Almond Croissants Recipe

Croissants aux Amandes

A couple of weeks ago, as I was writing about brunches and the possibility of leftover croissants, I gave a passing mention to croissants aux amandes. Such a teaser could not go unnoticed: I received a few requests for instructions, and promised I’d share them as soon as I had a picture to illustrate the recipe.

You will find croissants aux amandes in most traditional French bakeries. Originally devised as a way to sell not-so-fresh croissants from the day before, they are simply croissants filled with almond cream, sprinkled with sliced almonds and baked again, until the cream has set and the elbows of the croissant have crisped up.

The filling may ooze out a bit if you’ve been generous with it, forming delightful crispy fins on the sides.

They also exist in a pain au chocolat version (simply called pain au chocolat aux amandes, see how easy French is?), but surprisingly I could never warm up to pains au chocolat — I dislike the type of chocolate that they use in them, and have a problem with the fact that you don’t get an equitable share of chocolate in every bite — so I just stick to croissants.

Croissants aux amandes have long been a favorite of mine. My father would buy us one from a now defunct bakery-cum-cafe in the Latin Quarter, when my sister and I went comic-book shopping with him on Saturday mornings, and this was as much a treat as the weekly harvest of bande dessinées. But store-bought almond croissants are often too sweet for me, or too heavy on the almond extract (giving them a fake, perfumey taste), so I was very pleased when I discovered how easy and gratifying it is to make your own.

You simply dip day-old croissants in a light syrup, fill and top them with crème d’amandes (a mix of butter, sugar, almonds and eggs), add a sprinkle of sliced almonds for garnish, and slip into the oven. As the croissants bake, the syrup you’ve soaked them in prevents the shell from burning, while the almond cream slowly sets, creating a slight crust on top, and a moist, buttery filling inside. Said filling may ooze out a bit if you’ve been generous with it, forming delightful crispy fins on the sides.

Croissants aux amandes are perfect for brunch: they get better as they sit, so you can bake them the night before.

Croissants aux amandes are a perfect make-ahead item for brunch: you can buy the croissants, prepare the syrup and the almond filling the day before, and simply assemble and bake them in the morning. They are delicious fresh out of the oven, but they can be served at room temperature too. And since they tend to get better as they sit, you can even bake them the night before.

Two caveats. First, you should start with good-quality croissants, or at least the best you can find and afford where you live (and if I try to Master the Art of French Croissants one day, you’ll be the first to know). And second, croissants aux amandes are, obviously, very rich. Very delicious, but very rich. They’re a good breakfast option if you’re a coal miner, for example. But if your job is to sit at a computer and read food blogs, or if you are having them as part of a larger brunch spread, you might consider splitting one, or perhaps using mini-croissants.

Although the simple and traditional version (as outlined in the recipe below) is just fine as it is, I have been toying with variation ideas, which I may put in practice next time: I might flavor the dipping syrup with rose or red poppy, or I might try an orange version, using Grand Marnier (or orange blossom water) in the syrup, and adding orange zest to the almond filling. And perhaps I will even make chocolate croissants aux amandes, adding a bit of melted chocolate to the filling, and dusting the croissants with cocoa powder instead of confectioner’s sugar. Indulgence, I call thy name.

Almond Croissants Recipe

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

For 6 to 8 croissants.

Almond Croissants Recipe

Ingredients

  • 6 to 8 day-old croissants, about 80g each (2.8 oz)
  • 2 tablespoons sliced almonds
  • Confectioner's sugar
  • For the syrup:
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons dark rum (optional)
  • For the crème d'amandes:
  • 100 grams (1/2 cup) sugar
  • 100 grams (2/3 cup) whole blanched almonds, or 100g (1 cup) almond flour
  • a pinch of salt
  • 100 grams (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, diced
  • 2 eggs

Instructions

  1. Prepare the syrup: combine 1 cup water, 2 tablespoons sugar and the rum (if using) in a saucepan. Bring to a slow boil over medium heat, and simmer for a minute, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from heat, transfer into a shallow soup plate, and let cool completely.
  2. Prepare the almond filling: combine 1/2 cup sugar, the almonds and the salt in the bowl of a food processor, and mix until finely ground. Add the butter, and mix again until well blended. Add in the eggs one by one, and process until creamy.
  3. Preheat the oven to 180° C (350° F) and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  4. Work with each croissant one by one: dip it into the syrup, coating both sides and the ends well -- the croissant should be quite moist. Slice horizontally like you would for a sandwich, and place on the cookie sheet. Spread the inside with about two tablespoons almond filling, and place the top back on. Spread the top with another tablespoon almond filling, and sprinkle with sliced almonds. Repeat with the remaining croissants and filling.
  5. Put into the oven to bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the almond cream is set and golden. Transfer onto a cooling rack, dust with confectioner's sugar, and serve, slightly warm or at room temperature. They will keep for a day.

