Pieday: Old Fashioned Chocolate Fried at Batten's Bakery | Rock Candy

Pieday: Old Fashioned Chocolate Fried at Batten's Bakery



  • Kat Robinson
57 years is a long time to be in business. Takes a certain amount of dedication and perseverance, sure — but it also takes great products.

Batten’s Bakery in Paragould has some fantastic looking cakes and some delicious pastries — but it also has something I have found nowhere else in the state, a special fried pie with an ages old filling. Bonus is, it’s extraordinary.

I went by Batten’s Bakery during my trip to northeast Arkansas last week. It came highly recommended for the fried pies. I’ve tried the doughnuts there before and found them to be better than average, nicely and lightly glazed but not too sticky.

Thing is, if you’re not there in the morning, it’s a drive-up only sort of affair. That’s not a bad thing — most similar breakfast-heavy places close around noon-ish, so being able to get your sweet on after noon is nice. The menu includes Kolaches, breakfast sandwiches, Baked Cinnamon Pecan Rolls, Fried Cinnamon Rolls, a variety of doughnuts, Apple Danish, Cream Cheese Fritters, Bear Claws and biscuits and gravy — the latter of which is a sausage-based gravy that has earned high marks from fans of this blog. Batten’s also does fancy coffee drinks.

I was on a mission — to try the pie, of course — in this case to try the fried pies the place has become well known for. They come tiered in two prices — Apple, Peach, Raisin, Cherry or Chocolate for $1.15 a pie or Apricot, Coconut, Pecan or Old Fashioned Chocolate for $1.25. On this particular day they were out of pecan.

So I asked — what’s the difference between a Chocolate Fried Pie and an Old Fashioned Fried Pie. Turns out, it’s a matter of time and effort.

The regular Chocolate Fried Pie is made with a thick chocolate pudding in the center. The Old Fashioned has a filling comprised of cocoa, sugar and butter and the filling is far more firm. I was up for trying it.

And you know what? I remember some dish back in my childhood that tasted exactly like that filling, but I cannot for the life of me recall what it was. It’s very good, though — a nice clean flavor improved by a very high-quality cocoa powder. The crust is almost doughnut dough-like in flavor but rolled out tight like a pie crust, with a doughnut style glaze. It’s a remarkable pie worthy of much attention.

Also had one of the Coconut Fried Pies, and I was very happy to find it was full of a rich custardy pie filling, complete with a dense arrangement of coconut shavings inside. Sweet without being cloying, it was very fragrant of coconut and very flaky, too. In fact, the finish on each pie seemed quite a bit different in the tasting.

It was good — but the Old Fashioned Chocolate Fried Pie was far better. I should have purchased more to take home and share. Next time I’m up in the Jonesboro area I’m going to spend the extra gas to get up there for more of that pie.

You’ll find Batten’s Bakery in the Paragould Plaza shopping center off West Kingshighway, west of Highway 49. It’s open Monday 5:30 a.m. to noon, Tuesday and Wednesday 5:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursday and Friday 5 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday 5 a.m. to 1 p.m. The bakery has a Facebook page, or you can call (870) 236-7810.

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