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On our recent trip to North Carolina, Andy and I discovered a wonderful new place to procure donuts when visiting his parents. Well…”discovered” might not be accurate, we actually learned about the chain from my brother in law; he and his wife had first encountered the chain when they were visiting the Outer Banks, and while we were all trying to find somewhere to go to dinner, he realized there were not one but two locations with in easy driving distance from our hotel. Donuts and adorable water fowl? I was definitely game for a trip.
I will admit I was a tiny bit trepidatious when we walked into this little shop. I know donuts are sugary and insipid, but this place was so damn pink and cheery. I’ve become a bit of a snob in my ripe old age, and I like my bakeries/restaurants a little more “small town local” and just this side of hipster-y. But we were already there and I was so tired at this point, so I figured “why the hell not”.
To give the place a fair shake, we ordered two of their pre-designed donuts (cinnamon sugar and blueberry pancake) and did two build your own (lemon blackberry & chocolate peanut butter). At this point, I got a little…well…pissy watching the two highschoolers haphazardly dumping toppings on our order and slapping our box together willy-nilly (I sound like such a grumpy old lady!), so by the time we got our order, I wasn’t even interested in trying the donuts and I put them in the back of our car so we could enjoy them as a road snack later… aka when I was in a better mood.
After all that, I’ll be damned if those donuts weren’t pretty freakin’ awesome. 5 out of 5 stars, would go again, highly recommend. We both liked the blueberry pancake the best, closely followed by the lemon blackberry. I am actually sad that this place is a 10 hour drive away. Oh well, holidays in the NC just got that much better.
The take away from this: I’m a mean old grumpy pants when I’m sleep deprived and under the weather, and I should always trust my brother in law when it comes to awesome places to eat.
Tallahassee has a new bakery, and I am delighted! Shocking, right? But you heard right, I’m here, I’m chubby, and I like pastries! SoDough opened its doors a week and a half ago, and the buzz around town has been palpable. They have no parking, limited seating, long lines, and it’s worth every damn minute you have to wait. I’ve been twice now for early morning weekend pastry runs with my friends and not a single thing we’ve tried has been anything less than amazing.
A group of us got up early and decided to make our first visit at 8 am the day of the grand opening. The line was out the door, but the staff bustled around filling cases, offering coffee cups to people who were planning on purchasing so they’d have something to sip in line. The crew behind the counter was hustling, filling orders, making/decorating donuts, and ringing up purchases, all while being helpful and pleasant to each and every customer. After securing a box full of pastries apiece, we retreated to the seating nook near the window and proceeded to over indulge. We all got a couple different things so there was a lot of “try a piece of this” and “holy crap, this is amazing – you have to try this.” There were also some wordless happy dances performed after trying a bite of something especially amazing. Between what I’ve purchased and what my friends have let me try I can whole heartedly recommend the following: the Strawberry Lavender Sugar Donut, Delta Butter Donut (Andy’s favorite), Key Lime Pie Donut, Chocolate Stout Donut, the Indigo Shibori Bread, The Everything Bagel Kolache and the Mushroom Pastry (my favorite). The pastry case always has something new and interesting to try, but this at least gives you a place to start.
Since both of my visits have been on the weekends, I am trying to figure out how to get over there during the week to see if things are a little less hectic. No luck so far, but it’s only been two weeks.
Good morning readers! Do you like donuts? Do you like supporting local businesses? Do you live in/near Tallahassee? If so, I am about to make your day. Allow me to introduce you to Dandelion Donuts! They’re vegan, they’re organic, they’re delivered in a wonderful eco-friendly modified bicycle, and most importantly, they are INSANELY delicious. They had a launch party for their Indiegogo fundraiser this past Saturday at Sweet Pea Cafe, and Andy and I had to stop by and try things out.
Strawberry Basil! These were Andy’s favorites by far, and I have to admit that I love how they were delightfully pink without any artificial coloring. The Summer Herb was my runner up favorite. It was perfectly tart and a tiny bit herbaceous. I could eat these all summer long! Double Chocolate with Cocoa Nibs! Me with my favorite, the Maple Facon. I don’t know how I have lived this long and never tried coconut bacon. It’s perfectly crispy and exactly what this donut needs to contrast that rich maple glaze.
