Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Cinnamon Sugar Crumbnuts - BJ's: Voorhees, NJ

Cinnamon Sugar Crumbnuts - BJ's: Voorhees, NJ
For those of you who like to read the business and food sections of the newspaper, this brand should look pretty familiar.

I get kinda into finances and store history for a bit, skip the indented text below to get straight to the review.

Crumbs was a chain of little bake shops that would sell really fancy (and expensive) cupcakes in varying sizes and flavors. (Note the "was.") Last month the company announced that it wasn't doing so well financially and they officially declared bankruptcy. Immediately afterwards, all of their commercial shops shut down and all of their employees lost their jobs. (Which really sucks.) I've reviewed a few of their fancy cupcakes when a location opened up in the Cherry Hill mall here in New Jersey, which you can read here, here, and here, and, if you were able to read those reviews, the company's shut down wouldn't come as a surprise.

Very recently (literally just the other day) the owner of Key West Key Lime Pie and the owner of Dippin' Dots partnered up and placed a bid on the bake shop, so it seems it will rise from the financial ashes with a wider range of baked goods later this month. (Although I am not holding my breath for these shops to return. Those cupcakes were ridiculously expensive and very disappointing.)

While the stores struggled, the grocery line of Crumbs baked goods seemed to remain unfazed. I was walking around BJ's when I saw several plastic clam shells filled with varied Crumbs baked goods. I waxed and waned after how horrible the cupcakes were, but I decided to give these faux cronuts a try anyway. Maybe the grocery line is truly better than the actual shop? 
Let's find out!

The packaging is really basic, it's just a plastic clamshell container with a large sticker, nothing too fancy here, but I love the Crumbs logo. After all, their overall identity and design is what lured me into buying their cupcakes in the first place. The company went under due to having an expensive and poorly made product, not because their branding or design wasn't consumer friendly. (Whoever their designers is, they are brilliant! If only the product was half as well done...)

Inside, I have four cronuts Crumbnuts that are square shaped and covered in a fine cinnamon sugar. Well, most of them are covered. As you can see the ones on the right side just couldn't get the mixture to stick for some reason. I tried shaking the container a bit, since there was a LOT of excess sugar trapped inside, but those crumbnuts weren't having it. 

I picked one of the more sugary crumbnuts up and it smelled like cinnamon sugar and butter. The buttery aroma was similar to the classic scent of a croissant, but it also reminded me of that yellow "butter" that you add to popcorn at the movies. I had hoped that the grocery line, which was still doing rather well, would taste better than the cupcakes from the bankrupt shop, but...

No. Just no.
These weren't terribly bad, but they definitely weren't good.

The layers of croissant dough are there, as you can see, but they are more chewy than flaky. Texturally, it's as if I'm eating a day old pastry, which isn't awful, I've had worse, but then the bold "butter" flavor of the pastry kicks in and it's as if I coated my stale croissant in cinnamon sugar and popcorn butter. Even those Pillsbury croissants that come in a tube in the grocery aisle have better texture than this.

Now, these may not have tasted all that great, especially for the price, but they aren't inedible. Maybe I picked a package that was old, or maybe this is just a dud product, but either way, the Crumb brand is something that needs to be improved on a recipe/product level before they re-emerge from the swamp of bankruptcy. If any of you have had a good product from Crumbs, let me know. Maybe I am magically getting awful items for some reason. (Although I doubt it.)

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