Someday I'm going to make croissants from scratch, I promise.
It's just that the croissant-making process sounds so complicated and time-consuming and, frankly, frightening. It's so much easier to buy them all baked and ready to eat, don't you think?
This recipe for cinnamon croissants is sort of a compromise. The hard part — making the croissants — is already done. All you have to do is add the cinnamon and brown sugar filling and then bake them. How easy is that?
I decided to make cinnamon croissants because April 10 was National Cinnamon Croissant Day. I'd never tasted a cinnamon croissant before, but I had a feeling I'd really, really like it. I based that feeling on the following mathematical expression:
Delicious baked goods + cinnamon and sugar = even more delicious baked goods.
You can't argue with math like that.
So I went to Trader Joe's and picked up a box of their frozen Mini Croissants. I let them thaw a little bit, unrolled them, brushed them with butter, sprinkled them with brown sugar and cinnamon, let them proof overnight, and then popped 'em in the oven.
Then emerged from the oven delicious, just as I suspected.
In fact, they were so tasty that they compelled one of my co-workers to tell me how tasty they were in French (with help from Google Translate, of course):
And another co-worker liked his cinnamon croissant so much that, when he accidentally dropped a piece of it, he picked it up off the floor and ate it anyway.
These croissants are worth the germs, folks!
Recipe: Cinnamon croissants
Adapted from the back of a box of Trader Joe's Mini Croissants | Makes 8 croissants
- 1 box Trader Joe's frozen Mini Croissants
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
- 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Take the frozen croissants out of the box and spread them on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet about 3 to 4 inches apart. Let them sit, uncovered, at room temperature for about an hour, until the croissants are soft enough to be unraveled.
- While you're waiting, whisk together the brown sugar and the cinnamon in a small bowl. Then microwave the butter in a separate small bowl until it's melted.
- Once the croissants are pliable, take one of them and carefully unwrap it as much as you can without ripping it into pieces or stretching it beyond recognition. (You still need to be able to roll it back up!) You'll end up unfurling the center strip of dough.
- Generously brush the melted butter on the exposed strip of dough, and then generously sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar mixture over the melted butter.
- Carefully roll the croissant back up, pinching the edges of dough together where they meet in the center. You might need to brush on a little more butter to make the center strip stick. If you like, sprinkle more of the cinnamon-sugar mixture over the top of the croissant.
- Repeat with the remaining croissants. Once all eight have been sufficiently sugared, let the croissants continue their rise on the baking sheet, uncovered, for 6 to 8 more hours or overnight.
- Preheat your oven to 350˚F. Bake the cinnamon croissants for 15 to 20 minutes, or until they're crisp and a deep golden brown. Let them cool for about 10 minutes before serving.
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