Another food obsession from the West Coast Homeland: maple-frosted donuts. These suntanned beauties turn simple fried dough into a complex confection. High quality maple icing isn’t just sweet but also perfumed and pungent. Not ordinary at all. I’ve been hunting for a good maple bar for years. (Also known as a Long John, a large rectangle of raised dough is the standard vehicle for maple frosting.) For the most part, I’ve found that donut vendors don’t know what I’m talking about. Once, I saw a bin labeled “maple” at a local Dunkin’ Donuts only to discover they had mis-labeled “marble” donuts. Yetch. A few weeks ago, I found some maple-frosted raised donuts at the Dunkin’ Donuts on 14th St. NW. I was glad they knew to use raised dough, but the icing had no magic, it was sweet and chemically.
I had pretty much given up hope (maple bars don’t fair well in the mail) when, finally, yesterday, I convinced my boyfriend to get out of bed early just to get breakfast at the Heidelberg Pastry Shoppe in Arlington. Lo and behold: maple-frosted donuts. I bought one with walnut crumbles on top. It was a little pillow of perfection. It’s not a bacon maple bar, but we’re getting there. The bakery also sells tubes of grainy mustard and really good hard rolls, more culinary objects of obsession.