Last year, one of my Facebook friends Amanda posted a picture on her wall for Cotton Candy Grapes.
Cotton. Candy. Motherlovin’. Grapes, people. Needless to say, I began my hunt for these amazing grapes, starting at my local Safeway where she had found hers. No luck at my Safeway, so I periodically checked other Safeways in the area only to be greeted with regular old boring grapes. This was 2014, where the hell were my cotton candy grapes?!
I spent months and months searching high and low for these elusive, magical unicorn grapes, checking every store high and low, asking the produce people constantly, and hoping that one fateful day, I’d end up in the produce area with a gigantic display of towering mystical grapes.
Then my sister and I ended up in Seaside, CA for a concert and stopped by Safeway to get roadtrip snacks. The Safeway in Seaside kicks every other Safeway’s butt — it has an actual Starbucks inside, a Jamba Juice, a sushi bar, a pizza station, a toss-your-own salad station and a hot food bar. They also had some products I’d never seen in a Safeway before, like one of my favorite kinds of chips and Suja Juices. So I figured this magical, badass Safeway would have my Cotton Candy Grapes.
When I went into produce, I found this woman scanning snap peas and said, “excuse me?”
The woman whipped around and I was immediately greeted by her scary painted on eyebrows. I couldn’t tell if she was raising them or not and she didn’t say anything like “yes” or “can I help you?” so I just decided to politely ask if they had any CC grapes. She blinked once, said “NO”, and flipped her hair as she walked away with her pricing gun as if I had just called her something vulgar.
So after being shouted at by a woman with scary eyebrows, I had figured that my luck had run dry — that I would never, ever find these unicorn grapes and would die without knowing how delicious something could be. That is, until I stopped in our local Bel Air store and FOUND AN ENTIRE DISPLAY!!!
I rejoiced audibly, shouting “YES!” in front of a group of hot fireman as I grabbed a bag of grapes and held it in the air like a proud mother doing the Lion King Simba-thing with her baby. I carried the grapes around as if they were some kind of holy object (which, in a sense they were) and went to the cash register where the cashier was handing out samples of said magic grapes. I proclaimed that I’ve been searching for these no less than forever and am so glad to have found them. He reiterated about how delicious they were and I excitedly carried my bag to my car.
Deciding not to wait, I held a glorious, cotton candy-kissed grape to my lips and popped it in my mouth. It tasted like… grape. WTF, grapes? Don’t y’all know you’re not supposed to taste grape-y?! So I popped another, thinking it was a fluke. Grape. And another. Grape. And another fifteen… all grapes. There wasn’t even a whisper of cotton candy flavor — just straight-up green grapes in a pink package. I continued to shove fistfuls into my mouth, hoping one would offer a burst of that sugary sweet cotton candy flavor I’d been craving this whole time, but nothing.
I felt like I’d been cheated on — a similar sad, sinking feeling like when I got when I found out my boyfriend had cheated on me with a homeless girl. Hopeless, betrayed, confused, and angry at grapes. Like the universe played some sick, sad joke on me by toying with my heartstrings with the promise of a sugary, carnival-tasting grape only to deliver rotund, juicy orbs of plain-jane, lame-o grapes. I’d suffered through months of endless, tireless searching, spending extra precious time scouting out locations where these elusive grapes could be, and even got yelled at by a woman with angry eyebrows only to find the grapes and be deeply disappointed. Story of my life: always being disappointed by grapes.
Anyway, I made these donuts a couple weeks ago thinking they’d just be donut-y but nothing super special — but boy, was I wrong. Once hot and freshly glazed, they tasted almost identical to the classic glazed donuts at Krispy Kreme. I was SHOCKED! There must have been some kind of voodoo yummy donut magic that happened in the frying and glazing process, but whatever it was, I was hooked and instantly knew I had to photograph and blog about these bad boys.
Things to keep in mind: they aren’t Krispy Kreme, and this I am aware of. I said they taste similar — almost identical I thought — but again, not completely the same. Second: there are many copycat recipes out there for KK donuts that require actually making donut dough. This recipe uses the ease and shortcut of canned biscuits. Third: they’re delicious, so stop reading and make them!
- 1 pkg (8 count) refrigerated canned biscuits (not the flaky kind -- I used Pillsbury Buttermilk Biscuits)
- 1 quart (32 oz) canola oil
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp hot water
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- In a heavy-bottomed skillet with high sides, heat the oil on medium heat. When a water droplet dropped into the oil sizzles, the oil is ready. (AKA, I'm too cheap for a thermometer).
