If you’ve got 20 minutes, that’s all it takes (hands-on time) to put together these Ridiculously Easy Almond Croissants. They look like they came from a fine French patisserie and they’re ridiculously delicious too!
This easy almond croissant recipe came about quite serendipitously. I’d requested a few boxes of puff pastry in my last grocery delivery order, not really having a specific purpose for it. I just love having my freezer stocked with this super convenient product. At the same time, I just happened to have almond croissants on my brain. For some reason, I had been remembering the delicious, flaky, frangipane-filled, toasted-almond-topped pastries that Scott and I enjoyed during the seven years that our daughter, Cait, lived in London (yes, the British make EXCELLENT croissants too).
I was actually getting ready to re-test a new blondie recipe (coming up soon!) when the thought hit me: “I wonder if you could make croissants from puff pastry?”. I knew it wouldn’t be exactly the same as the flaky, multi-layered, laminated dough that classic French (and British) croissants are made from, but I was so intrigued with the idea that I quickly abandoned my blondie project.
Out came the puff pastry as well as butter, sugar, eggs and almond flour to put together an easy frangipane (almond filling). I just had to wait for the puff pastry to thaw a bit. Once it was ready, I simply unfolded the dough (no rolling), cut it into triangles and covered it with the delicious frangipane (sweet almond cream). Then it was simply a matter of rolling up the triangles, croissant-style, brushing them with an egg wash (egg and water) and topping with sliced almonds.
When I peeked in the oven, halfway through the baking time, I was thrilled with the magic that was transpiring. The cold, flat puff pastry dough was living up to its name, puffing up beautiful and taking on a golden hue. Ten minutes later I pulled them out, anxious for these little beauties to cool a bit.
The first bite immediately took me back to England and France and all the little cafés, patisseries and boulangeries we developed a reputation for enjoying so much (our kids say we can sniff out a good bakery like bloodhounds can track their prey). I could hardly wait to bring one to Scott, who was working in his office.
I presented him with the powder sugared-coated confection and said, “Want to take a trip back in time?”. He took one bite, rolled his eyes and said, “I think I need a moment of silence”. I laughed but I knew just what he meant, they’re that good!
I’ve been playing with the technique ever since and have tweaked and refined it a little along the way. I decided to wait until the last few minutes to add the almonds as they tend to toast too much (aka, burn) in the hot oven if they’re added at the beginning. In order to make the almond topping adhere, I simply thin out the leftover frangipane filling with a splash of milk and brush it over the partially-baked croissants before sprinkling with the almonds. They cling to the croissants beautifully and toast a bit during the last few minutes of baking.
Although this recipe is truly ridiculously easy (you don’t even have to roll the dough), I wanted to show you clearly how the dough is cut and rolled into croissants. So I had Scott take a few pics of the process. Here you go!
- Unfold thawed (but still cold) puff pastry on a work surface. Divide each sheet into 3 fairly equal size rectangles. I use Pepperidge Farm puff pastry. Each sheet is around 10×15-inches. If you use a different brand, you may need to adjust a bit.
- Cut each rectangle into two long triangles. I use my pastry scraper (a wonderfully versatile kitchen tool) for this, but you could also use a sharp knife.
- Place all of the triangles with the short, flat end facing you. Cut a small slit at this end of each triangle (this will make it easier to roll up pretty-shaped croissants).
- Scoop 2 teaspoons of frangipane onto each triangle. Spread the frangipane over the surface of each triangle.
- Starting at the slit end, roll the dough into croissants, spreading the dough apart a bit at the slit as you start to roll.
- Repeat this process with the other sheet of puff pastry, then place all of the croissants onto the prepared sheet pan.
A MUST for the Ridiculously Easy Café category
If you’re a regular Café reader, you know the deal regarding our Ridiculously Easy recipes. But there are lots of new readers, as well, so I’ll take a minute to explain. Here, at The Café, we have a special, beloved-by-our-readers, category of recipes that we call Ridiculously Easy. You can check them all out here and you can read more about them in more detail in this post. But to be concise, our Ridiculously Easy recipes are the ones that make you look like a kitchen rock star (in this particular case, a French kitchen rock star) with minimal effort.
Children will always (well, almost always) tell you the truth
Two of our grandchildren, Emmy and Hayes, spent the night last night. Even in the midst of busy children running through the house, I was able to whip up a batch of these easy almond croissants this morning. They hurried through their scrambled eggs for a promise of one of these warm, sweet treats. They each took a bite and without being asked said, “These HAVE to go on the blog!”. So there you have it, “from the mouths of babes”.
Put puff pastry, almonds and almond flour on your grocery list if you don’t already have them. Take 20 minutes and put together a batch of these Ridiculously Easy Almond Croissants. Expect rave review and perhaps even some requests for “a moment of silence”! Bon Appétit!
