Cronut-onomics: Inside The New Dessert Craze

We're all hoping the economy is on the rise, but are things so good that some New Yorkers can afford to shell out $40 for a single pastry?

By now, you've all probably heard of the Dominique Ansel Bakery in Soho, home of the ingenius chef Dominique Ansel, who has recently gained fame for creating the cronut, a hybrid cross between a classic croissant and a doughnut. According to GrubStreet, these yummy treats are made from pastry dough that has been sheeted, laminated, then fried like a doughnut and rolled in flavored sugar. Ansel changes the flavor every month.

Hundreds of New Yorkers have been lining up every day to try this confection, so early Thursday morning I made the trip to the Spring Street bakery to get to the bottom of the cronut craze. I arrived shortly after 7 a.m., an hour before the bakery is schedule to open, to find the line so long it was already wrapped around the next street corner. The first person in line told me he arrived at 5:30 a.m.

At 8:00 a.m. sharp, the line began to move, and by 9:00 a.m. I'd made it to the front. I bought two Cronuts (the new daily limit), and found I hadn't arrived a moment too soon- within two minutes after my purchase, the cronuts were gone. I guarded the bright orange bakery bag with my life and headed back to TheStreet offices to sink my teeth into the delicious, flaky, fried pastry. The consensus? Definitely worth the wait.

However, what caught our attention wasn't how these delicious pastries are made or even the extent of their wild popularity, but instead the going rate for one of these items on black markets such as Craigslist. Scalpers on the black market have been able to take advantage of the scarcity and low cost of the cronuts (Ansel refuses to raise the cost of the pastry from its original price of $5), and have sold them for up to 800% more than their original going rate.