To find out more about Dandelion Donuts and to support this local venture, check out their fundraiser Indiegogo page, and to receive updates on progress and availability be sure to follow them on Facebook and Instagram.
I felt like doing a bit of baking the other day, but I wasn’t really feeling cakes, cupcakes, or really any of the things I usually make, so I decided to go back to something I play around with a bit last year, donuts. After a bit of Pinterest research I can up with a simple recipe for Vanilla Glazed Baked Donuts. Which seemed pretty straight up and perfect to me.
For the Donuts
- For the Donuts
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup+1 1/2 tablespoon skim milk (full fat milk works too)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I used vanilla paste instead since I wanted a stronger punch of vanilla)
For the Glaze:
- 1/2 cup) powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 small pinch salt
- 1 or 2 tablespoons milk
- Optional: food coloring and sprinkles
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Spray a donut pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
In a small bowl, whisk together egg, milk, butter and vanilla extract.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir together until no flour bits remain and all the ingredients are well combined. Try not to over-mix the batter.
Use a large ziplock bag, cut a corner off the bottom of the bag and pipe the batter into each donut cavity, filling 3 ∕ 4 of the way full.
Place the pan in the oven and bake for 8 to 10 minutes.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.
While the donuts cool, make the glaze.
In a medium bowl whisk together the powdered sugar, vanilla extract and salt.
Add 1 tablespoon of milk, and whisk to combine. If the glaze is too thick, add additional milk, 1/2 teaspoon at a time until the desired consistency is reached.
Add food coloring if you wish.
Once the donuts are completely cool, dip them into the vanilla glaze. Return to the wire rack and sprinkle with sprinkles. Allow the glaze to set for about 30 minutes before stacking or serving.
- These donuts were just solidly okay, well, I think they are only okay, Andy ate three and declared he’d eat the rest before letting me throw them away. I had the same issue with them as I had with the other donut recipes, they aren’t anywhere as good as what I can buy somewhere else. It’s a little disheartening. Is there some donut magic rule that I am missing?
- As you can see in the “ingredients”, I substituted vanilla paste for the extract called for. I think the paste has a stronger richer flavor, and I think it added a bit more depth to the overall donut. I will probably use it in my glaze as well next time.
- Be very careful not to over mix. I forgot the butter and had to add it in after the mix had come together and just those few extra stirs made for a noticeably more toothsome product.
We are back in Florida! It was an amazing trip; it was so good to catch up with my friends, and I adore their little girls. I mean, is there really anything better than baby snuggle? At least while your biological clock is in overdrive, that is. One of the things Rebecca and John are really good about is finding interesting local things to do when they have guests. On Friday we went strawberry picking (more on that later), and before we took to the fields we went to Sugar for breakfast.
Sugar started out as a food truck offering fresh handmade gourmet donuts daily, but they now have a storefront that was conveniently located right around the corner from where we needed to be. We also learned when we were looking up the address that they’d been awarded “Best Donut” by Charlotte Magazine.
We ended up with an Earl Grey Glazed, a Maple Bacon, a Raspberry White Chocolate, a Raspberry Dark Chocolate, and a Dark Chocolate Glazed with Sprinkles. I can’t personally vouch for the bacon donut, but everyone else said it was delicious. My favorite was the Raspberry White Chocolate. The glaze was a little tart and very flavorful, and the fresh berries on the top were a great addition. We all left feeling satisfied and very, very full.
Did you see the lavender walls and the tea cup lamps? They even have purple cords! This place is now on my “must do” list for Charlotte restaurants, and I can’t wait to take Andy there the next time we are in town. I should consider myself lucky that they don’t have a Tallahassee shop, or my pants would never fit again.
VYLETTE GIVEAWAY UPDATE: Congratulations, Marie! I will be contacting you soon so I can get your prize to you.