- Unwrap the package of biscuits and separate them. Gently press down on the biscuits to very lightly flatten and cut out the center with a shotglass or something similar; set the donut holes aside.
- Fry 4 donuts at a time in the hot oil, about 2 minutes per side. Flip once golden and fry the remaining side for about 2 more minutes or until lightly golden. Watch closely, because they tend to brown very fast.
- Drain the donuts onto a paper towel-lined plate. Continue frying the donuts and donut holes in batches.
- Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the butter, vanilla, hot water and powdered sugar until melted and smooth. Mixture should be somewhat runny; add more water if necessary.
- Dip the tops of the freshly fried donuts into the glaze mixture and pull up; place the glazed donuts glazed-side up onto a wire rack. The glaze will drip down to the bottom of the donut, almost completely coating it.
- Serve donuts fresh.
Oh my gooooosh, y’all. These donuts are the bomb dot com. So soft and fluffy inside with that slightly crispy exterior, then coated in that lusciously smooth, sugary glaze. I loved these freshly fried and dripping with super hot glaze, but they were also great to snack on at room temperature. Give them a shot! They’re much easier to fry up and eat than it would be to load everyone in the car to buy one dozen from Krispy Kreme! 🙂
Love Donuts? Me too! Check out these other awesome donut recipes from my blog!
Have a fantastical day!
Prudy | butter, basil, and breadcrumbs says
Scary eyebrows. Priceless. hahahahaha!! I know of a couple of those people myself. It’s one of those things you just can’t take your eyes off of, right? I always wonder if they ever smudge during the day… 🙂
Awesome donuts! I’m totally making these at the cabin this weekend. My kids will be coming down too, and I know that my son will go crazy over them! Very cool.
Cotton candy fruit just sounds wrong to me. But! These donuts? So right. So very right.
Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust says
I cannot believe the CC grapes just tasted like grapes. What a let down! And that Safeway. I want. It sounds kind of like the one on Douglas but better! A checker at our Safeway called that one the “rich person Safeway”, ha. 🙂
Nat D. says
What a let down! According, to Time magazine all the “blind” tasters stated they tasted like cotton candy. Maybe that’s the trick. You have to eat them with your eyes closed?
I think they sell these at Sprouts. Now I want to try them…
Jess @ Flying on Jess Fuel says
They do sell them at Sprouts, that’s where I always find them!
Heather J says
In Sac right? Sprouts usually has them…..and they’re always nice….they let you sample any of the fruit….just chat up the lovely guys who work in the produce department. (I go to the Sprouts in Land Park but I’m sure they’re all like that) They’re totally worth another try! 🙂
Jess @ Flying on Jess Fuel says
Oh my gosh… you must have gotten a bad batch… I have had them a couple times and they taste EXACTLY like cotton candy. Like, it’s super duper weird and creepy how much they taste like cotton candy. And they are SO good. If you ever see them again you need to give them another chance! Seriously!
Renee @ Tortillas and Honey says
I had been wanting to try the cotton candy grapes, but I don’t feel so deprived reading that they just taste like grapes. What a disappointment! That said, I’m so happy that you’ve discovered an easy Krispy Kreme copycat! That sounds like heaven!!
Kayle (The Cooking Actress) says
I’m now mad about the grape lies.
But HAPPY about the fried goodness I’m beholding!!! I think these look BETTER than krispy kreme!
Julianne @ Beyond Frosting says
Well it sounds like I need to make a trip to that Safeway. So cool! If I made these donuts from my boyfriend he just might ask me to make them ALL the time. And I don’t like to share, soooo… looks like more for me!
Michele @ Alwayzbakin says
Your post make me laugh. Sorry your grapes disappointed you. I’ve never heard of cotton candy grapes. But these donuts sound amazing!
Jess @ On Sugar Mountain says
Oh man I love going to get fresh Krispy Kreme Donuts when I visit my parents (they have one right by them in Tampa). Now you’re telling me I can make them at home?
I’ll just go out and by myself bigger pants right now. 😀
I freaking LOVE donuts made with canned biscuits! I make them for brunches all the time! Love this recipe!
Kurt Welte says
Don’t give up on the “TRUE” Cotton Candy grapes, Here in Lower Alabama, a co-worker brought some in a week ago that she got from the local Winn Dixie store. I tried a couple and you can definitely taste the Cotton Candy flavor over the grape flavor.
Right now I’m headed to Winn Dixie to get the canned biscuits to try my hand at making the Donuts.
Love the adventure story. Hilarious! Going to try this today.