New Jersey's BEST Apple Cider Donuts?...Melick's

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Cohen and I went to two Melick's properties, Califon Farm Market and Oldwick Farm Market (they aren't very far from each-other - Califon, NJ and Oldwick, NJ). There are actually four Melick's properties, but after not being impressed by the first two, we didn't even bother with the others. The donuts are supposedly the same at all four locations (I'm not really sure since the staff didn't know if they were). The markets were not put together very well. The outside flower and pumpkin displays were nice, but the inside was not that impressive. I'm also not a fan of the staff. They weren't mean, but they were very cold and not very friendly. I think I noticed it because the staff have been very friendly and helpful at every other farm I've visited. I'm glad that their donuts were not the favorites, because I really wouldn't want to go back.

 Melick's Apple Cider Donuts: $4.99 per half a dozen
  • These were ok donuts. I'm assuming they were not fresh since they were very dense and dry.
  • There is a Cider Mill property for Melick's and they make apple cider donuts on the weekends. I'm assuming they would be a little better.

    New Jersey's BEST Apple Cider Donuts?...Alstede Farm Market

    Monday, October 27, 2014

    On my way to Melick's Town Farm I came across, Alstede Farm Market in Chester, NJ. It was a pleasant surprise :). They have a really great animal exhibit with lots of animals and a really great goats pen where you can feed them. I really enjoyed walking around with Cohen and showing him all the animals.

    The market small but nice. They had a lot of produce in bins under a tent outside. I couldn't find very many donuts. I'm assuming that they make them on the weekends for the rush and what I saw what what's left.

    Alstede Apple Cider Donuts: $5.25 for half a dozen

    • These donuts were similar to the plain donuts at Delicious Orchards. They didn't have sugar on the outside of them, so I was a little skeptical that they would beat out the other donuts with sugar, but I was wrong! These were our favorite of the bunch.
    • Their texture was in the middle...not very fluffy, but not dense either.

    New Jersey's BEST Apple Cider Donuts?...Stony Hill Farms

    Friday, October 24, 2014

    Ok, now we go up north. Well, north for me :) The first farm I visited was Spring Hill Farms in Chester, NJ. I liked the farm. It looked like they had some fun activities and it had a good feel. They had a lot of staff, especially for a Tuesday.

    The decorations in front of the market were great and the market was very charming. Small, but charming. The strawberry rhubarb pies had sugar on the tops of them at all the places I stopped during my outing. I really should have bought one, because they looked AMAZING!

    Stony Hill Farms Apple Cider Donuts: $4.95 for half a dozen

    • Jeffrey referred to these donuts as "meaty." We think that they might use whole wheat flour in them.  This gave them a very dense/solid texture. It didn't really go over well for us.
    • There weren't any donuts packed up, I served myself. I'm not sure if this is due to the fact that I was there on a Tuesday or if this is how they always do it.

    Fall is my FAVORITE season!

    Wednesday, October 22, 2014

    I just love Fall....the leaves, the weather, the food! I can't think of a better season! When I think of fall I think of pumpkin treats, pumpkin steamers from Starbucks, and donuts! I still haven't gotten my steamer, but I've done everything else!

    Even though Cohen is too young to remember, I thought it would be important to introduce him into a favorite fall tradition of mine. Meeting up with Ashley for pumpkin picking! We started this tradition in 2009 with Karen and Jen. We drove up to Connecticut to go pumpkin picking and to buy an assortment of backed goods, and then we would always go to TARGET! Cause that's what city girls do. Ashley and I kept up the tradition when Karen and Jen left New York (the traders) and I was so glad Ashley was willing to share our little fall activity with Cohen! Of course we brought Eric and Jeff along with us :)

    Last Saturday we went to A Casola Farms and Delicious Orchards. The farm in Connecticut was better (Something to remember for next year), but we had a good time.

    Cohen got his first pumpkin! Eric picked it out for him! I'm a strong believer that kids should only get pumpkins they can carry themselves. Yes, I'm going to be that lame mom. I think we found a pumpkin that's perfect for Cohen.

    Ashley and I then dropped the boys off at home and headed to Target. Seriously, you can't mess with tradition.

    New Jersey's BEST Apple Cider Donuts?...A Casola Farms

    A. Casola Farms is the last Central Jersey farm I will be visiting/reviewing (with the exception of Delicious Orchards of course!). I liked it there. They had a lot of activities and I bet teenagers would really like it. They have a bunch of haunted activities (hay ride, maze, etc). Jeff thought this place was a little "white trash." I really didn't think that until he said something. I'm not sure if they have a market there traditionally, but what they had there wasn't that impressive. The apple cider they sell is from PA, not NJ! I just think that's wrong. Also, the place was PACKED and they only have two cashiers for buying tickets and any merchandise. A little ridiculous for such a big place.

