Monday, November 9, 2020

DIY Donuts - Aldi Donut Sticks Review

Cinnamon Sugar Doughnut Sticks
- Aldi

Aldi announced they were going to be selling donut sticks and the internet freaked out a little bit (in the good way) but all those articles and hype posts used the same user-submitted instagram photos. None of them actually bought and made these things themselves, and none of them showed us what the finished product actually looked like. So all this talk of hype and speculation on what they would do with kinda pointless, right? 

Never fear! Sometimes Foodie is here, donut-sticks in hand, with before, process, and after photos to let you know if they're worth checking out. 

After opening, you're greeted by a little squeeze pouch of icing, which looks just like the ones found in normal tubes of cinnamon buns, and the dough itself looks just like instant biscuit/cinnamon roll dough, but instead of a stripe of cinnamon filling in the center, you get little nuggets of cinnamon sugar throughout the dough. It's not exactly the same...but I'm pretty sure this is like, 95% the same as normal cinnamon roll dough. I grew up frying biscuit dough to create make-shift donuts at home, so I'm not surprised, but maybe the finished product will change my mind.  
The dough inside is scored into long strips, which would make very stout cinnamon buns if left as-is and cooked in the oven, but the instructions say to cut each strip into thirds and to deep fry them in 350 degrees Fahrenheit oil for a few seconds, flip them over, then remove once golden and drain on paper towels. A few people online have talked about air frying these, but I haven't seen any photos of someone who had actually done it, so I opted to follow the instructions as-is.  

I used a mini deep fryer I bought at Aldi a while ago (that I like to use for homemade french fries) and these cooked up really quickly. The longest part of the process was waiting for the oil to heat up and reach temperature. After that, you get finished donuts in less than 5 minutes. 

To get the full experience, I tried one plain, one with icing, and then I played around with powdered sugar and cinnamon sugar toppings. 

The dough is not very sweet on its own. It's light, from frying, and although the cinnamon-sugar speckles look like they would be flavorful, they really aren't. In the end it's just...plain fried dough, and the texture is more-so like a boardwalk funnel cake than a light and fluffy donut, but it's not bad.  

With the provided Icing: The icing is very thin, runny, and sweet with not much else in regards to flavor. It adds sweetness for sure, and that adds to the "donut" experience, but does this taste like a donut? Eh, kind of?  

Powdered Sugar: I took a handful of the finished sticks and put them in a brown paper bag with a healthy amount of powdered sugar. I gave them a shake to coat evenly, and then gave those a try. Like I thought, due to the funnel-cake-like flavoring, these were a pretty good dupe of fast food funnel cake fries. In that regard, the dough strips are still a bit too thick, so if you wanted to go this route, I suggest using a pizza cutter and cutting each of the strips in half, and then into thirds. This was delicious, and my favorite way to enjoy the finished product. 

Cinnamon Sugar: I repeated the same process with a paper bag and some granulated sugar with a teaspoon of cinnamon. These also tasted more "donut-like." Better than Dunkin Donuts, but not as good as a local bakery. 

I ended up cooking these up on Halloween and sharing them with my mom and sister while we watched The Rocky Horror Picture Show and drank Pumpkin Old Fashioneds. Everything was a big hit! In spite of my skepticism and pickiness, these were actually pretty great.   

For the price you get a lot of finished donut sticks, the flavor payoff with what's provided is decent, although adding a few things like cinnamon sugar or vanilla found at home would definitely amp things up, and they're fun. If you see these around, I'd definitely recommend them, but if they were to disappear, you can probably make do with the normal biscuit dough sold year round and have the same experience. 

Fans of these would also like:
 Jelly Donut Bubble Gum, Pumpkin Donut Laffy Taffy, Jelly Donut Oreos, or Coffee and Donuts Ice Cream 
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1 comment:

  1. I love my air fryer, but for something like this, if you have a traditional fryer, I'd use that for sure. Air frying is great, but it's not as good at real frying as a real fryer. And something like donuts really need to be real-fried.