No Time to Make the Donuts

Box_of_doughnuts_(5533414164)There was a time, oh what a time we had a time. There was a time, there was a time when Dunkin’ Donuts was the place to go for a sugar fix — and sometimes a cup of coffee.

They were fresh and freshly made.  And so many favorites.  We’d buy a dozen to bring to the office.  We’d bring them for meetings to bribe the staff to attend meetings (chocolate for afternoon meetings)…Once, on a trip to my aunt’s house, wanting to avoid massive summer traffic jams, we were going to arrive earlier than expected, so we stopped at a nearby Dunkin’ for a dozen.  My cousins were thrilled.  My aunt was still in her bathrobe and not as amused that we brought the doughnuts…

We were delirious with joy when they started selling Munchkins, satisfying our taste for a variety of their confection with non-guilty portions of sugary indulgence.  And I haven’t forgotten their almond croissants — a decadence of buttery sweetness than one could convince themselves as fulfilling the grains requirement of the food pyramid and a healthier choice than a non-nutritional doughnut.

While we weren’t coffee fiends back in the day, we did enjoy the occasional cup of DD’s java — especially after hitting the late night greasy burger joint located across the street from them.  As soon as we finished the last bite of grease from the bacon cheeseburger, fries or onion rings, we’d hop over to DD for a chaser of coffee and a doughnut.

We’d play Secret Santa in the dorms at college and one year I was so busy between work and class I forgot to buy something for that night.  I had gotten the name of one of the partiers next door.  If I missed a night I’d have to deal with more unpleasantness.  So I asked my boyfriend to drive me to DD.  He was incredulous.  “You’re going to buy a dozen donuts for people who keep you up all night and call you names?”  Heck no.  Just the smallest box of munchkins, which I had to push along the hall floor with a broom because doors were open and their partying was still in the early stages.  No sooner than I dashed into my room I heard squeals: “Munchkins!”  After that, they decided I was the best Secret Santa anyone could ask for and they toned down the late night festivities.

DD’s French crullers were always my favorite, so light, it was like eating sugary air.  It was always difficult to eat just one they went down so fast and hardly filled you up.  At one company I worked, someone would go for a doughnut run several days a week and we’d buy each person’s favorite.  The DD near the office — for unknown reasons — didn’t make French crullers, but I asked my colleagues to ask for them anyway, then I’d usually settle for splitting a coffee roll with one of them.  That was when their coffee rolls were the size of elephant ears and one easily fed two people.

A few months went by and one morning, having made excellent time, I decided to detour to DD on the way to the office.  It was busy that morning and there was a line.  While waiting, I perused the array of doughnut trays, hoping there’d still be enough when it was my turn, when I spied a tray of French crullers.  Ooooh.

When it was my turn at the counter, I told the employee that I noticed they had French crullers that morning.  “Yeah, it‘s the strangest thing.“ she said.  “We usually don’t make them, but lately we’ve been getting an awful lot of requests for them.“  Excellent.  I’ll take six French crullers, then 2 of these, 2 of those, 2 of those others…and headed to the office, where I regaled my colleagues with French crullers.

“You didn’t get them at this DD.”
“Yes I did. Thank you all for asking for them.”

Their jaws dropped.  It never hurts to ask.  You never know — especially when you have six other people also asking nearly every day.  (The techs almost never came in to the office, otherwise I’d have had more people to request the crullers for me.)

These days, many DD locations no longer bake on the premises, and the doughnuts are shipped from a regional location.  Apparently they no longer want to be known for their doughnuts.  They’re too busy competing for the coffee fiends and promoting breakfast sandwiches.

I really miss those French crullers.  They were the only irresistible doughnut they made.  The others aren’t nearly as tempting.  Cronuts don’t interest me, and the chocolate chip cookie and milk shot novelty is a nod to kindergarten recess time, but for me, the classic French cruller remains the ultimate guilty little pleasure for a sugar fix.

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