Thursday, June 30, 2016

Danbury Country Store, New Hampshire

Last summer, I visited New Hampshire to attend my little sister's wedding (Congrats, Elisabeth!), held on her own property.  As part of the festivities, my mother had breakfast platters arranged for us at the assorted sites the day of the wedding (where the bridesmaids and groomsmen were getting ready) and the day after (for the tear down and clean up crew).  The breakfast spreads were incredible, catered by the local Danbury Country Store.

I haven't ever visited the store myself, but, apparently it has been around since the 1800s, in some form or another (a general store, gas station, even a lodging house).  Now it has a general store with curated local goods and a deli.  I'm only familiar with the baked goods, always a favorite item for me.
Muffin and Donut Platter.

Both days the breakfast spread included platters of baked goods, fresh from the oven that morning.  The first morning, I was with all the bridesmaids.  Since all the ladies were trying to fit into their wedding dresses, most ignored the muffins.  And the amazing iced cinnamon buns.  Instead, they nibbled on some fresh fruit.  I couldn't believe it, particularly once I tasted a few items.  Let's just say, I didn't have their restraint.

The next day brought scones and donuts into the mix.  But now everyone was uh, a bit hungover, and they just wanted eggs for breakfast.  Let's just say there were plenty of baked goods around, and, you know me, I'm shameless, love baked goods, and am certainly not on a diet.

I was in my element, happy to pick up the slack and make sure all those amazing baked goods got eaten.  And, they did.  Many, many platters worth.  I regret nothing.

Muffins

I started with the fresh muffins, delivered both mornings.  None were labelled, which made this even more fun for me, since it was a guessing game.  I'm uh, extremely opinionated about my muffins, and I adored these.  Some of the best I've had, anywhere.

For me, a great muffin is one with a crispy top.  I don't know why I like them this way, but it is how I like them.  A muffin with consistent texture throughout is not the style I like.  Crispy top all the way.  But I want it moist and fluffy inside.  What can I say, I like what I like?  And Danbury Country Store muffins are MY style of muffin.
Cranberry Muffin.
I had no idea what flavor this was until I cut into it.  From the top, it looked similar to all the others.

The top was crispy, exactly how I love my muffins.  The inside was fluffy and moist, perfect.  The base flavor had a lovely tang to it.  Even as a plain muffin, I would have liked it.

But, it got better.  Studded throughout were cranberries.  Now, cranberry is not a flavor I ever gravitate towards.  I have nothing against cranberries, but, they are just never at the top of my list.  I would have never taken this muffin if I knew what flavor it was.  And, I would have missed out.  The cranberries provided lovely little bursts of flavor.

My second favorite muffin of the bunch, and I'd gladly have another.

[ In fact ... I did have another, the next day when a new batch was delivered.  I loved it just as much, and on that day, it was my favorite.  Again, I'd gladly have another! ]
Apple Cinnamon Muffin.
Another one I couldn't quite guess the flavor of.

It looked like it might be banana.  But it didn't taste that way.  I detected cinnamon.

A few bites in, I realized what it was: apple cinnamon.  Another one I wouldn't normally pick, but ended up adoring.

The top, perfectly crispy.  The inside, perfectly fluffy and moist.  Nailed it.

And the flavor was incredible.  Spiced perfectly, plenty of cinnamon, but not too much.  Bursts of apple.  Totally delicious.

It reminded me of coffee cake, perfect alongside a cup of coffee.  I loved this, and took an extra for breakfast the next day, which I enjoyed just as much.  My mother also had one of these, and adored the crispy top, and kept exclaiming how flavorful it was.  She was crazed with 1000 things on her mind for the wedding, and she took time to give me a review, unsolicited, which means that she too was really impressed!

My hands down favorite, and I stocked the freezer full with the leftovers.
Chocolate Chip Muffin.
I took this muffin, expecting a blueberry muffin, as I saw little dark spots.  Instead, it was ... chocolate chip!

It was absolutely loaded up with mini chocolate chips.  I appreciated the smaller chip size, as they didn't overwhelm the muffin.  The amount of chips was perfect too, I certainly never felt like I'd been shortchanged, but also it didn't feel too too chocolately for breakfast.  All in a nice balance.

The base flavor was also good, although it wasn't quite as moist as some of the others.  I shared this one with my chocolate loving little cousin, who eagerly devoured the whole thing before her mom saw.  Don't tell.
Blueberry Muffin.
I did also get to try a blueberry muffin the next day.  It had juicy blueberries throughout, but it ended up being my least favorite.  I'm not entirely sure why, as Ojan loved it, and commented himself, "wow, these really are good muffins".  For Ojan to offer up an opinion means it really must be good!
Carrot Raisin Muffin.
I also tried what turned out to be a carrot muffin.

It was a moist muffin, nicely spiced, with raisins.  Definitely good, but I'm never a carrot muffin sort of girl.  When I have moist, flavorful carrot in a baked good, I just want it to be carrot cake, topped with the requisite cream cheese frosting of course.

Buns

Iced Cinnamon Bun.
I thought the muffins were great, but then I tried a cinnamon bun.  OMG.

These were amazing, particularly when heated up in the toaster oven.

The dough was a sweet dough.  It was swirled with cinnamon.  Topped with creamy icing.

Simple, yes.  But amazing.  I wish I had a better way to describe these, as my basic description doesn't do them justice.  The sweetness of the dough was spot on.  The cinnamon was present but not dominating.  I adored the icing.  I just loved these.

I saved one of these for the next day as well, not really expecting it to hold up well, but, once I popped it in the toaster oven, it reheated like a champ.  Seriously as good as the first day.

I want more.  Now!

Scones

Blueberry Scone.
And finally, fresh blueberry scones, delivered on the second day.

The scones were a moist, cakey style, more like a biscuit.  I generally prefer a harder style, and want to have some cream alongside.    They were generously loaded with blueberries.

I think these would be great with some fresh fruit on top, with whipped cream, more like a fruit shortcake.  But as a standalone scone, they just weren't my style.
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