Cronuts: Make your own, the really lazy way



The DYI Cronut. Just dont burn yourself, OK?
  • The DIY Cronut. Just don't burn yourself, OK?

"What's the big deal about cronuts?" one of my co-workers asked. "Every time I turn on my computer, I find something about cronuts."

In Kansas City, the conversation about cronuts - a combination croissant and fried doughnut that has become nothing short of a craze in New York City - is mostly a rant about not being able to find them at local doughnut shops. (If any of our readers know where to find one in the metro, let me know...please.) There are plenty of sites on the Internet, for you DIY types, to find recipes and videos for the at-home cronut (including this labor-intensive, but good version), but I was naturally drawn to the Cro-Magnon cronut recipes. You know, the ones that pass over the requirement for actually making croissant dough. Why go there when there are low-cost cans of Pillsbury cresent-roll dough in my supermarket refrigerator case just beckoning me?

I watched, with notebook in hand, this make-it-yourself cronut video, which was pretty self-explanatory. So was this one, although I had no interest in filling my completed cronuts with banana cream. (If I wasn't so lazy, a hazelnut cream sounded delicious.)

The daunting part, for me at least, was the deep-frying component of the recipe. Anyone can manipulate Pillsbury crescent dough with relative ease; I used to wrap all kinds of things in the sticky dough and bake them...but mostly while intoxicated. Luckily, I do own a deep-fryer thermometer, and once I got the hang of dropping the chubby rings of dough into the hot oil - 300 degrees seems to work best - and carefully watching them, it wasn't too intimidating. The cronuts puff up quickly, and after a bit, you'll develop a sixth sense about taking them out of the oil before they go from golden to brown, but are light and fluffy and not still doughy in the center. A doughy doughnut is always a drag.

They're probably best served frosted with some kind of contrived icing, but I was too lazy to even do that, so I brushed my finished cronuts with a simple glaze of milk and confectioners' sugar with just a dash of vanilla extract. My co-workers liked them ("A little heavy, but likable," said one), but I had an epiphany as I was washing up after my cronut-making ordeal: The best cronuts will always be the ones that someone else makes.

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