April 9, 2024
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Behind-the-Scenes Chanukah Prep at Zadies Bake Shop

Zadies’ creative assortment of doughnuts for Chanukah.

The enticing aroma of fresh baked goods is the first thing you notice as you exit your car in front of Zadies Bake Shop in Fair Lawn. Showcases of brightly colored cookies and gorgeous cakes fill the storefront—and beginning this week, so will Zadies’ specialty doughnuts for Chanukah. This year, The Jewish Link had the privilege of going behind the showcases and into the bakery to see how these doughnuts are expertly crafted by hand, and the creative process that the bakers go through to make Chanukah a special time.

Last year, The Jewish Link hosted an in-office tasting of a variety of doughnuts from across New Jersey. The doughnuts which were sourced from Zadies were instant classics, with unique flavors like rainbow cookie and s’mores, with flawless decorations to boot. So when Adam Steinberg, co-owner of Zadies Bake Shop, invited us to come out to assemble these Chanukah doughnuts, no time was wasted in getting behind-the-scenes.

Cookies n’ cream doughnuts.

“These crazy doughnuts are so popular now and everyone loves them,” Steinberg shared. “So one Shabbat a few years ago, me and the rest of my family sat down and asked ourselves, ‘how would we put our own spin on these?’ and this is what we came up with.” As a family, which is how Zadies has always operated, they brainstormed doughnut flavors like cookies n’ cream, caramel apple and chocolate brownie.

Steinberg explained that while some of the elements of the doughnuts are store-bought, such as the graham crackers and marshmallows on the s’mores variety, or the sandwich cream cookies on the cookies n’ cream variety, the rest is made fresh in-house and assembled by a team of decorators who make each one more appetizing than the next. The dough is fried to a golden brown, and then cut entirely in half to be filled with a thick layer of frosting, jam, custard or meringue—depending on the flavor—and assembled sandwich-style. Then, each doughnut is covered in a glaze and corresponding toppings for a beautiful finish. Each bite comes with multiple layers of flavor for an out-of-this-world Chanukah treat.

Lemon meringue doughnuts.

The Jewish Link had the opportunity to help Steinbreg assemble the caramel apple doughnuts, which are filled with a frosting that has been mixed with homemade caramels along with apple pie filling, and then topped with a caramel drizzle, plus more homemade caramels. Steinberg and his team certainly acted fast, pushing out trays of mouthwatering specialty doughnuts for the Zadies Bake Shop showcases. And this wasn’t the only assembly happening in the kitchen—a team of bakers was working on fresh cinnamon babka, muffins, cookies and all of the other goodies that are found year-round at Zadies.

“These doughnuts are first-come, first-serve in-store only,” Steinberg noted, explaining that while Zadies will still be taking orders for the traditional jam and custard doughnuts, they simply cannot keep up the same rhythm for the specialty varieties. “They’re so popular, and for good reason, but we only have them once a year.”

Caramel apple doughnuts (assembled with help from yours truly!).

Visit Zadies Bake Shop at 19-09 Fair Lawn Avenue, Fair Lawn, NJ 07410. Check out the full interview and behind-the-scenes exclusive on our Instagram page
@jewishlinknews.

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