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Entries in doughnuts (27)

Monday
Mar052012

Sweet and Salty: Mini Maple Spam Doughnuts Recipe for Serious Eats

Recently, someone called me on behalf of SPAM and asked if I'd like to have a peek at the prize-winning recipe from a contest they hosted last year in celebration of the meaty morsel's 75-year anniversary.

Naturally the answer was yes. But my interest was even more piqued when I learned that the winning recipe was for Mini Maple Spam Doughnuts, a sweet concoction created by Jason Munson; Seattle-area aircraft mechanic by day, SPAM enthusiast by night. And so I went to the grocery store, loaded up on SPAM, and hit the kitchen.

Like so many guilty-pleasure treats, Mini Maple Spam Doughnuts taste way better than they really should. The lightly crunchy, sweet doughnut exterior contrasts with the crisp, crackly fried pork. Finished with a creamy, maple-infused frosting and crunchy SPAM bits on top, it makes for a veritable sea of contrasting textures and sweet and salty flavors—and for an overall wholly enjoyable holey treat.

For the full entry and recipe, visit Serious Eats!

Monday
Jan232012

Just Doughnut: Doughnut Soup Recipe for Serious Eats

Why eat from "soup to nuts" when you can get all the important stuff in one delicious bowl of Doughnut Soup?

This creamy, dreamy dish is the ultimate in doughnut decadence. It starts by caramelizing glazed doughnuts in a buttery bath, then mixing it with milk and heating the mixture until the flavors merge beautifully in a hot, sweet, very creamy broth. It's my easy-to-prepare take on a dessert served at Chicago'sMoto, a restaurant revered in the world of molecular gastronomy.

Note: Of course, while not mandatory, it's far more adorable when garnished with mini doughnuts before serving.

For the full entry and recipe, visit Serious Eats!

Friday
Sep232011

Just Doughnut: Prize-winning Maple Spam Doughnuts Recipe

Like, OMG. Deliciousness and creativity were certainly present at the Puyallup Fair's SPAM recipe contest! Per the folks at the Fair:

The first meal of the day is the most important and SPAM challenged chefs of all ages to prepare a recipe that bursts the normal breakfast routine. The Great American SPAM Championship at the Puyallup Fair, which runs through Sept. 25, awarded first, second and third place awarded those chefs for both Adult and Kids Chef categories. In the Adult category, Jason Munson of Auburn took first place and $150 with his scrumptious breakfast treat, “Maple SPAM Doughnuts.”

The best part though? They shared the recipe. Awesome. Here it is:

Maple SPAM Doughnuts

Recipe courtesy The Puyallup Fair

  • 1 can of Hickory Smoke SPAM
  • 1 ¾ cups All-purpose Flour
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp butter (melted)
  • ½ cup & 4 tsp. buttermilk
  • 1 ¼ cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tsp. maple flavor

Procedure

To make SPAM rings

  1. Remove the SPAM from the can and slice into 5 even strips, slicing from lid side to bottom width wise.
  2. Place SPAM in frying pan and brown both sides.
  3. Let the SPAM cool. Use 1½ inch biscuit cutter and cut the SPAM to fit the doughnut pan (about 20 rings total). Then take a knife and cut out the center of the pieces so it can fit in the doughnut pan over the center dimple of the pan. Set aside. Take the leftover piece of SPAM and chop up and put back in the frying pan and crisp up the pieces and set aside.

To make the dough

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat together brown sugar, egg and melted butter until mixture is smooth. Beat in the flour mixture and ½ cup buttermilk. Stir only until all ingredients are combined. Scoop batter into a quart or gallon-sized plastic bag and chill for 1 hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and remove the bag from the refrigerator after batter has chilled.
  4. Spray a mini doughnut pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  5. Snip the corner off the plastic bag and pipe batter into mini donut cavities, filling each about 2/3 full. Place the SPAM Ring on top of the dough.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes, until doughnut springs back when lightly pressed.
  7. Turn doughnuts out to cool on a wire rack.

