I was in NYC last week with my mom and sister, dodging Winter Storm Jonas by just a few hours. We made it out unscathed, but I can’t say the same for our wallets.
I planned the entire trip down to the hour. I mean, you kind of have to if you have limited time in NYC. Every meal, every snack, every piece of entertainment was thoroughly researched and vetted.
One of our most anticipated stops was Dominique Ansel Bakery, the birthplace of the cronut (a croissant + doughnut pastry invented and trademarked by Dominique Ansel a couple years ago). This thing has gotten so much attention globally that there are impostors at bakeries everywhere.
Me, in my happy place
From left to right, we’ve got a couple cronuts filled with hazelnut milk chocolate and blood orange jam, an egg sandwich on brioche, and a canelé. There were a few other pastries not pictured.
Our entire breakfast order came to $60. SIXTY. DOLLARS. For butter, flour, eggs, and sugar. Props to this dude, Dominique, who can charge that kind of money. And convince people to stand in line for an hour at 7am, which my mom and sister reluctantly did to keep me happy so we could be guaranteed a cronut.
Was the cronut amazing? Yes. Was it life-changing? No. Years ago I worked in a bakery, and I remember having to count customers’ nickels, dimes, and quarters because that’s how much doughnuts used to cost!
In this era of small-batch, handmade, artisanal, local, craft this and that… doesn’t all of that just mean “homemade”? Home cooking is actually back on the rise, thank goodness. I like dining out just as much as the next guy, but $60 at a take-out bakery, come on.
And I know Bake Like A Champ readers feel the same way about cooking and baking at home because you’ve told me. Sure, you buy bakery treats, but you’d love to do more baking. Seriously, what’s not to like? Licking the batter off the spoon is enough to get me in the kitchen sometimes.
Now, I’d like to ask you to tell me something:
1. What was your favorite treat at a bakery as a kid?
2. What do you now wish you could make yourself? DREAM BIG. Don’t just say, “a chocolate chip cookie.” (Although I’m sharing my favorite recipe for that very soon.) Is it one of these crazy cronuts? Is it an impressive birthday cake for your best friend? Homemade marshmallows so you can make the best s’mores your kids have ever had? Maybe it’s even your childhood favorite in answer #1.
Leave your comment below. I read every single one.