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News / Life / Clark County Life

Food & Drink: Vancouver bakery’s doughnuts a real Treat

Published: May 31, 2019, 6:01am
4 Photos
A glass case at Treat Bakery holds downtown Vancouver’s doughnut oasis.
A glass case at Treat Bakery holds downtown Vancouver’s doughnut oasis. (Rachel Pinsky) Photo Gallery

“We make a super fresh product, so it’s the same concept with the doughnut,” Treat Bakery owner Stephanie McNees explained. The doughnuts at Treat are similar to the brioche dough doughnuts filled with flavored pastry cream that are being made in most major cities (including at General Porpoise in Seattle).

McNees humbly said, “We literally make them the way you would make them at home.”

I guess if I was Christina Tosi, I would make a lean brioche dough, ferment it in the refrigerator for 18 to 20 hours, cut and roll each doughnut by hand, proof the dough for 60 to 90 minutes, deep fry it, and then pipe in fresh fillings. But I’m not a world-famous pastry chef; I can’t even make Tollhouse cookies that my kids will eat. When I want doughnuts this good, I go to Treat Bakery.

Treat has been serving doughnuts on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays for the last couple of months. Adding doughnuts to Treat’s production of ice cream and baked goods was a challenge in Treat’s small space. And McNees refuses to compromise on her commitment to making everything fresh from scratch every day.

So to make doughnuts possible, the baked goods menu will be consolidated. Fear not, the Ding Dongs (despite the fact that it takes 26 steps to make them) will stay, and so will five of the most popular cookie varieties and the house-made ice cream. The plan is to offer doughnuts in the morning and ice cream and cookies starting at 11 a.m.

Treat’s doughnuts are a sugar-covered fried dough oasis in the doughnut desert known as downtown Vancouver. But don’t show up seeking crullers or fritters; Treat makes one type of doughnut — an airy brioche doughnut shell sprinkled with sugar and filled with pastry cream or jam. The pastry cream is made the night before and is inspired by the fillings Treat uses in its holiday pies. Vanilla bean, double dark chocolate, passion fruit, coconut cream and Nutella filled doughnuts will always be available, along with a rotating seasonal doughnut.

This summer, you may see strawberry rhubarb, marionberry, blueberry and peach. McNees explained, “We’re really excited for peach season. Once fresh fruit comes in, we’ll make them more of a sandwich style with whipped cream and fresh fruit.” In addition, McNees plans on offering doughnuts filled with Treat’s ice cream.

I came in at 10 a.m. on a Thursday. The glass case was filled with coconut cream, passion fruit, double dark chocolate, vanilla bean, Nutella, and Oregon marionberry doughnuts. I took one of each along with a salted chocolate chip cookie (for my son) and a Ding Dong (that may or may not still be around when my daughter gets home from school).

I sat and gazed at my bounty of doughnuts — one for every mood. The passion fruit is very popular and was my favorite. I had a passion fruit wedding cake and the doughnut’s fruity but slightly tart filling brings back fond memories.

If you aren’t up for any shenanigans, vanilla bean or double dark chocolate are good choices — straightforward, reliably delicious. Feeling continental? Try Nutella. Wish you were on a vacation in Hawaii? Try coconut cream. Ready to take a chance? Try the rotating seasonal offering. On this visit, it was an Oregon marionberry jam-filled doughnut. Jelly doughnuts have always been my favorite, but this jelly doughnut will make other jelly doughnuts jealous.

You can email Rachel at couveeats@gmail.com. You can follow her on Instagram and Facebook @couveeats.

If you go

What: Treat Bakery

Where: 210 W. Evergreen Blvd., Suite 600, Vancouver.

Hours: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday and Tuesday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. Closed on Monday.

Doughnuts served on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays (and on Sundays in June).

Contact: 360-750-0811 or www.facebook.com/TreatVancouver