It's nearly impossible to mention Leonard's Bakery without, at some point, referencing its malasadas. The Hawaiian institution situated at the elbow of Kapahulu Avenue and Charles Street has been producing the pillowy sweets since 1953. But what exactly is a malasada?
In short, they're deep fried balls of heaven coated in sugar. (Now do I have your attention?)
A malasada is a Portugese doughnut without a hole. It's fried until golden brown on the outside, and light and fluffy on the inside. They're kind of like the kind of sugar-coated fried dough you can get at fairs and carnivals back on the mainland, but better.
At Leonard's Bakery, not only are malasadas sprinkled with your choice of white or cinnamon sugar, but these delightful little confections can be ordered original or filled with flavors ranging from custard and haupia to li hing mui and mango. I opted for Leonard's two best sellers: original and custard-filled.
Heavy to the touch, but airy to the taste, the malasadas seemed almost to dissolve when they hit my tongue. The crunch of the sugar granules offered the perfect contrast to the pastry's pillowy texture. Nutty, sugary and oh so satisfying, this is one sweet treat I'm sure to have again and again.