Notes

  • The recipe can be halved if you have fewer croissants to fill.
  • You can make the syrup and the crème d'amandes up to a day in advance: transfer into (separate) airtight containers, and refrigerate.

http://chocolateandzucchini.com/recipes/bread-brioche/almond-croissants-recipe/

  • Adele

    Uh-oh, I’m in the danger zone here. Almond croissants are my absolute favorite, and your recipe makes then seem so easy to make……I may have to invite friends for brunch as a ruse, so I can try them. And, since it’s so hard to find good croissants here in the States, I bet gussying them up with amandes would make them all the better.

  • ariane

    What would be the best place in Paris to buy good croissants?

  • http://www.himonkey.net monkey

    oh! look! i have a day old crossent right here. it had a future as a bread pudding, but now it’s looking forward to a new almondy make-over.

  • http://extravirg.blogspot.com/ Caroline

    These look and sound so good that I’ll probably give them a try someday. Do you ever make your your croissants? I’ve done it before, but it didn’t seem to be worth the effort.

  • Becca

    If you’re looking for the best almond croissants in Paris … While I have not in fact tasted every single one in the city, I have made my rounds and sampled the nutty pastry at myriad patisseries all over the city and my vote for the best goes to La Bonbonnerie de Buci, on the rue de Buci, right across the street from Paul. If you go in the morning, they are hot and fresh and oozing with crème d’amandes. I also adore the Croissant aux Noix from La Durée – it’s a glazed croissant filled with a walnut mixture, and is great any time of year. For those of you across the Atlantic, the croissants from Costco, while not even comparable to French croissants, are great to use, especially a few days old, to make croissant French toast, an Americanized version of the croissant aux amandes if you will.

  • http://www.bethjewelry.com Beth

    Clotilde,

    I’ve been reading your blog for a while, but this is my first comment–just have to say that I love your writing and the food you describe! Also, I want to say thank you in advance, as my boyfriend and I are taking a trip to Paris next week and your blog has been a wonderful unofficial travel guide. I’ll be sure to print out a list of restaurant and shop recommendations from C&Z to take with us!

  • http://thefeastcrusade.blogspot.com MM

    I swear I put on a kilo each time I come here. But a happy kilo. What a fabulous recipe. I am a very happy camper now.

  • http://wlanel.typepad.com/chaud_devant_/ Anne

    Yummie ! I didn’t know that Croissants aux amandes were so easy to make !

    Thanks !

  • http://gourmandises.canalblog.com/ frederique

    ha non c’est l’heure de goûter ….j’en veux !!!

  • http://www.almostchef.com Mark

    These have always been one of my favorite sinful delights… a recipe could be extremely dangerous. Also, looking at that picture this early in the morning (before breakfast) is DEFINITELY dangerous… how can my oatmeal satisfy now!?! :-)

    Regards,
    Mark

  • http://www.messycucina.blogspot.com Darla

    THIS is what I had in mind last week when I ordered an “almond croissant.” It was supposed to be filled with almond paste (yum!) but if I closed my eyes and concentrated real hard I could almost detect the almond flavoring. And if I torn a corner off the “almond croissant” and brought it up to face and squinted until my eyes were almost shut, I could detect little flecks of almonds, evident to the “paste.”

    A big let down for an almond lover.

    Thanks for the recipe!

  • Elisabeth

    You are a goddess, Clotilde! Merci mille fois!

  • http://barbie2be.blogspot.com barbie2be

    these sound heavenly!

    after my recent triumph with chocolate bread pudding, i may have to give them a try!

  • http://lindystoast.com lindy

    These sound splendid. BTW, leftover croissants also make a superb bread pudding, it puff up gloriously, and is wickedly buttery.

  • http://www.jenniferduartedesign.com jenny

    I’m definitely going to try these…

  • http://www.lustylibrarian.com Kathleen

    First time commenting, Clotilde, and may I just say? I love your blog! It’s so personal and you have such an infectiously excited attitude about all things food. Thank you for keeping up my enthusiasm!

    I wanted to pass on a little tip, for you, or any of your readers who might want to take the plunge into making your very own croissants.

    I was terrified of the whole process, until I found the recipe in Baking with Julia and everytime I serve them, people marvel at how close they are to the croissants they had in France.

    And truly, they’re very simple (perhaps that’s the key?). They just take time… they’re made over three days with the dough simply lounging away in the refrigerator for the weekend.

    The illustrations in BWJ are exceptionally helpful, and the directions clear and precise. The croissants are a far far cry from the puffy, cakey things they call croissants here. They’re golden and intensly buttery, and, oh, just amazing (I’m drooling!)

