One of my favorite pastries are Almond Croissants. I also love just a plain old croissant as well. I’ve looked at recipes to make both and while they don’t seem complicated, it’s just so much easier to buy them. Well, plain croissants that is. You can pretty much get them at any supermarket that has a bakery. Granted, some are better than others. Whereas I find that Almond Croissants can only be found at certain bakeries or cafés and unfortunately, they aren’t always that good. I have tried to make pseudo Almond Croissants with crescent rolls and almond paste and it was a total fail. Well, a fail in the taste department. They did look good. Recently though I came across a recipe for Almond Croissants that started off by using store-bought (or homemade if you are so inclined) croissants and were doctored with a delicious almond filling. I had high hopes for them. They were starting off with an actual croissant and filled with an almond filling that included almonds and almond paste – the more almond flavor the better. And I must say, they didn’t disappoint. These would be a great addition to your Easter brunch this weekend and could really impress your guests!
After getting a good batch of croissants…
I started off by making the filling for them. In the bowl of my food processor I pulsed toasted sliced almonds until they were finely ground. I then added in almond paste and sugar and processed the mixture until it resembled fine meal. Finally, I added in an egg, Amaretto, vanilla extract and salt and processed everything until it was smooth and creamy. As it was the mixture is too loose to spread on the croissants, so, I transferred the mixture to an airtight container, covered and refrigerated it overnight. The following day I let it sit at room temperature uncovered so it could get to the right consistency.
Once the almond filling was ready it was time to prep the croissants. I sliced each of them horizontally and spread a few tablespoons of the almond filling on the bottom of each cut half and arranged them on a large baking sheet.
Next, I topped them with the top half of the croissants and spread about a tablespoon of the remaining almond filling on top of each. I then pressed about a tablespoon of sliced almonds on each.
I baked them in a 375F preheated oven for about 8 minutes. After letting them cool for about 15 minutes I sifted confectioners’ sugar on top of them.
These were delicious, just as good and possibly better than any decent Almond Croissant I have gotten at a bakery or café.
Semi-Homemade Almond Croissants
8 large store-bought croissants
1 1/2 cups sliced almonds, divided
7 ounces almond paste*, broken into small pieces
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon Amaretto**
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting
*Depending on the brand you purchase, you could also use 8 ounces.
**The original recipe called for brandy
Preheat oven to 350 F. Spread 1 cup of the sliced almonds in an even layer on a baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Tossing the almonds at the halfway point. Let them cool to room temperature.
In the bowl of a food processor add the toasted almonds and pulse until finely ground, about 12 pulses. Add the almond paste and sugar and process the mixture until it resembles fine meal, about 15 seconds. Add the egg, butter, brandy, vanilla extract and salt and process the mixture until it is smooth and creamy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the mixture to an airtight container. Cover and refrigerate until the mixture is firm, at least 30 minutes and up to 4 days. If you opt to refrigerate the mixture for more than 30 minutes, let it sit at room temperature uncovered for 15 to 30 minutes before using.
Preheat the oven to 375F. Slice each of the croissants in half horizontally. Spread 2 tablespoons of the almond paste mixture on the cut side of each bottom. Top with the top half of the croissant and place on a large baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining croissants. Spread about a tablespoon of the remaining almond paste mixture on each croissant top and then gently press the remaining sliced almonds onto it (about a tablespoon per croissant). Bake in the preheated oven for 5 to 8 minutes, or until the almonds turn a light golden brown. Let the croissants cool on the baking sheet for 15 minutes. Dust with confectioners’ sugar.
The croissants are best eaten the day they are made, but, can be stored in an airtight container for 1-2 days.
Recipe from Food & Wine