If you haven’t heard of the Cronut®, then you’ve been living under a rock my friend. But it’s okay, I’ll fill you in. The Cronut® is a magical half croissant/half donut creation from the mind of Chef Dominique Ansel of Dominique Ansel Bakery. The name is TRADEMARKED (hence the ®) and there’s a whole FAQ page about it on the bakery’s website. So yeah, this thing is prettyyyy legit.
Even if you didn’t know what exactly a Cronut® was, you may have heard about how there’s always a crazy line to get these delicious hybrid things. The bakery opens at 8, but the line can start outside as early as 6 or 7 in the morning and quickly wrap around the corner. On their website, it says, “As a rule of thumb, if you arrive prior to 7:00am on a week day, you have a great chance of getting a Cronut®.” To that I would say, I hope so!!
My roommate and I finally committed ourselves to getting a Cronut® one week in November. I called the bakery asking if the Cronut® craze was still going on, since it seemed to be at its height in the summer, and the person on the phone responded, “Yes. Every day.” Well then! Since it looked like we would have to wait no matter what, we decided we might as well go on a Saturday. That meant not making any other plans that day because we didn’t know how long this was going to take and no big plans Friday night because we wanted to make sure we could wake up early enough. Yes, this Cronut® adventure was requiring some serious planning. We got to the bakery around 7:45 AM, thinking that because it was cold, and the buzz had died down a little that we would only have to wait maybe an hour or two.When we got there, a line was already wrapped around the corner, but only a little bit and not like other pictures we had seen. All in all, we were in high spirits!
Once the bakery opened and the line started “moving,” we began to realize that this was not going to be a walk in the park. We always seemed so close to the door, but by the time we made it inside and checked the time, we realized we had in fact waited for 3 hours. A worker lets a small group of people in at a time, and the first person of the group gets handed a foam baguette to signal to the workers inside that a new group is coming. Pretty cute, and I’m pleased to announce that I was in fact deemed the foam baguette holder of my group.
I don’t know if you know (we sure didn’t) that there is a different flavor of Cronut® each month and that it’s the only option you can get. No choices, no plain option. Definitely something to look into before you plan on making a trip. Past flavors have been rose vanilla, coconut, apple crème fraiche, chocolate champagne, peanut butter rum caramel, raspberry lychee…so yeah, a very wide (and let me say, AMAZING) assortment. You should also know that you’re only allowed to order two Cronuts® per person. The girl standing behind us in line, who we ended up befriending and turned out to be from the same area of Texas I’m from, told us that we HAD to order 2 because of how long you have to wait. This was also her fourth time waiting for a Cronut®, so she seemed like an expert.
Despite this advice, I knew I could probably only eat one, and I had heard of another pastry they sold that was supposed to be just as good (GASP!) called the DKA. So, I ordered a Cronut®, the November flavor being salted dulce de leche, along with a DKA, which according to their website is “tender, flaky, croissant-like dough with a caramelized crunchy crust.” So was it worth the wait?
YES! Call me crazy but both of these pastries were so mind-blowingly delicious that I did not care one bit about how long I waited and would DEFINITELY do it again. The cronut had so many wonderful textures going on from the crisp outside, the flaky and buttery dough, and the sweet dulce de leche cream inside. It was unlike anything I have ever tasted before, but I agree that the best way to describe it is probably as a half croissant-half donut. And the DKA? I also agree that it is just as good as the Cronut®. It has the same effect as the other pastry, being that there are multiple textures all conspiring to create something new and wonderful. If I had to describe it, I would maybe call it a mix of a croissant, biscuit, and muffin. Maybe? That doesn’t do it justice. If you prefer sweets, you’ll like the Cronut® more. If you’re not the biggest fan of sweet things, then you’ll probably like the DKA more. Oh, and don’t forget to say hi to Dominique Ansel when you’re there! He sometimes pops out to check on the line or can be found walking around inside the bakery.
One last bit of advice before you all set off on your Cronut® escapades? You can always skip the line at the bakery and walk right in if you want something other than a Cronut®. So if you want to check out what Dominique Ansel is up to without having to wait too long, then I recommend heading there for a DKA while you snicker at all those folks camping out for a Cronut® (and then get jealous when you see them eating one).
Salted caramel dulce de leche Cronut® and DKA
189 Spring Street
New York, NY 10012