I will never forget my first almond croissant, which I had while traveling around Europe as a teenager: fragrant French butter, crunchy toasted almonds, and a cream that pooled and candied into crispy, crunchy edges. These twice baked treats are made with day old croissants, a classic French way of using leftover bread.
Portions: Makes 12
- ½ cup (114g) unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
- 1 cup (114g) finely ground sliced almonds
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
- 12 day-old butter croissants, halved lengthwise
- 1 cup (86g) sliced almonds
- ½ cup (63g) powdered sugar, for dusting
Preheat oven to 375°. Line two half-sheet pans with parchment paper. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar on medium-low speed until mixture is pale and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape bowl well with a rubber spatula to prevent any butter-sugar lumps. Add ground almonds and continue to mix on medium speed for 2 more minutes. Add egg and mix on medium speed until fully incorporated. Scrape bowl well. Add salt and continue to mix on medium speed until almond cream is fluffy and aerated, about 5 minutes. Refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to use. If properly aerated, almond cream should be spreadable straight out of the refrigerator. Press down on butter croissants to flatten them. Open a halved croissant and liberally spread 1 tablespoon almond cream on cut side of one half, coating entirely. Close the croissant and press to flatten. Spread 1 tablespoon almond cream on top of croissant, coat- ing entirely. Repeat with remaining croissants. Place six almond croissants on each half-sheet pan. Sprinkle sliced almonds on each assembled croissant. Refrigerate or freeze until ready to bake. Almond croissants will keep, frozen, up to 2 weeks. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until golden brown, about 30 minutes. The almond cream will ooze out of the croissants and caramelize into crunchy bits (the best part!). Let cool for 10 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar and serve.