Happy National Croissant Day everyone! I knew this day was coming for a while now so I thought I would up my baking game and actually try to make croissants from scratch! I would be like a real baker in a French Patisserie! But have you ever looked into the process of making croissants? The dough needs to rise like 5 times! And there is a LOT of rolling. Then there is this whole butter slab thing. Not to mention an extensive “lamination” process. Oof the research alone made me exhausted. Hard pass.
So I’m sorry to disappoint, but I was not up to the task of making my own croissants but I was still in the National Croissant Day spirit! To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of croissants on their own but I do love what they are all about. I can get on board with any treat that contains endless flaky layers and a slab of butter.
The next best thing was almond croissants! I usually gravitate towards chocolate croissants, or pain au chocolat, but it is so easily accessible I feel, very mainstream. Almond croissants are quite harder to come by. I was also curious about twice baked croissants! I had heard of them before, and I’m pretty sure I’ve eaten one but I was never totally certain what it meant. Turns out they are a way to re-reuse day old croissants. The twice baked comes from having baked them once to make croissants, then a second time with whatever filling.
Making my own croissants? Unnecessary!
To save myself time (and from having to leave the house), I ordered 8 croissants (from Smart & Final no less!) from Google Shopping Express. They delivered them right to my door! What luxury!
I researched a lot of different recipes. Some had a sugar syrup that you would dip the croissant in before baking. I decided to stay away from that step, mainly to save on prep and clean up time but also on calories! There’s a giant slab of butter that I never knew existed in these croissants! Not to mention sugar in the filling so I didn’t see the need for a pre-soak sugar bath.
So you begin by slicing the croissants in half like a sandwich. And make sure you keep the halves together! No mixing and matching!
Next is the super simple almond filling recipe.
1/4 cup unsalted butter (half a stick) at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2/3 cups ground almond meal
PLUS: 1/2 cup slivered almonds and some filling for topping
I used this recipe for the almond filling and baking times and such. Then I watched this video that had a different recipe, but it inspired me to add a touch of almond extract to the filling and really enhance that almondy goodness flavor!
First, cream the butter and sugar for about 3 minutes. Then add the egg and almond extract. Blend together. Add ground almond meal (I just happened to have almond meal, but you can totally use a mix of ground almonds and flour) and the teeniest tiniest pinch of salt. Mix until well combined, and then the hard part it is over!
Next, spread some of this almond mixture on the bottom half of a croissant and cover with the top part of the croissant, an almond croissant sandwich of sorts.
I only had enough filling for 7 of my 8 croissants. I wasn’t quite sure how much to put on so I guess it was a bit thicker than it needed to be, which I definitely noticed in the finished croissants.
Remember you need some extra filling to put on top!
I don’t know why I got such joy from putting the filling on top! OK maybe I was feeling rebellious. Filling goes on the inside, not the outside! WILD!
Anyhow, the slivered almonds need something to adhere to.
Sprinkle, sprinkle, sprinkle those almonds. You might even have to press them down a bit into the filling so they definitely stick! Not totally essential since you will definitely be spilling almonds everywhere when you bite into it.
Pop those bad boys in the oven at 350° for 15 minutes.
When they are done, let cool for about 10 minutes and then sprinkle with powdered sugar.
OMG These croissants were extraordinary! I should definitely have more confidence in my baking abilities at this point. After tasting the filling before it was baked, it didn’t really wow me. But that just goes to show you, don’t eat batter! Wait until it’s cooked because it will (usually) taste so much better! They were so good, practically store bought at a bakery! The almond filling baked amazingly. It was still soft and smooth and gooey, but that egg was baked so everything was good to go! The almond extract definitely sealed the deal on this too flavor wise.
The only criticism I have is that they are so crunchy! Now, I know how that can be good but in this case it tasted more like the croissants were stale. I probably should have made these croissants the day I got them so they would have been a little fresher and less crunchy. This was the only minor criticism because they were still so delish! And so beautiful with the gentle sprinkling of powdered sugar!
But now that I am armed with this super easy recipe, I’m kind of worried I will want to make them all the time! Then, I’ll be more than just a little doughy…
Hope everyone got a chance to celebrate National Croissant Day with a delicious flakey butter croissant today!
Bonus Croissant Bunz: