Last week, Zucker Bakery in Alphabet City announced that they were making some special sweets to celebrate Hanukkah and Thanksgiving falling on the same day. They have four "Thanksgivukkah" doughnuts ranging from $3.50 to $5.
The first thing to understand about Zucker's holiday doughnuts is that none of them are sweet. All three full-size varieties that I tried—including the sweet potato with Toasted Marshmallow filling—don't have much sugar, and if you try them expecting dessert you'll be disappointed. But they make a satisfying lunch or snack if you know what you're getting into.
The three 100% savory doughnuts, Turkey Cranberry, Turkey Gravy, and Cranberry, are made from a spiced pumpkin dough and are sprinkled with powdered sugar. When the doughnuts are fresh from the fryer you can detect the aroma of some spices, but for the most part the filling is the star. The Toasted Marshmallow is made with a sweet potato dough that is surprisingly low in sweetness but is piped full of marshmallow filling that takes over as the main flavor. Any exposed marshmallow is toasted with a blowtorch prior to serving.
The Cranberry Turkey features a very tart cranberry sauce that reminds me of a less-sweet version of Zabar's popular cranberry relish. Like at Thanksgiving, the turkey and cranberry went together splendidly here, but the Turkey Gravy doughnut was my favorite of what I sampled (solo Cranberry wasn't ready yet). It's hearty and reminiscent of a hot open-faced turkey sandwich.
For something more conventionally sweet, I recommend ordering Zucker's Chocolate Rose ($2) (essentially a chocolate sticky bun) with any of the Thanksgivukkah doughnuts.
About the author: Native New Yorker Niko Triantafillou is the founder of DessertBuzz.com his photographs of desserts and pastry chefs have appeared in the Wall Street Journal and Dessert Professional Magazine. He is an unabashed foodie nerdling. Follow him on Twitter at @DessertBuzz.