Amazing Almond Croissants

Almond Croissants

Almond Croissants

 

ALMOND CROISSANTS*

You will not believe these incredible croissants! Amazing…best recipe I have ever tried and just had to share it with you. This is what happens when you have 3° degree weather! I shot the photo today right after I completed them…don’t you just want to grab a cup of tea or coffee and jump right in them!!

ALMOND PASTRY CREAM

1 ½ cups blanched almonds
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly firm
1 cup (9 ounces) soft almond paste, shredded
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
1 cup Pastry Cream (below)

1. Combine the blanched almonds and ¼ cup of the granulated sugar in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse for about 20 seconds, or until the almonds are ground extremely fine. Set aside.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter on medium speed until softened and light in color, about 2 minutes. Add the almond paste and continue to mix for 3 minutes. Add the eggs and almond extract, and mix for 30 seconds, or until well combined.
3. Add the pastry cream and mix until blended. Add the ground almonds and remaining ¾ cup sugar. Mix for 30 seconds longer. Set aside. This can be made up to 3 days ahead and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before using.

PASTRY CREAM [make this first and set aside]

2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup milk (I use ¾ c. cream, ¼ water)
4 tablespoons sugar
2 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
¾ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Place the cornstarch in a medium mixing bowl. Stir in ¼ cup of the milk and mix until smooth. Whisk in 2 tablespoons of the sugar and the egg yolks. Set aside.
2. In a 2-qt. saucepan, heat the remaining ¾ cup milk and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Stir until blended. On low heat, bring the mixture to a slow boil. Stir 1/3 of the hot milk/sugar mixture into the egg mixture. Pour the egg mixture into the saucepan and stir with a whisk to combine. Return the pan to medium-low heat and bring it to a full boil, whisking rapidly and constantly until the pastry cream is thick and smooth. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the softened butter and vanilla. Do not overmix. Set aside for assembly.

FOR FINISHING TOPPING

½ cup sliced almonds
12 medium/large croissants (Costco’s baked croissants work great sliced and toasted for this recipe)
Powdered sugar, for dusting

ASSEMBLY/BAKING

1. Heat the oven to 400°F. Line cookie sheets with parchment.
2. Place the sliced almonds into a shallow pie pan and set aside.
3. Using a serrated bread knife, carefully slice the baked croissants lengthwise. Spread 2 tablespoons of the almond pastry cream onto the bottom half of the croissant. Replace the top of the croissant and spread 1 tablespoon of the almond pastry cream on the top of the croissant. Dip the tops of the croissants into the sliced almonds and place on parchment-lined baking pans.
4. Bake the filled croissants for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack. Let stand 10 minutes then dust croissants with powdered sugar. Serve warm. (You can also let them cool completely and give them a good dose of powdered sugar!)
5. Store leftovers in fridge in tightly wrapped foil or air-tight container.

Enjoy & Bon Appetit!

Original recipe from Carole Walter’s “Great Coffee Cakes, Sticky Buns, Muffins & More [a must-have book for your cookbook library]

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