To Cheat? or not to Cheat? That is the question. We are discussing, of course, culinary shortcuts: cake mixes, crock pots, spice mixes, pre-made salad dressings, seasoned bread crumbs, store bought bread crumbs! More specifically, an easy way to make croissants with puff pastry.
These things are more contentious than you'd expect in the work of both professional and home cooks. As a recovering "make everything from scratch, even my pasta and crackers" snob, it took many years for me to come around to relinquishing a bit of my control and letting someone else do a little of the work.
And croissants were my gateway recipe. I wanted to make croissants SO BADLY! But I didn't have the time. Or the space. Or the time. Or the energy. Or the time.
Did I mention that croissants take a LOT of time?
So I cheated. I cheated like a cheating cheater and I used puff pastry.
Guess what? They weren't as good as those French bakery classics ... but they were still REAL good. Good enough, at least, given the hours of my life saved and the fact that if I wanted an authentic croissant I could always run downtown and pick one up.
So cut yourself some slack. Make some puff pastry croissants. And if you feel cheater's guilt, I say let it melt away like the pre-made almond paste in these croissants does as it hits your tongue.
Almond Croissants Made with Puff Pastry
- 2 sheets 1 package frozen puff pastry
- 4 ounces almond paste
- 2 ounces butter softened
- 1/2 tablespoon sugar
- 1 egg beaten
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Let the puff pastry sit and thaw for 40 minutes. While it is sitting, Mix the almond paste, butter, and sugar.
- Unfold the puff pastry and set one sheet aside. With the beaten egg and pastry brush, brush a 3 x 3 grid of 1" lines onto the sheet so that you have 9 squares of equal size of pastry outlined, plus all outer edges of the dough should be brushed as well. This doesn't have to be perfect.
- Place 1/2 tablespoon of almond paste mixture in the center of each square.
- Lay the second sheet of unfolded puff pastry on top of the first sheet with the almond dollops. With your fingers, press the puff pastry together firmly around the outer seams and along each line of egg. You won't be able to see the egg wash as you have laid the second pastry sheet on top, but make your best guess to recreate the grid with your finger pressings.
- Cut into 9 equal squares, along the egg seams. Brush each individual pastry with egg and top with almonds.
- Bake for 25 minutes.