The Guilty Pleasure: Fancy and filled doughnuts
Where to Get It: The Local Donut
Price: $.99-$1.79 per doughnut, depending on the variety.
What it Really Costs: Your composure upon being presented with a box of these airy, sweet beauties. Prepare to embrace your inner Homer Simpson.
There was a period not very long ago when the doughnut, the humble breakfast item of pink pastry boxes and office break rooms everywhere, seemed on the verge of out-trending the cupcake.
Cutting-edge pastry chefs across the country were playing with the form, the Cooking Channel launched a show called Donut Showdown, and splashy doughnut walls were suddenly a Pinterest wedding board sensation.
The commotion seems to have died down (although the iconic pastry is experiencing renewed interest in cities like Miami, where there's apparently a doughnut arms race going on in South Beach). Some, though, argue that the doughnut renaissance is over. Doughnuts are not really the "it" pastry.
Food media folk, and pastry lovers everywhere, always seem to be on the hunt for the latest pastry or dessert to obsess over. But some of us will never tire of obsessing over doughnuts. There is simply too much to love about the doughnut. Its basic form — a circular wheel of fried dough — feels elemental and timeless. Doughnuts frequently show up on health-minded lists with titles like "7 Garbage Foods You Should Never Eat" or "These Foods Will Stop Your Heart Cold," imbuing the pastry with a sort of bad-for-you, low-grade mystique that only the most high-fat, high-sugar foods can claim. A doughnut is a fried, doughy emblem of pure pleasure and indulgence, and those things never go out of style.
When you feel the urge to indulge, there's the Local Donut, a small Scottsdale bakery and shop that recently, in one of those exhaustive Buzzfeed rankings of the best foods in every state, was named the most popular doughnut shop in Arizona.
The Local Donut, which has been open in Scottsdale for about eight months now, makes all kinds of doughnuts: old-fashioned cake doughnuts, plain doughnuts, and of course, airy raised doughnuts. The shop also offers a few other pastries, including croissants, cinnamon buns, and a version of the croissant doughnut.
The most eye-catching doughnuts are probably the shop's selection of "Fancy" doughnuts, which include beauties like a S'mores doughnut, a Fruity Pebbles doughnut, and a pretty wonderful Peanut Butter & Jelly doughnut. It can be hard to find yeast doughnuts that don't collapse under the weight of extra toppings, but these doughnuts manage to remain perfectly airy. Nothing is lost in the name of novelty or fanciness. And like all great yeast doughnuts, the ones here seem to dissolve on contact, melting on your palate like, well, sugar.
The Local Doughnut also has great pie-inspired filled doughnuts, including a Cherry Pie doughnut topped with dense cake crumbles, with a nice cherry center. And if you've never fully embraced the maple-bacon doughnut, try the one here, which marries a good balance of crunchy bacon with maple glaze.
There are plenty of great doughnut shops around town, and the Local Donut is yet another fine destination when you want to renew your dedication to the iconic pastry.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.