Molasses doughtnus from Tony’s Donuts in Portland, left, and The Cookie Jar in Cape Elizabeth, right. Photos by Megan Gray

WHAT: Molasses doughnut

WHERE: The Cookie Jar Pastry Shop, 554 Shore Road, Cape Elizabeth,; Tony’s Donut Shop, 9 Bolton St., Portland,

PRICE: A single doughnut is $2.89 at Cookie Jar and $2.25 at Tony’s

BACKSTORY: The Cookie Jar Pastry Shop opened in South Portland in the 1950s and is now owned by Tom and Donna Piscopo. Antonio Fournier opened Tony’s Donuts in 1965, and his son, Rick Fournier, is in charge today. Both still make a molasses doughnut. In fact, the cashier who rang up my molasses doughnut at Tony’s said it is one of their most popular flavors because it is hard to find these days. At the Cookie Jar, the person behind the counter recommended it for its gingerbread flavor. Sold!

FLAVOR/CONSISTENCY: I found two equally delicious but slightly different takes on this regional classic. The pick from Tony’s was denser and more cakey. The glaze on the outside was thinner, so the spice was more dominant. At the Cookie Jar, the doughnut was more gooey and crumbly. The glaze was thicker, so the taste was sweeter overall.

DUNKABILITY: My husband believes a doughnut is meant to be dipped in a cup of coffee. He observed that Tony’s option would be just right for a dunk and then tested that theory to his great satisfaction – no crumbs left in the bottom of his mug. I need no such accoutrements and took the opportunity to steal the rest of the molasses doughnut from the Cookie Jar while he was busy with his experiments.

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