"Baked" and "donut" are two words that rarely, if not ever, go together in the same sentence. At least not in my vocabulary. However, after reading a great donut-centric article in the WSJ - and realizing that I've been to all but one local shop - I knew that I had to check out Baked by Butterfield. ASAP.
Last night, I had a meeting uptown that was located a very convenient 4-blocks from Baked by Butterfield. When I arrived, I was a bit surprised by its tiny - albeit clean and modern - space. The shop is 100% grab-and-go and, in addition to donuts, carries local single origin brewed coffee, homemade lemonade, and fancy chocolates.
Small samples of the "Caramel with Sea Salt" donut were being offered, and I eagerly grabbed the biggest chunk that I could find. After all, this was the donut that I had planned on purchasing. However, I was a bit disappointed by its dry consistency and complete lack of caramel/sea salt flavor. But, maybe that's just because the actual cake had lost some of its moisture from being cut in to bite-sized pieces. See, I was trying to think positively!
$3 and a Peanut Butter & Jelly donut later, I was off to my meeting with Baked by Butterfield bag in hand.
My definition of good bakery takeaway? When the pastry-in-question leaves a huge grease stain on the bag. You think I'm kidding?
Side view: So, size-wise, what visually attracted me to the donut was the fact that it wasn't ginormous. Baked - smaller size - smaller waistline? Not that I don't love a king-sized treat. I would estimate that it was about 1 3/4-2" in diameter, and roughly 1" thick.
Top view: OK, so all of the pretty icing on top got a bit man and purse-handled in transit, so don't hate on my messy photograph. But, while we're on the topic of icing...Because of the paper "cupcake cup" that cradled the donut, all of the extra glaze got trapped within! Yum.
Interior view: Now this is what I call the "money shot." While I found the cake to be a bit dry, I thought that the jelly filling was perfectly distributed and ratio-sufficient: There was no glop or fluorescent food-coloring in sight (I'm talking to you, Dunkin!). Plus, I can't imagine how much more arid the cake would have been without the jelly!
I appreciated how the entirety of the donut's exterior was iced - not just its top. This made for the perfect "peanut butter and jelly" experience. In fact, the PB glaze was even dotted with peanut nibs which, for me, was nostalgic, as I have fond memories of eating Skippy Extra Crunchy peanut butter and honey sandwiches at summer camp. Bottom line: This donut is the perfect hand-held treat for the kid in all of us.
To conclude: With everyone watching their damn waistlines these days, it's pretty hard not to fall in love with the option of a baked vs. fried donut. Right? But, just like any recipe that deviates from the original, this version was not without its flaws. However, I just found one: The actual cake part of the donut was slightly dry (as I stated, earlier). Maybe that's to be expected, since it was baked as opposed to fried? Or maybe, just maybe, my expectations are too high? They sure are with men...But that rant is reserved for another blog post. Perhaps the hot oil used in the traditional cooking method aids in moisture? Hell, I couldn't tell you. I'm not a chef.
Unfortunately, this "one flaw" may be enough for some folks to not consider a second visit. And that's just fine. Because all that means is that there will be more donuts for me! Plus, there are plenty of other flavors that I'd like to sample, anyways: Pecan Coffee Cake, Crème Brulee (...wonder how it stacks up to Doughnut Plant's version?), Olive Oil & Thyme, Jelly Filled, Meyer Lemon Meringue, Banana Chocolate Chip, Ginger Carrot, Cream Cheese, and Mexican Chili Chocolate.
Have you been to Baked by Butterfield yet? If so, what did you think?
Until we eat again,
The Lunch Belle