At the start of a new year, we often find ourselves making lists of things we hope to do over the next 365 days that will somehow make us better than we were last year. As many who’ve resolved to hit the gym more or eat healthier could tell you, sometimes life just gets in the way and these goals can be pretty tough to stick with.
But what if, instead of counting calories or doing squats until we can’t walk, we chose a simple resolution that would bring us closer to something we all know and love?
That’s right – doughnuts.
Brooklyn native and SUNY New Paltz alum Suzy Berkowitz is putting her sweet tooth forward this year as part of her 2016 resolution to buy and try 100 doughnuts throughout the new year. The rules for her sugary goal are simple: buy roughly two treats per week, and never eat the same doughnut twice.
Living in White Plains and frequenting the city on weekends to visit family, Suzy has found it no daunting task to find spots to add to her growing doughnut lexicon. Nearly three months into the project, cleverly titled “100 Doughs of Daynuts,” Suzy has an extensive, running word doc of area shops complete with addresses and hours so she will never miss a shot to try a new treat.
To track the project, Suzy has kickstarted a blog and Instagram page featuring eye-catching photos of the desserts she’s tried so far in her quest. With each post, she briefly reviews the treat, detailing key ingredients and noting what made her say “yum!” that day.
So far in her sugar-coated journey, Suzy has stumbled upon plenty of unique doughnuts that have, in turn, packed some major flavor.
“At professional bakeries and artisanal shops, they blend flavors together that you’d never think to combine, resulting in amazing, unique tastes,” Suzy said. “My favorite so far has definitely been the beet-glazed doughnut I got from Doughnut Project, which was stuffed with ricotta cheese.”
According to Suzy, unique and savory flavor combos are not hard to come by in the doughnut industry. Among some other tasty treats she’s tried include a hibiscus flower doughnut, a green tea doughnut and a heart-shaped, rose-petal yeast doughnut in observance of Valentine’s day.
Though she’s mostly headed to the specialty bakeries so far this year, Suzy says she’s not at all ruling out big-league chains like Dunkin Donuts, which releases special-edition novelty treats for holidays throughout the year.
Despite the distance from her old college town, Suzy has made the trek back up to New Paltz to visit friends and hit up Kosiner Brother’s Dohnut Shack, which features unique flavors like peanut butter and jelly, Siracha, and maple bacon doughnuts.
“I think I actually might break my vegetarian morals and go for a maple bacon donut soon,” Suzy jokes.
Nestled comfortably in Water Street Market at the bottom of Main Street in New Paltz, this tiny, 90-square-foot doughnut shop specializes in cake doughnuts and offers at least six flavors per day. Among other flavors at this local favorite include coffee cake, chocolate coconut, and banana nut.
A Toast to 2016
Though Suzy toasted her resolution on New Year’s Day with a simple French beignet, she has her eyes set on one treat in particular to be her last for 2016: Manila Social Club’s golden cristal ube doughnut.
This ritzy dessert is filled with Ube (purple yam) and Cristal champagne jelly, covered in 24-karat gold leaf and dust and has icing made of Cristal champagne. Each doughnut is hand-crafted and made to order by the restaurant’s executive chef and co-owner.
Aside from it’s looks, this luxurious treat is made complete with quite the hefty price tag. To be able to sink her teeth into this beauty, Suzy’s going to need a lot of dough – $100 to be exact.
“I want to call the restaurant in December to see if that doughnut is still available,” Suzy said. “I might even see if I can make a Dough-Fund-Me page to buy it. There’s just such a novelty to the possibility of having a $100 doughnut as my 100th doughnut.”
Though this 24-year-old journalist is loving all the sweets she’s had so far and is looking forward to more, the 100 Doughs project to her is about much more than just the sugar and glaze.
Last year was a big one for Suzy. She moved into her own apartment in White Plains, snagged her first professional journalism job and found time to travel. 2015 was the year for catching her footing within the post-grad world, and she found herself feeling accomplished.
But 2015 was also a shaky one for her – from feeding into toxic people, to losing her grandfather, Suzy says she eventually lost focus to the importance of doing things for herself, last year.
Reflecting on 2015, Suzy realized the value in self-happiness, and knew she wanted to do something this year to promote that.
But with a self-proclaimed track record of breaking resolutions and starting projects she’s never finished, Suzy needed a small and tangible goal for 2016 – one that she could be held accountable for throughout her social media following.
A total food lover, Suzy contemplated doing a once a week challenge of tracking 52 brunches, or trying 52 beers, but knew the expense would be a little overbearing, and after a few weeks, would become nauseating. Doughnuts, however, only come in at around $3 on average, and have quite the photogenic potential.
And with that, the 100 Doughs project was born – serving as a simple reminder that it’s very important to focus on the sweet stuff in life.
“I can take time out of my day to do a little something for myself,” Suzy said. “I didn’t think so many people would get so interested in my project, but now that people are, I feel like I’m doing it for them, too.”
Suzy, a writer by trade, is finding the 100 Doughs project as not only a gift to her taste buds, but also to her creativity. Combining pun-ny humor with vibrant photography, a click to her blog posts show she’s been having a blast treating herself.