To make the glaze

  1. Whisk the confectioners’ sugar, 1 tsp maple flavor, and 4 tsp buttermilk in a small bowl, adding the buttermilk as necessary to make the glaze thick enough to stick easily to the doughnuts.
  2. When doughnuts are completely cooled, dip tops of donuts in glaze. Top with the little pieces of fried SPAM.
Friday
Jun032011

Holey Yum: A Baker's Dozen of Sweet Donut Links and Lore

Photo: The Felt BakeryGuess what? It's National Donut (or is it Doughnut?) day. Here's a baker's dozen of sweet holey links and lore:

FACT: William Rosenberg, founder of Dunkin' Donuts, met Mario Puzo (author of The Godfather) "at a weight-loss clinic...Puzo had a hand in convincing Rosenberg to write a memoir, Time to Make the Donuts." (Donuts: An American Passion)

Sweet, but not to eat: a felt doughnut-breakfast plate by The Felt Bakery. (pictured top)

Just Donut! Holey treats...using canned biscuits? It's true.

Father, son, holey spirit! Jesus Donut! (Thanks, Mike!

Doughnut Upside-down Cake: Believe it.

Doughnut...or donut? Let's discuss.

Why, oh why, do doughnuts have holes? Learn more lore here.

Sweet destination: Peter Pan Donuts, Brooklyn.

The places you'll go: Doughnut Seeds!

Ever heard of doughnut pops? The most delicious thing I played no part in inventing.

Sweet love: a love-letter to Donut Pub, late at night.

Don't hit a wall: Visit Wall Drug, in South Dakota, and get doughnuts!

Eat like a cowboy: discover Cowboy Donuts, in Wyoming!

...and of course, if you're in Seattle, The Original Bakery is celebrating Donut Day in a big way!

Wednesday
Apr062011

Top of the Pops: Doughnut Pops by Frost Doughnuts, Mill Creek WA

Topping the list of things I'd like to pop in my mouth? Doughnut pops by Frost Doughnuts!

That's right: they've got a totally sweet new product over in Mill Creek:

We are excited to reveal our newest creation: FROST Pops! All of the flavor you love in FROST doughnuts, in a pop!

Launching for Spring, FROST Pops aren't doughnut holes on-a-stick, but an entirely new doughnut-based cake that has the moistest brownie-like texture you can imagine - dipped in chocolate! Best of all, they have the unmistakeable flavor of FROST.

The flavors will range from your favorite Evolved line doughnuts to new and exciting creations. Shown here are Red Velvet and Peanut Butter Perfection, both dipped in luscious chocolates. These, plus our newest variety Island Escape will be available at launch next week at a price of 1.49ea.

For more info, visit frostology.com; stay updated via their Facebook page, too.

Thursday
Feb102011

Batter Chatter: Interview with Susan Biebuyck, Donut Painter from PA

Believe it or not, I know three notable donut (or is it doughnut?) painters from Pennsylvania. I'm not exaggerating. The first one I became acquainted with was Nancy Bea Miller; the second, Mike Geno (and I actually own one of his originals--so take that!), and now, Susan Biebuyck.

Want to learn more about Susan and her work? Well, you could check out her website (and you should)...but why not also get to know her a little better in interview form, too? Here's the 411:

First off: donut or doughnut? In a sentence doughnut; as a title donut.

Second: cake or yeast? Yeast, top fermenting, thanks.

What is your favorite place to get donuts, and what is your favorite flavor? Dunkin, I'm torn between sugar twist and peanut butter icing on glazed.

Do you prefer to paint donuts with or without holes? Both, it depends on what medium I'm working with.

Do you ever eat the donuts after you paint them? No, but my family constantly asks they can have one. Often my still life sets slowly erode as the painting develops.

What is your artistic background? I've been an artist my whole life. When I was 14 I started working at Hershey Park as a painter. It was a sweet job for a teenager. In the mid-1980s - late 90s doing graphic design and illustration. When I became a mother, I decided to return to fine arts. I attended Kutztown University near my home in Berks County PA.

What medium do you work in, and why? I am an art supply junky. I love to play with materials. At some point in my career I decided to focus on one subject for a period and play with all the different possibilities within that subject. So I have in the past been known as "the pear lady" before I became "the donut artist." Often I exhibit oil paintings, watercolor, pastel and acrylic all in the same show. I also love to make soft sculptures.