Café Tips for making these Ridiculously Easy Almond Croissants
- This recipe calls for puff pastry. The most common puff pastry available here in the States is made by Pepperidge Farm. You’ll find it in the freezer section of almost every grocery store. It comes in sheets as well as pastry shells. You want the sheets for this recipe.
- Some specialty stores like Trader Joes and Whole Foods carry other brands of puff pastry. Some puff pastries are made with butter and some with shortening. The all-butter puff pastries are delicious, but with this particular recipe, we’re adding a filling made with butter so you’ll still get delicious flavor even if you use puff pastry made with shortening.
- Puff pastry is easy to work with, but there are a few tips that are important to know:
- Puff pastry usually comes in a box with individually folded and wrapped sheets of dough. Only thaw what you want to use and keep the rest frozen.
- Puff pastry doesn’t keep well in the refrigerator for longer than 24 hours.
- Either thaw the dough in the refrigerator for several hours or thaw at room temperature for 30-40 minutes.
- Wait to unfold the dough until it is thawed so it doesn’t crack or tear.
- For optimal baking results, puff pastry likes to stay cold. If you’re going to use several sheets, work with one at a time and keep the rest in the fridge, covered with plastic wrap, to prevent the pastry from drying out.
- If your puff pastry gets warm while you’re preparing these easy almond croissants, simply pop the unbaked croissants into the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes before baking.
- The almond cream filling (aka frangipane) in these croissants calls for almond flour. Almond flour is ground blanched almonds. You can also use almond meal which is ground unblanched almonds. Almond meal is a little coarser so I really like to use almond flour (although I’ve seen recipes using both almond flour and almond meal).
- Almond flour is really pricy at my local grocery store (almost $20 for a 2-pound bag) so I like to order it online. If you have Amazon Prime, it’s usually on your doorstep the next day.
- Don’t try to add too much of the frangipane filling or the croissants can get soggy. Two teaspoons is the perfect amount per croissant.
- These croissants are best on the day they are made. However, you can make them ahead and freeze them, unbaked. Pop them in the oven, frozen and just allow a few extra minutes of baking time. That way you can pull as many as you want out of the freezer and have freshly baked croissants any time you get the whim! (You can also freeze the leftover frangipane to use for brushing the croissants when adding the almonds.)
- I like to serve these croissants, warm, shortly after being baked. If you’re serving them later in the day, a short, 10-second stint in the microwave makes them “come alive” again!
Thought for the day:
Be strong and courageous.
Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged,
for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9
What we’re listening to for inspiration:
If you enjoyed this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It’s so helpful to other readers to hear other’s results and ideas for variations.
If you've got 20 minutes, that's all it takes (hands-on time) to put together these Ridiculously Easy Almond Croissants. They look like they came from a fine French patisserie and they're ridiculously delicious too!
- 3 tablespoons very soft butter
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- ½ cup almond flour
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon water
- 17.25- ounce package of purchased puff pastry (2 sheets)
- ½ cup sliced almonds
- powdered sugar for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Line a 13x18-inch sheet pan with parchment paper.
Combine the butter and sugar in a medium-size bowl. Whisk together well. Add the egg and extracts. Whisk again until smooth.
Add the almond flour and stir to combine. Add the all-purposeflour and stir again until smooth.
Combine egg and 1 teaspoon water in a small bowl. Stir vigorously with a fork until well combined. Set aside.
Unfold thawed (but still cold) puff pastry on a work surface. With a dough cutter or sharp knife, cut the dough into 3 equal-size rectangles (see picture above in the post). Cut each rectangle into 2 long triangles.
Place all of the triangles with the long end, facing you. Cut a small slit at the wide end of each triangle (this will make it easier to roll up pretty-shaped croissants).
Scoop 2 teaspoons of frangipane onto each triangle. Spread the frangipane over the surface of each triangle.
Add one tablespoon of milk to the leftover frangipane and set aside.
Starting at the wide end, roll the dough into croissants, spreading the dough apart a bit at the wide end as you start to roll.
Repeat this process with the other sheet of puff pastry, then place all of the croissants onto the prepared sheet pan, spacing 1½ inches apart.
Brush each croissant with the egg wash, lightly but covering all of the exposed surfaces.
Place in the preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and brush with the diluted frangipane. Sprinkle each croissant with a scant tablespoon of sliced almonds. Return to the oven for another 5-7 minutes or until medium golden brown.
Remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack. Allow the croissants to cool for 10 minutes then sprinkle with powdered sugar. Put on your French bakers hat and serve warm or at room temperature. Bon Appétit!
Frangipane recipe adapted from The Spruce Eats
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