Alarm - it is 6:00 AM.
The monotone female voice of my smartphone interrupted my sleep. Then, the loud melody began.
I reached for the phone on my nightstand to turn it off. I needed a few more minutes.
I was about to set snooze when I realized...
It was cronut day!
The mission was Baker's Dozen Donuts in Corona, California. They only made their donut hybrid on Saturdays. I had done my homework, so I knew they were done baking at 7:30 AM and sometimes gone as soon as 9:00 AM.
That was enough motivation to get me moving.
After an abbreviated morning routine, I parked in front of my destination. There was a steady flow of customers entering and exiting.
Imagining one of them ordering my cronuts, I hurried inside the shop. But I didn't get far.
A short line greeted me.
I joined the end and looked for the Kronutz, their version of the croissant-donut hybrid.
They were towards the end of the display case by the cash register. There were no more than a dozen left.
I waited nervously, shifting my weight between legs. The line moved quickly. Nonetheless, I kept my eyes locked on the Kronutz and ears open.
When my turn came, a closer looked revealed its rectangular shape and size larger than most others I've had.
There were no descriptions, so I asked the associate for more information. She advised the flavors were the same as their donuts. When asked if any were filled, she pointed to just one.
I purchased two at $2.75 each, a reasonable price considering the size.
Back home, I started with the filled Kronut. I cut it in half to appraise the middle.
The filling oozed from the split. At the shop, the associate said it was custard and chocolate.
I tasted it with the Kronut. The pastry had a soft, flaky exterior and a donut interior.
The custard reminded me of a vanilla-like pudding. I didn't care for it, yet there was plenty.
Thinking sometimes less is more, I opened the Kronut and removed most of the custard, leaving the chocolate. Then, I gave it another try.
Ah, that was better.
I finished the Kronut half, focusing on the sweet dough. I could see why they only offered one flavor with filling. It was more of a distraction than a complement.
I continued to the regular Kronut. As a Frosting Fanatic, I chose one with the most icing.
Again, I split it in half. I was already getting full, so there was no point in trying a whole.
I chose the vanilla half over the chocolate, just because.
This Kronut had crisper edges and layers were visible in the dough. I took a bite. There was an ever so slight crunch as the soft dough yielded. It was sweet with a hint of cinnamon on the ends.
The vanilla icing was pleasant. But I was enjoying the dough, noticing how it became more donut-like as I neared the center.
Though it would be several hours before I returned to finish my Kronutz, I began ruminating over the rating after the first round.
Admittedly, these were not the same standard of hybrid pastries I've had at bakeries or cafes. Still, for a donut shop they were good.
Thus, I give Baker's Dozen Donuts a solid 3.5 out of 5 stars for their Kronutz.
I'm well aware that some have moved on to the next hybrid sensation, but I'm still crazy about this one.
Hence it's nice to find another place for cronuts in the Inland Empire. Even if it means an early Saturday start every now and then.
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