Aside from donuts, what are some of your other favored subject matter(s)? Actually, I am a foodie. I love to paint food. I love to cook and have an extensive cook book library. I grew up watching a show called The Galloping Gourmet when I was very small. I used to draw while watching his show. His food and humor were sometimes the subject.

What's the next big thing you're working on and excited about? I've been working on a series of paintings of my daughter and I recently did a self couple of self portraits with donuts. My donuts are currently exhibiting at The GoggleWorks Center for the arts (where I have a studio), at the Banana Factory in Bethlehem, PA, and at the Main Line Art Center in Haverford, PA.

Want more? Visit Susan's site here.

Wednesday
Jan262011

Holey Grail: Why Do Doughnuts Have Holes?

If you are a truly devoted doughnut lover, it's likely that this doughy dilemma has come up in your mind: why do doughnuts have holes? 

Turns out, there are a few tales out there. Let's discover them together, shall we?

At least three versions of the story involve a Mr. Hanson Gregory, a seafarer who turned tall-tale-teller in his golden years. According to a 1938 article in The Tuscaloosa News,

it remained for an old New England Sea captain, one Hanson Gregory, from Camden, Maine, to introduce the hole in the doughnut, as we know it today. As an old man he liked to tell his story many times--how as a boy he had been watching his mother frying doughnuts and had noticed that the centers always remained partially uncooked and doughy. 'Mother', he said, "leave a hole in the center." Laughingly, she obliged him and never went back to the old way. Her method was widely copied.

There is also an unlikely, but wholly (holey?) enjoyable, version of the story, also involving Gregory, which goes thusly (according to the Lewiston Evening Journal): "one legend is that he liked to munch fried cakes while steering his craft. One day, in 1847, the seas were rough and he needed both hands to control the rudder. So he slapped several cakes on the spoke of his wheel, making holes."

And third, there is a lighthearted variation on the lightened fried doughnut rounds which states that Gregory purposefully poked a hole in the doughnut to lighten it up "because he had already lost six men overboard due to the heaviness of the doughnuts".

Of course, according to aforementioned Lewiston article, another New Englander, Henry Ellis, of Hyannis, MA, argued there was even a more outlandish story behind the doughnut hole: "An Indian's arrow aimed at a housewife pierced a round of fried cake". The article does not back this up with any evidence, but you know, this could just be further proof that it wasn't all making nice and Thanksgiving in the early US.

Of course, Hanson Gregory's tales get even more street cred based on the fact that he's the only one commemorated as doughnut hole inventor who boasts a historical plaque: it's true. In Rockport, ME, you can find a plaque inscribed with the following: "In commemmoration. This is the birthplace of Captain Hanson Gregory, who first invented the hole in the doughnut in 1847. Erected by his friends, Nov. 2, 1947."

And beyond that, the oldest article I could find on the subject points to Gregory as well (from the Washington Post, March 26, 1916), which I found here:

Old Salt” Doughnut Hole Inventor Tells Just How Discovery Was Made And Stomach of Earths Saved 

Boston, March 25.—The man who invented the hole in the doughnut has been found. He is Capt. Hanson Gregory, at present an inmate in Sailor’s Snug Harbor, at Quincy, Mass. Doughnut cutters have made fortunes for men; millions eat doughnuts for breakfast and feel satisfied. Doctors do not assail the doughnut. And all of this owes its being to Capt. Gregory, who made the doughnut a safe, sane and hygienic food. 

It’s a long story, mates; but as the 85-year-old chap relates it, it’s only too short. Outside the fact that Capt. Gregory is a bit hard of hearing, he’s as sound as new timber. 

He’s a product of Maine; and so Maine can lay claim to the discoverer of the hole in the doughnut, along with the discoverer of new ways to evade the prohibition laws. But Capt. Gregory’s discovery is of real use in the world; millions have risen, and millions more shall rise up, and call him blessed. 

‘Bout ‘47 Was the Date. 
“It was way back—oh, I don’t know just what year—let me see—born in ‘31, shipped when I was 13—well, I guess it was about ‘47, when I was 16, that I was aboard ship and discovered the hole which was later to revolutionize the doughnut industry. 

“I first shipped aboard the Isaac Achorn, three-masted schooner, Capt. Rhodes, in the lime trade.  
Later I joined other crews and other captains, and it was on one of these cruises that I was mawing doughnuts. 