    Anyway, I highly recommend the book (and the process).

    (And thanks for the recipe Clotilde! I *knew* those things they call “Almond Croissants” here in the states were a feeble interpretation of what must be a glorious confection…I just couldn’t figure out how to get my hands on the real thing! I see an almond dream weekend in my future!)

  • http://laughinggastronome.blogspot.com Emma

    Thanks so much for posting this recipe – I know exactly when I am going to make them!
    Emma

  • http://stalkingthewaiter.blogspot.com B’gina

    Bless you! I was so happy to read this post. I was under the impression that you had to wrap the almond filling in raw pastry and bake. So, unless I was ready to make croissants from scratch, I wasn’t making almond croissants. Now I can do them whenever.

    When I lived in Baltimore, a French baker had a stand at the Sunday produce market. His almost croissants were the best I’ve ever had. He said he had butter sent from France because it was different here. No argument. After all these years, to think that I can make some myself…well, I’m thrilled. And hungry.

    I’m not familiar with “almond powder.” is that the same as “almond meal”? Or is it more like a flour? Can you substitute marzipan for part of the filling? So many questions.

  • http://www.sweetnicks.com Sweetnicks

    Those croissants look simply divine … and chocolate? Even better!

  • Diana

    What a coincidence! I just purchased and devoured an almond croissant about two hours ago–I couldn’t wait until tomorrow morning to taste it. It was the last one in the pastry case at the Acme Bread Company at the Ferry Building Marketplace in San Francisco. Even at 6:30 pm, the croissant was perfectly crispy and flaky on the outside. Its chewy and moist inner layers had soaked up the flavor of the just-sweet-enough almond filling.

    Last week I thought I had found a winner at Tartine (also in SF), but Acme’s perfectly-sized (big enough, but not what we’re used to seeing in the US), almost day-old croissant clearly wins this competition.

  • http://www.blend10.blogspot.com crystal

    Hello Clotilde! I am a huge fan of you and everything about you! I just wanted you to know that I made your Cubes a la Noisette last night for an Oscar party, and they were a big hit, everyone loved them. Also, are you going to go on a publicity tour when your cookbook comes out? I think it would be awesome if you were on Martha Stewart’s new show to promote it, and you could show her some cute French dishes.

  • http://quoique.canalblog.com Leelooo

    Ouf, delicious before and after the ski !

  • http://www.shewhoeats.blogspot.com chika

    omg, omg, omg, croissants aux amandes are by far the most glamorous thing I have ever found, and will always find, at a French bakery. I’m somehow relieved to know that you, a French girl of a refined taste, think that store-bought almond croissants are often too sweet and heavily flavored with almond extract, as that’s what I’ve always felt. I have for ages meant to try and make my own almond croissants but never gotten around to it, mostly because I was always being a bit too ambitious by contemplating starting from making croissants from scratch (!). I guess it’s about time to get more realistic and just go and buy good croissants to try your recipe here…

  • http://www.paristriptips.com paristriptips

    Croissants aux amandes are so good, so incredibly delicious, they are in a croissant category of their own. ANd it’s impossible to find a really good one outside of France. So I save up my croissant aux amandes calories for Paris…

  • Truffaut

    Clotilde,
    This is my first posting on your sight. I’ve enjoyed it tremendously–thanks! Croissants aux amandes are one of my absolute favorites, although the true winner has to be the variation using pistachio cream and chocolate. Two of the boulangeries in my neighborhood make this and it’s apparently something of a rarity in Paris.

  • Susan

    Clothilde, you are DANGEROUS! Seeing that picture almost made me drop everything and race to my newly-discovered source of mini-croissants. Back during student days in Paris, I used to sample almond croissants whenever I passed a promising-looking patisserie or boulangerie (assuming a few spare francs in my pocket). Then I discovered a variant, the croissant aux noix…but I digress. There’s still nothing like a not-too-sweet, crunchy but melting almond croissant. I haven’t even dared try what’s available in NYC–nothing could come close to the platonic ideal I’ve been cherishing for so long. Until this posting!

    It’s been ages since I’ve had one, but armed with your alluring recipe I think we have an excuse for a brunch party. Come to think of it, a half-recipe would fit in my toaster oven…..

  • Gustad Mody

    i love almod and choc. croissants

  • Pesql

    these are my favourites too… despite I am not a coal miner ;)

  • Elizabeth

    Nostalgia city! One of the BEST sensory memories I have involves standing just a little south of the storefront of Poujauran eating one of its pain amande, eyes widening, amazed by how goood it was. Thank you for offering a tempting surrogate.

  • becca

    Almond croissants are a favorite splurge … I am delighted to know I can make them at home. Thank you for this recipe!

  • piccola

    I used to work at a French bakery, and we’d make almond croissants when there were leftovers. They always sold out within the hour.

