Are you Ready for Austin’s Cronut Craze?
I kept hearing about a cronut™ craze going on in New York last spring — with people lining up over two hours before Dominique Ansel’s bakery opened for the chance to try one. Each cronut is $5 with a limit of two per person, and cronut scalpers were waiting in line and then selling their cronuts for up to $100 each. New Yorkers are fuckin’ crazy….
Wait a minute — Austinites are also known to wait in line for their favorite food. I actually drove past Franklin Barbecue at 9 a.m. this morning and there was already a line wrapped around the building. And have you seen the guy who rents chairs to all those people? I truly love a good old fashioned American opportunist.
And now that cronut clones are popping up at pastry shops and restaurants all around Austin, are we going to see the lines begin to form? I tasted one this morning and it was damn good. Will Austin food lovers line up? I think they will.
I was up early this morning to staff a photo shoot at the Welcome to Austin mural on Annie and S. 1st at 7:50 a.m.
Believe it or not, it was truly a coincidence that the shoot took place next to La Patisserie — home of the CroBrio. They begin offering the sweet treats at 8 a.m. each week on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
There are two kinds of CroBrios — Cinnamon Sugar and Chocolate Glazed, and each sells for $6, with $1 donated to Urban Roots. You can buy one of each if you like — but no more; La Patisserie limits the number sold to two per customer. According to their Facebook page, tomorrow they will have 80 CroBios at 8 a.m. and 20 at 12:30 p.m.
Today, they sold out of their first batch in an hour.
The CroBrio is made with brioche dough rather than croissant dough, and according to a recent Thrillist article, it rests for a few hours or overnight and is then sent through a sheeter to make the dough flat. The layers are then assembled together with generous pats of butter, deep fried, stuffed with vanilla pastry cream, and rolled with cinnamon sugar. Those with chocolate are then glazed.
My friend Cat and I waited just 5 minutes for our cronuts, which we found delicious. We both ordered cinnamon, although in hindsight, I wish one of us had ordered the chocolate so we could try both. I’m not sure that I would wait in line for very long for one, but I’m not personally a big line waiter. That said, it was the perfect blend of buttery goodness, crunch, and sweetness from the sugar and cream. It kind of reminded me of a cross between a cinnamon roll, a churro, and a doughnut.
A couple weeks ago, Artisan Bistro in Lakeway began serving their version of the fried treat, which they dub the Crognet. First reported by Way Out West Austin, the french bakery are sold daily beginning at 10 a.m. According to Way Out West, “the name blends ‘croissant’ and ‘beignet’…the dough is croissant dough layered with butter then deep-fried, sprinkled with sugar, glazed, and filled with a light vanilla cream. These are $5 each and Artisan Bistro makes about 100 a day. Since they started selling them, they have been having fun with flavors. According to their Facebook page, they made a hazelnut praline and a Nutella version earlier this week. And tomorrow, they will offer salted butter caramel.
Barley Swine has a version on their menu that’s currently listed as a “Fried croissant, goat’s milk sorbet, coffee, chocolate” and is priced at $9. According to a recent article in CultureMap Austin, “it’s made with fried croissant nuggets, caramel-coffee mousse, coffee pearls, spearmint fluid gel, aerated milk, chocolate peanut brittle powder, goat milk sorbet and crunchy milk.”
For a simpler version, the HEB at Mueller (and probably other locations as well) carries a “Donut Croissant” which is pretty good, although not as delicious as the CroBrio I tasted from La Patisserie. That said, it will do in a pinch for an emergency cronut craving, or those on a cronut budget.
And last but not least, Tony Sansalone, executive pastry chef of the Driskill Hotel’s 1886 Cafe & Bakery told CultureMap that he will be offering “the Do’ssaint…in mid-August…our bakers are playing with ideas like a Bacon and Maple Do’ssaint [yes, please!] or a Cinnamon-Sugar combo with cream cheese-based frosting.” It’s now almost late-August so perhaps the Driskill will be debuting the Do’ssaint any day now. They promise to break the news first on their Facebook page.
Have you tried a cronut or anything like it? What are your thoughts? Will you have to wait in line for one in Austin? Probably so — at least until more pastry shops begin making cronut clones to supply the demand.
- Way Out West Austin on Artisan Bistro’s Crognet
- Thrillist on La Patisserie’s CroBrio
- Austin Chronicle on Artisan Bistro and La Patisserie’s Cronut Clones
- Statesman Posted a Knock-Off Recipe for Cronuts
- CultureMap on the Next Hot Dessert Trends in Austin