“Now in them days we used to cut the doughnuts into diamond shapes, and also into long strips, bent in half, and then twisted.  I don’t think we called them doughnuts then—they was just ‘fried cakes’ and ‘twisters.’ 

“Well, sir, they used to fry all right around the edges, but when you had the edges done the insides was all raw dough.  And the twisters used to sop up all the grease just where they bent, and they were tough on the digestion.” 

“Pretty d—d tough, too!” profanely agreed one of the dozen pipe-smoking fellows who were all eyes and ears, taking in their comrade’s interview by The Post reporter. 

With a glance at the perfervid interrupter, the discoverer continued: 

“Well, I says to myself, ‘Why wouldn’t a space inside solve the difficulty?’ I thought at first I’d take one of the strips (Col. 2—ed.) and roll it around, then I got an inspiration, a great inspiration. 

“I took the cover off the ship’s tin pepper box, and—I cut into the middle of that doughnut the first hole ever seen by mortal eyes!” 

“Were you pleased?” 

“Was Columbus pleased?  Well, sir, them doughnuts was the finest I ever tasted.  No more indigestion—no more greasy sinkers—but just well-done, fried-through doughnuts. 

“That cruise over, I went home to my old mother and father in Camden, Me., where I was born. My father, Hanson Gregory, sr., lived to be 93, and my mother lived to be 79. She was a pretty old lady then. I saw her making doughnuts in the kitchen—I can see her now, and as fine a woman as ever-lived, was my mother. 

Taught Trick to Mother. 
“I says to her: ‘Let me make some doughnuts for you.’ She says all right, so I made her one or two and then showed her how. 

“She then made several panfuls and sent them down to Rockland, just outside Camden. Everybody was delighted and they never made doughnuts any other way except the way I showed my mother. 

“Well, I never took out a patent on it; I don’t suppose any one can patent anything he discovers; I don’t suppose Peary could patent the north pole or Columbus patent America. But I thought I’d get out a doughnut cutter—but somebody got in ahead of me. 

Hole “Cut Out,” His Joke. 
“Of course a hole ain’t so much; but it’s the best part of the doughnut--you’d think so if you had ever tasted the doughnuts we used to eat in ‘31. Of course, lots of people joke about the hole in the doughnut.  I’ve got a joke myself:  Whenever anybody says to me: ‘Where’s the hole in the doughnut?’ I always answer: ‘It’s been cut out!’” and the old chap laughed loud and longat his little sally, while the rest joined in. 

So there he sits—in the Snug Harbor by the sea. And whenever there’s doughnuts on the day’s fare, Capt. Gregory takes a personal pride trying to do what nobody’s succeeded in doing yet—in trying to find the hole in the doughnut. And whenever the old salts rally him about it, he always springs his little joke: 

“The hole’s been cut out, I guess!” to the delight of the whole shipful. 

While Gregory certainly has the flashiest connections to the doughnut hole, I'd just like to offer up a couple more bits of food for thought: 

Some say that the Pennsylvania Dutch were responsible for making the first holey doughnuts in the US, cutting the centers to ensure even frying and easier dunking. 

Another theory that I personally have is that an explanation for the doughnut hole may be twofold: while the ease in even frying certainly makes sense, it also seems that the doughnut was rising in popularity in the US around the same time as the bagel, which were frequently sold on sticks on the Lower East Side of New York City. Could this easy mode of selling have perpetuated the ring around the doughnut?

Oh, and finally, what of the dough from the middle? Interestingly, those little doughnut dots we love so much aren't necessarily cut from the same dough as the doughnut: "commercially made ring doughnuts are not made by cutting out the central portion of the cake but by dropping a ring of dough into hot oil from a specially shaped nozzle. However, soon after ring doughnuts became popular, doughnut sellers began to see the opportunity to market "holes" as if they were the portions cut out to make the ring."

Seeking more holey grail? You might want to check out this article on Barry Popik, this one on Mr. Breakfast, or the fascinating Wikipedia entry. And of course, if you call yourself a doughnut devotee but don't own Donuts: An American Passion by John T. Edge, you really should remedy that immediately. It's a great book.

