I’m being a total cheater today.
I knoooow that I just shared a super decadent and indulgent breakfast/breakfast for dinner recipe earlier this week, but I’m too excited about these cheater croissants to let them go one day longer. If you ever treat yourself to an almond croissant and a latte… well. Let me tell you.
WE CAN MAKE THEM AT HOME IN UNDER AN HOUR!
Sure, they aren’t huge and flakey with billions of layers, but they are still smaller and almost as flakey with a lot of layers. And a lot of flavor. Because we add extra butter.
And coffee. On the side! Of course.
I’m having (another?) major puff pastry moment. GOSH. Why is this stuff so good?
Yes, I know that I can make it at home, but I don’t have the patience. So quickie, faux croissants with puff pastry? I’m down.
That one time I made croissants – it was practically a two day process. And then I had to take all the croissants to my parents’ house because I could.not.stop.eating.them. Like, at all. Homemade croissants are a huge pain to make, but they taste so insanely phenomenal that you want to give up the rest of your life and open your own little croissant bakery.
I mean it doesn’t sound like a terrible idea. The pain of waking up at 3AM daily would surely be dulled by flaky butter layers of love.
Okay, so a few things!
The key is to roll out the puff pastry pretty darn thin.
And the triangles have to be rather small when you roll them, or else the center of the puff pastry won’t cook. And while you will have a flakey, golden croissant on the outside edges? When you bite into the inside, it will be a raw dough mess. Not so good. I learned the hard way.
And! You might need to tent the croissants with foil after 20ish minutes of baking. They will probably get darker than you’d like if you don’t. But this is a small price to pay for croissants in an hour or less. Right?
Guess what else we do with this? Brush them with ALMOND SYRUP.
UGH. It is so delicious. I want to eat it with a spoon. If you don’t use it all up, you can save it for some sort of delicious amaretto-ish cocktails.
This almond syrup might be my favorite part of this whole recipe. If you’re an almond freak like I am, you will die for this. The syrup holds the sliced almonds onto the croissants – it’s basically almond glue. In the most delicious way possible. You know how when you order an almond croissant, there is that delicious, almost sticky-like glaze on top of them? I’m guessing it’s some sort of syrup or glaze. We’re going with it.
And finally, if you’re reeeeeally feeling it, you can fill these with some almond paste or almond pastry cream. Really, what else do we need in this world?
Puff Pastry Almond Croissants
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Make sure the puff pastry is completely thawed! Take one sheet, cover it with the pieces of butter, and top it with the second sheet. Use a rolling pin to roll the pastry into a much larger, thinner rectangle – at least double the size if you can. Be patience and gentle with the pastry since it can easily tear! You need it to be as thin as possibly or inside will not cook. If this intimidates you, can you simply roll out 1 plain sheet of pastry, slice it into triangles, and roll it up. It won’t be quite as flakey, but it will still be delish!
Once you have your large rectangle, use a pizza cutter or knife to cut triangles in the dough – like a “zig zag” pattern – from top to bottom. Take the bottom of each triangle and fold it up, rolling it up into a croissant-like shape. Place it on the baking sheet and repeat with the others.
Brush the tops of the croissants with the beaten egg wash. Place them in the oven for 20 minutes.
While the croissants are baking, heat the sugar and water over medium heat, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves. Remove it from the heat, let it cool slightly, and stir in the almond extract.
After 20 minutes, remove the croissants and brush them liberally with the almond syrup, then press the sliced almonds onto the dough. Sometimes I brushed before AND after the almonds were on. Return the croissants to the oven and bake for 5 to 10 minutes, until the tops start to get really golden and the almonds are toasting. Gently cover the croissants on the sheet with a piece of foil so they don’t burn and bake for 10 minutes more. You want to make sure the insides are done! You can even cut one open to see if you’d like. If it’s still doughy, return the sheet to the oven for 5 minutes increments (still covered in foil) until done.
Let the croissants cool and then sprinkle them with powdered sugar and filling with almond paste or pastry cream if desired!
(Besides the latte.)