betcha.