Wednesday
Jan052011

Cake Byte: Elvis Doughnuts for the King's Birthday

January 6 kicks of the season of the King. The King Cake, that is.

But on the very next day, something equally important happens in Seattle: Top Pot Doughnuts debuts a sweet 48-hour only special, "King Rings"! Per a tip from CS reader Marlow:

Top Pot Doughnuts King's Rings

To commemorate the king's birthday (and only once a year!), Top Pot Doughnuts -downtown concocts a decadent yeast raised, fried doughnut ring draped in maple cream icing and topped with caramelized bacon, christened "The King's Rings"!

We will feature a very limited number of these at our Downtown 5th Avenue Location only on both Friday January 7th and Saturday January 8th.

Due to high demand, we will be limiting sales of the doughnuts to 7:00 AM - 10:00 AM on both days.  Limit one per customer.

These luscious doughnuts are offered to commemorate the King's Birthday and also the 14th Annual Seattle "Elvis" Invitationals!

At this point, I've given you the knowledge: use it wisely. Find directions to the 5th Avenue Top Pot on their website.

Saturday
Jul242010

CakeSpy Undercover: Doughnut Plant, NYC

You know that dream where you walk into a bakery and order one of everything? Well, Cake Gumshoe Leandra may not have quite lived that dream, but she must have come pretty close on a recent series of extensive taste-testing visits to NYC's Doughnut Plant, which she was kind enough to share with us (oh, all of the great photos are by her, as well). Read on:

Doughnut Plant – just the name alone conjures images of a secret lab where delicious, mysterious donut perfection is created. And it’s not really that far off from the truth. Descendant of pastry shop owner, Mark Israel began making his donuts with his grandfather’s recipe in a basement in the Lower East Side in New York City. His emphasis on quality ingredients, including seasonal fruit and fresh roasted nuts, has set Doughnut Plant on a level all its own in the donut and even bakery world.  He actually created the method of filling a ring donut with cream or jelly.

Critical acclaim is splashed on every wall – Saveur, New York Times, Bon Appetit, etc. The peanut butter and jam donut is lauded as of one of  Food Network’s “The best thing I ever ate” items.  It could be said that the gourmet donut trend was started by Doughnut Plant. And the quality lives up to the hype.

A bright, colored chalk handwritten sign lures the crowds with an advertisement of the masterful flavors. Inside, their signs, bearing scientific descriptions of doughnut names, draw notice as well.

On my first visit, near the end of the day, nearly all the donuts were sold out. Not surprising. What was surprising is that there was still a line!  My sister and I selected several doughnuts, with hopes to return a few days later and get a few more.

There they were, nestled in their wax paper bag. I love the sight of goods nestled in a bakery bag! Next to it, the counter, an artful ode to the doughnut – enhancing the experience.

What we chose: Vanilla Bean (yeast), Valhrona chocolate (yeast), Lavender (cake) and Carrot Cake (cake). Our thoughts:

Vanilla bean - simple perfection. Flaky vanilla glaze giving way to a delicious doughnut that has none of that “french fry” flavor doughnuts occasionally take on.

Valrhona Chocolate – while the doughnut it self is nothing overly special, you can actually TASTE the quality of the chocolate in the glaze. This is no Hershey’s, gang. So good.

Lavender – stunning. A soft, cakey donut encased by a sweet, salty savory fragrant glaze, with the lavendar flavor just strong enough. Incredible.

Carrot cake – a crumbly yet moist take on its non-donut relative – complete with cream  filling. Rich flavor of spice. Phenomenal.

Ok – I had to return for one more. The frosty white Tres Leches called to me…

Tres Leches – an INCREDIBLY moist donut filled with rich cream that isn’t too sugary. Delicious, unique, everything a high-end donut should be.

My second trip to Doughnut Plant was in the morning. Ah, it was quiet and less crowded and the doughnuts greeted me  with big happy morning smiles. I selected four more doughnuts: Blackout Cake (cake), Peanut Butter and Jam (yeast), Fresh Blueberry (yeast), and Creme Brulee (yeast).

Fresh Blueberry - oh my goodness – this donut is incredible. Sugary and fluffy with a crackly glaze of sweet blueberry perfect. I should not have selected this one first, as I am partial to blueberry and almost made myself sick on it when I had so many more doughnuts to officially test. 

