Donut Express: "Does It Work?"

A report last week said sales are down at Krispy Kreme Donuts. You might be able to guess part of the reason why. Seems, the low carb diet craze may be cutting into profits and the recent stock forecast for Krispy Kreme. We can't promise you we'll cut the carbs by all that much, but a new "as seen on TV" product says you can now make your own donuts at home, while cutting the fat, grease, cholesterol and calories. It's called the Donut Express. And this week we put it to the "Does It Work?" test.

The box says you can "bake fresh donuts at home as easy as 1, 2, 3. Just pour, bake and decorate." We'll see. You get a filling injector, kind of like a big syringe, a recipe book and 3 pans. One pan is for jelly or cream filled donuts. Another is for regular old "hole in the middle" donuts, and one to make the bite sized variety.

The recipe book has instructions for making the glaze, the jelly filling and other fillings. And there's a simple recipe for the donut batter. The pans have a non-stick coating, but you're still advised to grease them to keep the donuts from sticking. Then fill each mold about halfway with batter and pop them in a 400 degree, preheated oven for 10 minutes.

We did so, and quickly recognized an error. Our donuts rose high above the pans. They rose so high that the holes closed up on the top side. We didn't have donuts... we had muffins. And they were a little stubborn coming out of the pan. The non-stick pan held on to a lot of donut. We cleaned it out for another try.

We've learned our lesson. We put a little more Crisco in the pan this time, and far less donut batter and put the pan in the oven. This time, we got something that looked like donuts. We got holes and the extra Crisco helped them slide out of the pan easier.

Now for the fun part. We decorated and injected some strawberry filling in the jelly rolls. The injector didn't work so well, but we managed. Later we glazed some donuts with white icing and chocolate icing. Results were mixed.

People who expected Krispy Kreme fried donut taste were very disappointed. They said our donuts tasted like cupcakes with holes. People who don't mind cake donuts thought they were good.

"Does It Work?" Like our testers, we were mixed too. Basically, your $19.99 gets you a set of pans and a recipe for cake donuts. But if you wanted to make a lower fat donut, the Donut Express will do the trick. And it's kind of fun.

We give the Donut Express a "maybe."

You can buy the Donut Express online or at major discount department stores.