UConn Chef Kelly Haggerty discusses her innovative donut baking

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Kelly Haggerty, production chef at Whitney and Buckley dining halls, discussed the process for developing her handmade donuts recently featured on the University of Connecticut dining Instagram page. 

Haggerty said she makes all her own recipes from scratch. She said she’ll often see a particular ingredient that inspires her to try out a new recipe. 

“I make all my own recipes.  I usually see what we have on hand at Union Street Market, and it usually only takes one ingredient to spark my imagination. I’m big on taking traditional recipes and putting a twist on them,” Haggerty said. “For example, just this morning we acquired Fanta Orange Soda, so tomorrow, I will be making an orange dream donut with a Fanta glaze, vanilla swiss buttercream, and Pop Rocks to still give the effect of soda.” 

Haggerty said working on her donuts requires flexibility with both her recipes and the time she commits. As a production chef, she has to find time in between her other responsibilities to make the donuts. 

“I will change [the recipe] in my head at least three times before I come out with the finished product,” Haggerty said. “The only difficult thing about making them is giving them my undivided attention. As production chef, I also must juggle the everyday duties as well. So, my donuts are usually done by 1:30 p.m. to 2:00 pm.” 

When asked about other work she’s done, Haggerty discussed the role she typically plays at both Whitney and Buckley dining halls. She said she is typically responsible for crafting new recipes at these dining halls as well. 

“Usually, under normal circumstances, I’m the production chef at Whitney and Buckley, so I was part of the comfort menu and action bar development for the new Whitney,” Haggerty said. 

Additionally, Haggerty confirmed that new donuts were in the works. She said she has already created several more new recipes since the Instagram post on Oct. 6. 

“When I’m here I will have a new donut every time,” Haggerty said. “Since that post, I have created five more: chocolate orange spice cake with chai icing, pineapple upside-down, mocha glazed with salted caramel buttercream, espresso toffee and a biscotti, chocolate strawberry shortcake and key lime pie. 

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