Flakey, buttery, almond, chocolate, crisp, light….there are many words that come to mind when enjoying a freshly baked croissant. However, not all croissants fit this luscious description nor do they live up to the extremely high standards of authentic French croissants. (Quick fact, croissants were actually first seen in Austria, but were popularized in French culture).
If you’ve had the pleasure of enjoying a croissant in France, you know that it’s an experience where you will use all of your senses to savor its unmistakable taste, texture and scent. In the US, it’s hard to find anything like that authentic French taste. However, if you find yourself searching for a semi-authentic croissant – such as on National Croissant Day (January 30) – be sure your croissant has the following key qualities:
Golden and Fluffy – No flat croissants here! Whether it’s a plain, chocolate or almond croissant, the pastry should have a golden hue and an almost exaggerated puffiness to it.
Crunchy Exterior, Soft Center – When you break open or bite into the croissant, you should notice a slight crunch to the pastry on the exterior, followed by a soft, airy center.
Layers of Buttery Goodness – True croissants have many very thin, flakey layers that should burst with a buttery flavor, as each layer has been rolled over and over with butter.
Although I’ve never made croissants from scratch, my time in France has made me step up my croissant game. No more Pillsbury croissant dough for me! Luckily, some family friends who are equally as enamored with France (and its croissants) as I am opened my eyes to the Williams Sonoma Galaxy Croissants. Yes, they are frozen, but they are the closest thing to French croissants that I’ve tasted outside of France. And bonus….you can make them in your own home which means you can enjoy lovely, fresh croissants every day of the week.
A word of caution…croissants are essentially French eye candy and can easily cause you to exceed your recommended carb intake for the day. If you are carb-conscious, best to save these lovelies for a special occasion. Hmmm…does binge watching Emily in Paris count?