There is nothing worse—and nothing better—than day-old croissants. Nothing worse, because each chewy, slightly stale bite of a day-old croissant is a reminder of how good the pastry must have been when it was fresh and flaky. Nothing better, because day-old croissants are what you need to make… ALMOND CROISSANTS.
Almond croissants aren’t as well known outside of France as chocolate croissants or brioches, and you can’t find them in every boulangerie around. But they have their following among people like me who love the moist, cakey almond filling (frangipane or crème d’amandes) used in other pastries. That filling gets baked into split croissants and the whole process works best when they’re a little stale and can stand up to the extra moisture.
It didn’t occur to me that I could make almond croissants at home until I found myself with a glut of day-old pastries some houseguests hadn’t eaten at breakfast. They were too stale to serve a second time so it was either freeze them, throw them out or…transform them into almond croissants. Still in my pj’s, I whipped up some frangipane, spread it over the split croissants, and popped them in the oven. By the time my houseguests came down to breakfast, I had hot, “fresh” pastries to serve them and my whole house smelled like a French bakery.
And you, too, can have all this bakery-scented wonderfulness right in your own home! Read the recipe below to see just how easy it is. Before you know it, you’ll find day-old croissants (and chocolate croissants…you can use them, too!) almost as enticing as fresh.
3 ½ Tbs. (50 g.) butter
3 ½ Tbs. (50 g.) sugar
6 Tbs. (50 g.) almond flour
pinch of salt
1 to 2 drops almond extract, optional
2 Tbs. slivered almonds
confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
PREHEAT the oven to 325˚F (170˚C)
SOFTEN the butter until it has the consistency of cake frosting by warming it in a microwave-safe medium bowl 10 to 20 seconds on medium power in the microwave.
STIR the sugar into the butter with a fork until smooth. Mix in the almond flour, salt, and optional almond extract, then the egg.
SPLIT the croissants in two lengthwise and set on a baking sheet. Spread the centers of each croissant generously with the frangipane (almond) mixture. Close, then spread some of the frangipane on the top of each croissant. Sprinkle each with slivered almonds.
BAKE 10 to 15 minutes, or until the frangipane filling is firm and the almonds on top of the croissants are golden brown.