Malassadas

Friday, January 16, 2009 12 No tags Permalink 0

The best malassadas can be had only two days in a year at the annual Punahou Carnival. Carnival = malassadas. Deep-fried sweet eggy dough, like an extra fatty child of brioche and yeast doughnuts. The Punahou numbers are fried an impressive deep brown, super crisp and dusted in nutmeg kissed sugar. They’re wonderful beyond words…to the point where one lonely college year, Steph MAILED me a Punahou malassada stuffed in a plastic jar. Now that is quality friendship. Granted it tasted nothing like a fresh fried malassada, but it was surely the thought on her part, and nostalgia on mine, that counted.

But unless you’re lucky enough to be in Honolulu that first February weekend, you’ll have to settle for something lesser.

Not that lesser is bad at all. Especially in the case of Leonard’s on Kapahulu.

Victor, Michel and I stopped in the other day, post-Chinatown. We were still full from breakfast, lunch, and coffee. But you don’t need to be hungry to crave a malassada (or any dessert for that matter :).

In addition to the classic (plain, unfilled) malassadas, Leonard’s is known for their FILLED malassadas. Yes. Stuffed! Think Hawaiian Bomboloni. Bigger. Better. And thus…happier.

We mixed a trio of flavours in a six-pack. Custard, chocolate, and haupia.

There’s a short wait because the malassadas are fried to order. As they should be. Never buy a malassada that’s been sitting around Pictured above is the custard stuffed malassada.

This is the haupia version. What a lovely sight, eh? A cup of black coffee is the perfect pairing. There are a few benches in front of the bakery. That’s the ideal place to consume your one, two, or three malassadas. In the warm island weather, with slippers, shorts, and not a care in the world.

In the end, however, nothing tops a plain Punahou malassada straight out of the fryer on carnival weekend. Handed to me by a PTA mom, of course. All while the Punahou juniors and their parent carnival chairs fry up thousands of these bubbly creatures. It’s greasy. And tiring.

But fun. I would know. I worked the Malassada Booth my year. Wearing the annual carnival print apron. Those were the days :)

Leonard’s Bakery

933 Kapahulu Ave

Honolulu, HI 96816

(808) 737-5591

12 Comments
  • anonymous
    November 30, -0001

    great writing. it takes me back.. and i’ve NEVER had one of these suckers. hehe

  • anonymous
    January 16, 2009

    Punahou malasadas = waaaaaaaaaaaaaay overrated

  • K and S
    January 16, 2009

    my fav is still champion malasadas :)

  • anonymous
    January 16, 2009

    Kathy that looks delicious! Would you happen to have a recipe for that?

  • anonymous
    January 16, 2009

    oh…my…god that looks amazing.

  • Kathy YL Chan
    January 16, 2009

    Hey Anon!Noooo, I lovelovelove Punahou malassadas!Hey Kat!I think I like Champion and Leonard’s both equally, though I know most favour one or the other. I should do a side by side taste next trip back!Hey Foodista!If you give me your email, I can send over the one published in the Punahou Carnival cookbook! :)Hey Alex!It is, it isss! :D

  • SicklyBug and Cassaendra
    January 16, 2009

    Hi Kathy! *drool* Fresh fried malasadas are awesome! I can get fresh malasadas only once a year here on Fat Tuesday. It’s a gamble any other time of the year. It’s still not the same as getting it fresh at Leonard’s tho-. One of these days I’ll try to make malasadas and andagi from scratch at home. :)- Cassaendra

  • anonymous
    January 16, 2009

    We also went to Leonard’s twice during the Christmas/New Year break. We really enjoyed the pineapple-filled malasadas, too!! It was creamy and not overwhelming pineapple-wy. My sister and family really enjoys malasadas when they come home from CA. I guess I take them for granted since I just live a few blocks away!!

  • anonymous
    January 16, 2009

    Hi Kathy- my sister-in-law in Kaneohe told me to cut up hot dog buns, dip in bisquick, and deep fry. Roll in lots (and lots!) of sugar. It’s not the real thing of course, but a pretty decent substitution, especially on freezing NY nights!

  • anonymous
    January 16, 2009

    Me love malassadas :) Had the inside scoops to some extra big sized ones from punahou , must of been a quarter pound each..!dont you love the nibs ?Ah..I can just see those grease stained brown bags !yums :)

  • anonymous
    January 16, 2009

    those things look amazing!!! man we need something like that around here

  • anonymous
    February 3, 2009

    Omigosh! I instantly started salivating when I saw that picture…yuuummm!

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