Since then, my daughter discovered close to her home Délice Macarons in Cranford, NJ. This shop specializes in authentic French pastries and macarons. They also have a shop at 321 Amsterdam Avenue in Manhattan. Délice Macarons has the most divine flavors of macarons including lavender, rose lychee, cappuccino and my granddaughters’ favorite, blue birthday cake to name a few.
I have found some alternatives that allow me to bake my own almond croissants. Back in February 2021, I wrote about a recipe I found on the website The Café Sucre Farine, for Ridiculously Easy Almond Croissants. This recipe used store bought puffed pastry that were cut into 3 equal-sized rectangles and filled with homemade almond frangipane. They were very good, however, since then, I found other recipes.
Claire Saffitz published a recipe on The New York Times Cooking webpage for croissants. The recipe appeared in the paper in 2021 and takes 24 hours to complete. Even though Ms. Saffitz lays out clear and concise directions, pictures and a video on her YouTube channel, I decided I didn’t have the patience for this exercise.
Recently, The New York Times published two easier versions. First is a Claire Saffitz version using stale, store bought croissants sliced in half, insides brushed with a simple syrup flavored with dark rum, filled and topped with homemade frangipane and baked until golden on the outside.
Last week I gave these a try and I purchased four croissants from my local Wegmans and made the frangipane. I had all the ingredients on hand; in fact, I doubled the frangipane. The almond croissants were delicious!
The following week in The Times there was a recipe by Sohla El-Waylly for a Giant Almond Croissant that is made with puff pastry and homemade frangipane. When I watched the video, I noticed that Ms. El-Waylly used a product by Dufour Pastry Kitchens. This product is carried at my local Whole Foods store. As I doubled the frangipane for my previous almond croissant creation, I had enough left to use in this recipe. I made sure to remove it from the refrigerator to soften up and stirred it vigorously to make it spreadable.
I defrosted the puff pastry dough overnight in my refrigerator. I removed the dough from the box and carefully unfolded it and placed it on a parchment lined rimmed baking sheet for baking. In the Cook’s Comments for the Giant Croissant, one cook suggested “slicing the sides of the dough off with a very sharp knife so the whole thing puffs up evenly. Mine was more pillow shaped.” I agree with this observation as I debated cutting my pastry, but nixed the ideal; it was pillow like after the first baking.
After the dough is baked to a deep golden brown. To aide in slicing horizontally, I laid the handle of my knife on the rimmed sides and used that as my guide. You must be extremely gentle as you slice as not to crack the pastry top. After I removed the top, I gently brushed the leftover simple syrup on to the inside of the pastry. This was not part of Ms. El-Wally’s recipe. Next I placed dollops of frangipane on the bottom of the pastry and ever so delicately spread the filling to the edges. Lastly, the top half of the pastry is placed over the bottom and the remaining frangipane is spread delicately over the top. A sprinkle of sliced almonds completes the croissant.
What a beautiful creation, the results were wonderful. It was a bit of a challenge to delicately handle the pastry, but the outcome yielded 8 nice size portions. My oldest granddaughter had two helpings after school (a smaller second piece) and devoured them, she loved it.
Cost wise, the puff pastry will cost you approximately $16 and croissants from your local food store bakery department cost between $2-3 each. Overall, both recipes were excellent in taste. Using store-bought croissants be a bit easier. However, if preparing for a large group, the puff pastry may be the way to go.
“How to Make Stunning Croissants at Home”
The New York Times, April 6, 2021
“Rum simple syrup and toasted almond cream — both quick and easy to assemble — are all you need to transform stale homemade or store-bought croissants into deliciously sweet and fragrant pastries. The amount of syrup might feel excessive, but it’s needed to replace the moisture lost in the croissants as they become stale, so be generous when soaking them.”
Yield: 8 croissants
Time: 1 hour
For the Frangipane
1 cup/96 grams almond flour
½ cup/113 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup/106 grams packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
½ teaspoon almond extract
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon kosher salt
For the Syrup and Assembly
⅓ cup/67 grams granulated sugar
2 tablespoons dark rum
8 stale croissants, halved horizontally
½ cup/43 grams sliced almonds
Tip - The pastries are best within an hour or two of baking. After that, revive them by warming in a 350-degree oven for 5 to 8 minutes. Keep wrapped airtight at room temperature.
Giant Almond Croissant
The New York Times
Yield: 12 Servings
Time: 1-1/2 hours
“Crisp and buttery puff pastry is filled and smothered with fragrant frangipane, just like an almond croissant, but in an extra-crunchy, sharable format. This fun treat is easy to pull off for a festive breakfast or brunch. Bake the puff pastry and make the almond filling in advance, then assemble and bake once more just before serving. All-butter frozen puff pastry will have the best texture and flavor, but takes longer to crisp through, so be sure to bake it until deeply browned.”
1 sheet store-bought puff pastry (any size), thawed (see Tip)*
½ cup/100 grams granulated sugar
4 tablespoons/56 grams unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon kosher salt (such as Diamond Crystal) or ½ teaspoon coarse kosher salt (such as Morton’s)
¾ cup/108 grams blanched almond flour (see Tip)
1 large egg
1 tablespoon dark rum or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1½ teaspoons almond extract
½ cup/45 grams sliced almonds
Flaky salt, for topping
Confectioners’ sugar, for serving
Donna’s Tip – I used Dufour Puff Pastry found at my local Whole Foods Store. I didn’t put the flaky salt on my croissants.
A former teacher, shop-a-holic, empty-nester redefining quick, family approved dinners.