    A. Casola Farm's Apple Cider Donuts: $4.99 for six of the sugar donuts.

    • They don't sell the sugar donuts in plastic bags since they are concerned with it melting and getting sticky (I totally respect that), so you have to buy them individually at the counter.
    • These donuts really remind me of the Johnson's Corner Farm donuts. They smell amazing, but that smell doesn't translate well into taste. I will say that one of my taste testers did say they like the taste. Said it tasted just like apple cider.
    • The texture was not all! They were very chewy and dense.

    New Jersey's BEST Apple Cider Donuts?...Twin Pond Farm

    Tuesday, October 21, 2014

    Twin Pond Farm (Howell, NJ) was one of my favorite places to visit. It's not too far from our house and I think they did a really nice job with the Fall Activities. They had a lot of photo op opportunities, which I totally appreciate. The market was nice and the produce looked amazing!  I think this will be the place we will visit next year when Cohen's a little older and can appreciate it more :)

    Twin Pond Farm Apple Cider Donuts: $3.49 per half dozen

    • These donuts reminded me of the ones from Mood Farm shape wise. They are smaller and fatter than most of the other apple cider donuts I've tried.
    • I really like the texture and they had good flavor.

    New Jersey's BEST Apple Cider Donuts?...Wemrock Orchards and Battleview Orchards

    Friday, October 17, 2014

    Let's go to Freehold. Someone recommend Battleview Orchards donuts, so I decided to swing by after picking up our CSA a couple of Saturdays ago. I found Wemrock Orchards on my way (latterly down the street from Battleview Orchards), so I decided to stop there as well...and I'm solo glad I did!

    I didn't really get a chance to walk around the farm to check out the Fall Activities, but it looked like they offered the usual. The Market was nice. They offer ice cream and a wide variety of baked goods. They really had a wide variety of things. Their pies looked really good, so I think I will be stopping by in November for a little pie taste test. :)

    Wemrock Apple Cider Donuts: $? per half a dozen (lost the receipt and the price wasn't posted with the donuts. I guess I will have to go back and buy more!)

    1. These don't really don't have the best packaging, but it is nice that they list the ingredients, you don't really see that much.
    2. These have great flavor and a nice soft texture. I wish they had a little more crisp on the outside, but since they are packed in a plastic bag (and spent time in my hot car),  I really shouldn't expect that anyways :)

    I really liked Battleview Orchards. It seemed a little more put together then Wemrock and they sell their donuts hot! Gotta love that! Unfortunately for me, they were done selling the fresh donuts for the day, so I had to buy a pack. I guess I will have to go back :) They also sold caramel apples, which I think I will need to go back and try as well. 

    Battleview Orchards Apple Cider Donuts: $3.49 per half dozen

    1. Of the donuts we tried from Central Jersey, my fellow taste testers put these last! Let me just say, that this proves how good the donuts are from Central Jersey. These were good donuts!
    2. The flavor wasn't as good as the donuts from Wemrock and the texture was a little more dense.
    3. Maybe the fresh donuts are better. I will make sure to test those those out as well. :) 

    New Jersey's BEST Apple Cider Donuts?...Terhune Orchards

    Thursday, October 16, 2014

    Now onto the central Jersey contenders. I have to admit all the central jersey apple cider donuts were pretty good! It was a lot harder picking a winner and a loser for the group. To tell you the truth, I would be very happy if any of these donuts were dropped off at my door. :)

    I drove over to Princeton, NJ to check out Terhune Orchards. I will say this is a very charming farm! They had all the traditional Fall Activities (i.e. pumping picking, corn maze, wagon ride), and they also had a live band and were selling carmel apples.

    The market was really cute. It's not very big, but you can tell that Apple Cider donuts are a big seller. There are several bags of donuts at each cash register.  They do take credit cards by they have a minimum, luckily I had cash on hand. :)

     Terhune Orchards Apple Cider Donuts: $3.50 for half a dozen

    1. Terhune's donuts are a lot chewier than others that we have tried.  Didn't seem to resonate well with my fellow test tasters, but if you are donuts on the more chewy side, these are it!
    2. They had good flavor and while it appears that there is a lot sugar on them, they didn't really taste like it.
    3. They aren't the prettiest of donuts, but it's ok...they taste good. :)

    New Jersey's BEST Apple Cider Donuts?...Johnson's Corner Farm

    Tuesday, October 14, 2014

    And the last farm we visited in the south was...Johnson's Corner Farm.  What a production! They had a band playing, a food tent and many more activities. The line for the hayride was crazy long and the stroller parking was packed. They had the market where they sold the donuts and few other products and then they also had a gift shop.

    The Market was nothing compared to Delicious Orchards, but it was nice. I also really appreciate that they put their donuts in a paper bag. I'm such a fan of that now. The sugar on the outside of the donut melts when they are in plastic bags.

    Johnson's Corner Farm Apple Cider Donuts: $6.95 for half a dozen

    • Of all the donuts I've sampled, these were for sure the most fragrant. You open the bag and this amazingly wonderful smell just pours out.
    • These donuts are a little bigger round than the other ones we tried, but they were a little thinner as well.
    • Remember that fragrance I just mentioned, well the downside is that you can taste it as well and lets just say it's not the best. I actually think they had a weird fast when compared to the other donuts.

    Eleven Months!

    Monday, October 13, 2014

    Ahhh! One more month! Cohen will be 1 years old next month! Ahhh.! It's just too crazy...

    Cohen at 11 Months

    Yes, Cohen finally started crawling! He still prefers rolling (he's so quick with the rolling), but he's getting better everyday at the crawling. He is also good at the army crawl :)

    Sitting (Up)
    Cohen can now go from a lying down position to a sitting position and then onto his knees! He's just so cool! This new skill totally aids him in getting into things. He's already started climbing the stairs. Blah!

    Standing (with help)
    Cohen can now stand by himself if he's holding onto a table or a couch. He's event started walking, but he doesn't get very far before he falls on his but. :)

    New Jersey's BEST Apple Cider Donuts?...Springdale Farms

    Friday, October 10, 2014

    The third farm that Cohen and I visited was Springdale Farms in Cherry Hill, NJ. I have to be honest, this one was the lease memorable for me. The market was very charming, but no where near as cool as Delicious Orchards. They did have a section where they sold gifts and garden stuff. I think if I had actually done the corn maze I probably would have appreciated this place more. It looked pretty cool. The farm just didn't seem as festive as other places we visited.

    Springdale Farms Apple Cider Donuts: $4.25 for half a dozen

    1. The donut was kind of like the farm. Not that memorable. It was actually very similar to Duffields, but just not as good.
    2. Ok, flavor, but the donut was a little dense for my preference

    New Jersey's BEST Apple Cider Donuts?...Duffield's Farm Market

    Monday, October 6, 2014

    The second place Cohen and I visited on our little apple cider donut journey was Duffield's in Swell, NJ. Let's just say Duffield's is very different than Mood's!

    Of all the places we visited, Duffield's had the best pumpkin display or "Pumpkin Land." A lot of the places just have a few tables with pumpkins, but Duffield's has a whole area fenced off with pumpkins on display. You could also take a hayride out to the fields to pick one (other farms do this as well).

    The market was ok. Nothing compared to Delicious Orchards (as of right now I haven't found its equal), but it was nice. They had some tasty treats that I really wished I would have brought home with me (besides the donuts).

    Duffield's Apple Cider Donuts: $4.50 for half a dozen
    1. These reminded me of traditional apple cider donuts (shape wise)
    2. Decent flavor, but they were a little on the dense side (for me)

    New Jersey's BEST Apple Cider Donuts?...Mood's Farm Market

    Friday, October 3, 2014

    Apple cider donuts are so popular here in New Jersey. I can't really remember ever eating one on the west coast, but maybe they are big out there too. A couple weeks ago I started looking into farms for Cohen and I to visit this fall in an attempt to spend more time out of the house. While researching, I found a lot of bragging about "the best apple ciders donuts in New Jersey." This got me thinking..."who sells the best apple cider in New Jersey." Well, "challenge accepted!" For the next month Cohen and I are going to try and find the best New Jersey apple cider donut. To get started I used this list, but I'm totally open for suggestions! Please let me know if you think you have had the best apple cider donut.

    Last Saturday, Cohen and I traveled to four farms in south Jersey to kick start this quest. Mood's Farm Market in Mullica Hill, NJ was the first farm we visited.

    The store at Mood's Farm is quite small. They don't really offer very much, but that's ok because most people there were buying/picking apples or buying apple cider donuts. One thing I liked about Mood's is that they offer warm, freshly made donuts. However, since the store has two large doors that they leave open, there were a lot of flies, especially around the donuts. Since the donuts were in plastic bags and they were making them in a room with walls covered by screens, it didn't bother me too much, but I think I should mention it.

    The fall festivities were not as fancy as the ones at other farms that I visited, but once again I think people were there more for the apples.  If you look at the pictures below you will see a picture of a sign that says petting zoo, and yes, that's a wood horse. Not the best petting zoo if you ask me. :)

    Mood's Apple Cider Donuts: $3.80 for half a dozen
    1. These donuts were a little smaller, but fatter than the other donuts I've had.
    2. They have amazing apple flavor. It wasn't overpowering, but just right!
    3. The thing I liked most about these donuts was probably the texture/density. They were a lot lighter than other apple cider donuts I've had.
    4. The sugar and cinnamon on the outside was perfect (in my opinion), but Jeff said he could have done without it.