Kringle vs Kringle

Instagram Post 11/23/2019

⚖️
After my 11/16 post about Holtermann’s kringle on Staten Island, a number of folks spoke up about their experience with the same Danish pastry from Trader Joe’s. So of course I had no choice but to purchase TJ’s version for one of my typically OCD A/B tests.

Trader Joe’s product comes to us from the O&H Danish Bakery in Racine, Wisconsin, a family business that’s been making kringler and sharing hygge since 1949, so their Danish culinary bona fides are well established; their website, ohdanishbakery.com, touts some 23 tempting flavors but I suspect TJ’s offers only almond.

(Click on any image to view it in high resolution.)

TJ’s is filled with a rich, dense almond paste and adorned with a lemony glaze. It was slightly smaller and featured a filling, glaze and dough that were a bit sweeter, perhaps, than…


Holtermann’s, shown here from the previous post, that boasted a nut filled nut paste filling, a sweet sugar glaze and a slightly more sophisticated, handmade tasting dough that seemed to have more of a from-scratch, small-batch taste.


TJ’s in its entirety, complete with a quarter for size comparison, as I did for…


Holtermann’s – photo from my last post for the sake of completeness. I told you I was OCD.

The verdict. They were different, and both were certainly good in their own fashion as described above. Then again, Holtermann’s cost $22 and involved a subway ride, a ferry crossing, and no small amount of time getting there and back again, but at $7.99 for a similar confection, I can walk to TJ’s in about half an hour and probably burn off some of those kringle kalories while I’m at it! 😉
 
 

Holtermann’s Bakery

Instagram Post 11/16/2019

My first encounter with kringler, the filled Danish pastry, was decades ago via an annual snail-mail catalog specializing in Christmas goodies posted from Wisconsin. (Racine is renown as the kringle capital of Wisconsin and kringler are the official state pastry.) Closer to home, the stalwart Leske’s Bakery in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, is famous for their rendition. But I was unfamiliar with Holtermann’s Bakery, 405 Arthur Kill Road in Staten Island; a ferry trip and a bus ride at my dining buddy’s behest would enlighten me.

(Click on any image to view it in high resolution.)

Holtermann’s is a somewhat isolated tiny bakery with an enormous parking lot to accommodate the dozens of cars that bring scores of folks who queue up patiently for their delicious baked goods. (Apropos of enormous, that’s a quarter in there.) Some kringler are pretzel shaped; these are vaguely reminiscent of a kid’s slot car race track, flat and oval, but that’s where the similarity ends. This sweet confection, along with a cup of hot coffee, amply provided breakfast on several frosty mornings.


Revealing the filling of sweet nut paste plus nut pieces and the generous application of sweet icing. Did I mention sweet yet?


Perhaps more decadent (and yes, perhaps more sweet) was this chocolate almond ring with…
…gobs of almond paste supporting chocolate glaze and slivered almonds – and there was some cake in there as well.

The family owned and operated business has been around since 1878 so obviously they know how to put a smile on people’s faces. They did on mine. 😋