When it comes to family, Karl and Christine Boerner, the Swiss-trained, father-daughter pastry chef team behind Karl's Quality Bakery and the next-door Baker's Daughter, are doling out a little of the sweet -- as well as the spicy -- in Sunnyslope.
On the sweet side, Kronuts: the Boerner's version of the latest pastry fad, the Cronut (trademark pending), a cross between a croissant and a doughnut originated by Dominique Ansel of Dominique Ansel Bakery in New York's SoHo neighborhood.
"A friend of ours from Switzerland sent us the article about Dominique's Cronuts," Christine tells me. "And since it's summertime in Phoenix, and my dad and I were bored, we decided to make our own."
Christine and Karl each make a version of the Kronut, which features a combination of a doughnut-like dough and a croissant dough folded with butter, rolled out, cut, fried, dredged in sugar, and filled with a pudding or custard. The process takes three days.
The more classic-minded Karl tops his Kronuts with icing and sprinkles and fills them with vanilla pudding. Christine takes a more adventurous approach, adding basil to the butter and lemon zest to the dough, using a lemon custard filling, and tossing her Kronuts in crunchy basil and sugar.
"All of our Kronuts are $2.50," Christine says. "My mom's the cashier and likes it that way."
And while the Boerners are busying themselves with their suddenly popular Kronuts, which they started selling last week, they've got another, less-sweet situation on their hands: their landlord.
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Christine tells me her family is in the process of suing their landlord, who she says wants to charge them rent over market value and who has been negligent when it comes to taking care of the property their business has been located on for the past 20 years. The Boerners have a court date at the end of the week and have created a petition citing the unfair business practices by their landlord that customers can sign in-store or online.
"We went through something similar six years ago and ended up being okay," Christine tells me. "But if the rent doesn't come down this time, both of us will have to move."
Let's have a Kronut and hope for the best.