The best thing to do with day-old croissants, whether homemade or storebought? Split them in half, slather them with a brandy-spiked, almond-scented cream, top them with even more almonds, and bake them until the aroma coming from the oven makes you swoon.
Dorie Greenspan’s Eastern European–inspired cookies, sometimes called kipfel, have the perfect buttery crumb and a nutty bite from almond flour. For the holidays, we dust them with confectioners’ sugar, but they are also great dusted with granulated sugar and eaten year-round. Slideshow: More Almond Recipes
Achieving perfect, flaky, buttery layers that are so representative of croissants can seem like an impossible task if you don’t bake often. But the trick to a great croissant lies in a carefully calculated process of folding dough with a layer of cold butter repeatedly back onto itself. If you can fold a simple letter into thirds, then you can likely make a great croissant. Make your own pastries, or use them to create decadent chocolate, pumpkin and caramel bread puddings--or even as a flaky, toasted bun for hot dogs! Here, 5 great ways to use croissants.
Baker Erica Skolnik explains that the key to any good croissant is starting with butter and dough that are the same temperature: “That way, they roll together well but the layers stay separate, which gives the croissants their magical rise. From there, I go in my own direction.” For instance, she simplifies the notoriously fussy process by “turning” (rolling out and folding) her butter and dough just two times, not the traditional four. She also makes her croissants bigger than the classic kind. Here, step-by-step instructions to her perfectly light and flaky croissants.