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Diner’s Notebook: Doughnuts arrive dressed in holiday flavors

BY ANTHONY TODD | FOR SUN-TIMES MEDIA

The holiday season is upon Chicago. The decorations are up, the music won’t stop playing in every shop, and every pine tree within 100 miles has either been decorated, chopped down or both.

The best part of the season? Doughnuts.

A bunch of the new crop of fancy doughnut shops have released holiday flavors, and they are pretty darn amazing. Plus, calories don’t count in the month of December, right? Here are some of my favorites.

Doughnut Vault

At Doughnut Vault, they’re serving up a few different holiday doughnuts depending on the day, but my hands-down favorite is the Eggnog Old Fashioned. This spiced doughnut tastes like a big glass of creamy happiness, and provides 100 percent of your daily requirement of rum and nutmeg flavoring. Best of all? Head to the new Canal Street location (111 N. Canal) to avoid long lines.

Glazed and Infused

If you want to stay on the eggnog train, head to Glazed and Infused, where they have a spiced Eggnog Bismark. It’s a filled doughnut with a custard made from Oberweis eggnog — if you eat more than one, you might keel over, but it’s worth the risk. The whole thing is topped with cinnamon and nutmeg. If you want to pretend to be healthier (fruit!) try the Cranberry Ginger Ale Jam doughnut — a take on a traditional Hanukkah treat. It’s filled with the fruit and then dusted with powdered sugar.

Firecakes

At Firecakes, they’ve got a twist on a classic holiday favorite — the Sugar Cookie! Remember squeezing icing out of a tube when you were young to make the pretty patterns and pretending not to just squirt it straight into your mouth? Now you don’t have to pretend. This yeast doughnut is topped with cream cheese frosting and green and red sprinkles.

Beavers Coffee and Doughnuts

There are two great options at Beavers. First, top their signature mini doughnuts with a special holiday mix of eggnog-peppermint crunch for a holiday twist. More impressively, they’ve got a hot chocolate doughnut milkshake that’s perfect for winter. It even lasts until after Jan. 1. They make creamy hot chocolate with whole milk, refrigerate it, then blend it with vanilla and mini doughnuts to make this thick, ridiculously delicious treat.

Anthony Todd is a local freelance writer.