The doughnut is forever entwined with coffee as an American breakfast treat. The doughnut hole was born out of American efficiency and bakers not wanting to get rid of the excess dough discarded to make doughnuts into a ring. But Americans are far from the first to fry dough and coat it with sugary-sweet toppings!
The krapfen, AKA the Berliner (yes, the same Berliner made famous through the famous JFK urban legend) is like a doughnut, but much lighter, fluffier, and full of smooth jams! Some are made by frying together two halves and filling the middle with jelly while others are injected with fillings to seal in as much flavor as possible. However you make them, this German confection sure hits the spot, no matter where you live!
Although they are similar to the krapfen, pączki are heavier and have richer dough. Preparation often includes a dash of grain alcohol (Polish “Spiritus”) to help prevent too much oil from soaking into the dough. The pączki is a big part of lent festivities in Poland where they celebrate Pączki day every year on Fat Thursday. Be on the lookout for these delicious, dough dreams because once you find them, you won’t soon forget them!
Originating in France but rising to popularity in New Orleans, the beignet is the square cousin to the round doughnut! Made without filling or glazes, this “fritter” is usually topped only with powdered sugar, making it perfect for dipping or being paired with seasonal fruits!