Valentine's Day Special: Dunkin's New Cocoa Yeast Donuts

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[Photograph: Robyn Lee]

Just in time for Valentine's day, Dunkin' Donuts released new cocoa yeast donuts, which will be available through the end of February. The Good Idea, Bad Idea videos from Animaniacs come to mind.

Good Idea: Getting Dunkin's Cocoa donuts for your boyfriend.

Bad Idea: Getting Dunkin's Cocoa Donuts for your girlfriend. Men, listen to me, as much as you might like these: do not think they'll suffice as a Valentine's Day present. Unless you're planning to bury jewelry inside them.

Now that that's taken care of, onto the donuts.

What makes them so special beyond the heart-shaped sprinkles? They're yeast donuts, something you don't see at donut chains everyday. In fact, DD is the only domestic chain to sell the lighter, airier donut breed in the chocolate flavor. "After several years of developing and testing, we are delighted to have created a yeast version of our popular chocolate donuts," said Dunkin' Brands' executive chef Stan Frankenthaler.

When the SE'rs at HQ got their hands on them, they were immediately reminded of Tootsie Rolls. Should DD market them as Tootsie Roll donuts instead? Here are my tasting notes:

The Cocoa Confetti: A chocolate yeast donut with chocolate frosting and sprinkles. Basically, a regular Chocolate Frosted, but with chocolate flavoring in the raised dough as well. The Regular Chocolate Frosted being my go-to, I really enjoyed the Chocolate Confetti; the flavor was like that of a decent piece of chocolate cake.

Reverse Boston Kreme: This was more like an inside-out Boston Creme donut; the dough and filling are both chocolate, and the icing on top is white. Get ready for a chocolate assault. The dough is a little overpowering, and the chocolate custard almost a pudding consistency. The white icing adds a good touch, but in my opinion, it doesn't dethrone the original Boston Creme.

Cocoa Kreme Puff: The fluffy, sugary top layer was more like a cupcake frosting than the traditional Dunkin' icings and glazes. The dough demonstrates the same overly-chocolate flavor as the first two, but the icing detracts from it. Imagine a strangely inside-out cupcake. (Sure, donuts are sugary, but there's only so much I can take in the morning.) The smooth white icing on top of the Reverse Boston Kreme tasted much better.

Heart-shaped Cocoa and Plain: They're also offering two in heart shapes. The cocoa version has strawberry filling, chocolate icing, and (heart-shaped) sprinkles on top. There was too much going on here. Icing, filling, sprinkles, and super-chocolatey dough? My mouth was confused. The plain vanilla (normal dough, regular custard, strawberry icing, and heart sprinkles) was much better. You can taste actually the strawberry against the normal dough and regular custard.

This Valentine's Day, stick with the Confetti, the Reverse Boston, or the Plain Heart-Shaped. And guys, if the best you can do for breakfast is Dunkin', take it from an expert: toss a rose on top.

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