Monday, August 26, 2013

Twice Baked Almond Croissants

Dear Lauren,

I love sugar cubes. Just thought I'd mention that. Sugar cubes are special, just like having overnight guests. Now that I'm a grown-up, overnight guests make me as happy as having a sleepover did when I was little.

You're going to find that it's a wonderful thing to have a few recipes you can make mostly ahead of time for when you have company overnight. No one wants to get up and make a full breakfast for guests when it is much more fun to just relax and visit!

Aunt Karen is a great cook. Cojo shared one of her recipes with me recently and I'm so glad she did! I changed just 2 of the ingredients and although you can make this all in the same day, I am going to tell you how to make most of it a day ahead.

The first thing to do is buy the best quality croissants you can at least one day before you are going to make this recipe. If you don't know of a great French bakery, go to Costco instead. Their croissants will do just fine and they're packaged BIG like everything else in Costco. You can serve breakfast sandwiches to your overnight guests one morning and Twice Baked Almond Croissants the following morning if they are staying more than one night. Wow, I am just full of tips today!

Twice Baked Almond Croissants

3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
1/2 cup water
1 vanilla bean
1/4 cup fresh orange juice

1/2 cup any natural almonds
1/4 cup sugar, divided
1/4 cup almond paste (not marzipan), cut into pieces
5 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large egg
1 Tablespoon Amaretto

8 day-old croissants
1/2 cup sliced almonds

Make the day before when convenient:
Make syrup: Combine ¾ cup sugar and water in small saucepan. Split vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape seeds into water mixture. Add vanilla pod and bring to boil, simmer 1 min, remove from heat and add orange juice.

Make almond cream: Pulse almonds with 2 Tablespoons sugar in food processor until finely ground. Add almond paste and blend until combined. Beat together butter, remaining 2 Tablespoons sugar, almond mixture and pinch of salt with electric mixer at medium speed until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Whisk together egg and Amaretto, add to almond cream and beat until well-combined. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Assemble croissants:
Preheat oven to 325°F

Split croissants in half. Using pastry brush, brush insides with syrup. Spread about 2 Tablespoons almond cream on bottom half of each croissant and replace top. Spread about 1 Tablespoon almond cream on top of croissant and sprinkle with sliced almonds.

Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 325°F
 for 10 to 15 minutes, until golden brown.


P.S. I like your new hair color and I can't believe today is your last "first day of school"! I love you!

P.S.S. Found out today, 7-31-2014, this blog post is featured on The Loop!  Cool! Thanks, The Loop!

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