Crème Brulee – very good – hardened sugar glad that actually crunches like the real thing, thick custard that isn’t overwhelming. My friend Eunice’s favorite. She came with me and brought milk in a thermos. She rules.

Peanut Butter and Jelly – ah, Food Network, I am so sorry to disagree with you! In fact I hate even saying this, but I just did not love this doughnut. I love peanut butter, and the glaze itself was delcious. I love jelly donuts. But perhaps I am too low brow for this. I love the crunchy sugar and fake bright ooze of a classic jelly donut. This specimen…tasted like a sandwich. The strawberry jelly, the peanut butter, the heavy soft doughnut emulating bread, I just felt like it was lunch time. It was just a lot all at once.

Blackout Cake – again, hate to say it but was not thrilled. The cake crumbs on top were a bit dry and though there was a fudgy chocolate filling, which was great, it was just like a big old piece of chocolate cake. Nothing doughnut-y about it. But if you love chocolate, I suppose this is your choice.

The morning was young and our doughnut lust was not quenched, so I went back for 2 more (+1 lavender cake for Eunice, who had not had it), Lavender (yeast) Fresh Blueberry (cake)

I had tried their respective counterparts and now was interested to see how these (probably my two favorite flavors) fared otherwise. Note, I am normally a yeast donut  fan all the way. Unless its like Entemanns…or…yeah ok I love donuts let’s leave it at that. (Yes, I realize the blueberry comparison has been..compromised).

Back to the action.

Lavender yeast – delicious  soft doughnut with a sweet glaze that held less lavender flavor than the cake.  If you are wary of lavender but want to try, this is the way to go. The cake one held more flavor and while more daring, was ultimately better in my humble opinion.

Ah, my #1 choice of the whole damn thing – Fresh Blueberry cake. I would have never guessed it, but this doughnut rocked my world. Sweet, flavorful glaze gives way to insanely moist, blueberry cake which will rival any muffin. This specimen is beautiful inside and out.

Of course, for drink offerings, you aren’t getting your run-of-the-mill coffee. There is Ronnybrook milk, chocolate milk and coffee milk, along with iced chai and organic iced coffee. Oh also, these donuts ain’t cheap, gang. Be prepared to spend $2-4 dollars per doughnut.Worth every penny.

Doughnut plant is a doughnut paradise. A doughnut lover's dream. Its unique flavors, high quality ingredients and great artsy vibe (opposite your regular cutesy doughnut shop) support it as an iconic New York Spot. It joins various places in the Lower East Side rich with history and local character, lauded as some of NYC’s best eateries. I LOVE DOUGHNUT PLANT.

For more of Leandra's adventures, visit her site, Snacks in the City; for more Doughnut Plant magic and information, visit their website.

Thursday
Jun032010

Beyond A Baker's Dozen: Sweet Links for National Doughnut Day

Upon first glance, these Doughnut Seeds might appear to simply be cereal cleverly packaged for sale for a tidy little profit.

But you're so wrong, because oh, the places these doughnut seeds could go. In honor of National Doughnut Day, here are several things to which doughnut seeds can aspire:

They could become delicious doughnut pies:
They could become athletic heros (just donut!):

Or maybe Trompe l'oeil bagel-and-cream cheese doughnuts:
They could become Red Velvet Cake doughnuts:
They could become any number of these clever donuts:
Or maybe they'd grow into doughnut lookalike cookies:
They could grow up to be the inspiration for portraits:
They could become German chocolate cake doughnuts:
They could become the anchor for some delicious Cadbury Creme Eggs Benedict:
Or perhaps a doughnut burger:
Or maybe even a wedding cake substitute:
They could become the hopeless quandary:

They could be a saving grace at a Texas airport:
They could be the crowning glory on a Doughnut Upside Down cake:
They could become the sweetest thing for 500 miles around in South Dakota:
They could make cupcakes even better.
They could be the subject of a tell-all, such as the amazing book Donuts: An American Passion by John T. Edge (which I think everyone should read!) 
They could be a Los Angeles landmark...

Or they could be written up in fancy doughnut day articles on MSN.

So there you have it--who knows what could happen when you plant these sweet seeds?

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