    I find it funny that you say to share them – we often had people eat as many as three each!

    Personally, I just like eating the little crusty bits of filling that stick out…

  • http://www.viciousange.blogspot.com Ange

    The photo looks delicious!

  • Joan

    must be Croissant Day…along with this yummy yummy recipe, I came across a bread ‘n butter pudding recipe using day-old croissants..

    found my self moving towards the photo..then remembered it’s a screen:-)

    heavenly heavenly food

  • http://threelayercake.com Three Layer Cake

    Italy doesn’t have this tradition, but if you really like almond paste and you’re in Rome and want a treat, IL CIGNO in viale Parioli has the “Cornetto Bianco” as it is informally called, which is filled with almond paste, as opposed to pastry cream, marmalade or nutella which is what you usually find. They make everything on site (a rarity these days), and these little pastries (a little smaller than the normal sized croissant) can only be found hot out of the oven because sell out within an hour every day. The cafe opens around 7,30 or so, and already by 8,30 they are gone. I’ve never tasted a non-warm one.

  • http://www.toomanychefs.com Meg

    Clotilde, thanks for the history of these – I never realized they were made from day old croissants! I guess that goes to show how good they are. And the thought of making them at home…AND getting a decent amount of chocolate in them…is irresistable! I can’t believe you are not a fan of the chocolate filled ones – they are my favorite!

    Thanks again!

  • http://www.carablack.com Cara

    Wonderful…can almost taste them!
    A delicious reminder.
    When I’m in Paris next week I’ll head to the local boulangerie and indulge!

  • http://www.thevegetariangourmand.blogspot.com Andrea

    Bonjour Clotilde!
    Tout d’abord, j’adore les croissants aux amandes. Et j’en ai goûté d’excellents en France (à Paris, à Lyon, en Provence, en Normandie, en Savoie…). Or, les meilleurs, et ceux que je cherche constamment à imiter, sont les croissants d’une petite pâtisserie dans le Vieux Québec.
    Donc, si jamais tu fais un voyage outre-mer, dans cette “bulle de France au Nord d’un continent” (merci Duteuil!), il me ferait plaisir de te faire déguster les trouvailles montréalaises, ainsi que ces merveilles du Vieux-Québec.

  • http://tascadaelvira.blogspot.com/ Elvira

    Qu’est-ce que je raffolais de ça, quand j’étais petite!

  • suki

    “They’re a good breakfast option if you’re a coal miner, for example” – I LOVE that line, and I have missed reading this blog for the past year while travelling, so clearly I have a lot to make up.

  • Jane

    Milles mercis de l’Australie! I was searching for a recipe of almond croissants and found your blog. Your recipe sounds delectable and just plain mouth-watering! Can’t wait to try it and you can be sure I will look through your website for more recipes. Surprisingly, there are quite a few places here in Australia that sell them but I wanted to try making them myself. Nothing better than home cooking!

  • Hannah

    Fab site Clotilde! I discovered you whilst looking for a macaron recipe..and have been enthusiastically reading for the last two days (even though you don’t have a macaron recipe ;-) )

    I find that croissants aux amandes are much better to be looked at and smelled than actually eaten – and this from an “anything almond” enthusiast! But…if you ever come to Barcelona and have an unwavering desire for such a pastry..the best I have ever almost eaten (hubby did the eating) is from Foix pastisseria on Avenida Bonanova. A word of warning – bring a couple of friends to share it with you, because as you say they are very very rich!

  • Marika Ujvari

    I have made the croissants this moning. I misread the recipe, and instead of 4 day-old croissants, I used 4 day old croissants, but it turned out just fine. Great recipe!
    The left over cream did not stay in a ball, but spread all together, so I had to eat it all instead of serving it to others.
    Such a shame!!!

  • samia Rida

    how do i make choclate and almond croissants please anyone – or what chocolate would i add the the almond recipe already here and how would i go about cooking them? thanks

  • Teresa

    My now favorite pastry shop in Kirkland WA sells this and a chocolate hazelnut croissant. They are sooooo good! I’m so glad I found the recipe in this site. I eat too many of these and my friends gobble them up as fast as I do.

  • Andrew

    Now if only I could buy something resembling a croissant in Deadmonton (Edmonton) Alberta. I can buy bread that is almost edible but croissants… As a European who just moved from Montreal I have to ask… Where do you get bread in Alberta. Something that tastes better than the bag it comes in?

  • http://parisvegetarian.com Ted Drake

    Pierre Herme makes a superb almond croissant that is a traditional version. It’s like the recipe in Baking with Julia Child cookbook.

    I’m a sucker for the almond croissants and never knew why every other boulangerie had such flat versions.

  • Charlie

    Will you be my mommy/wife? (depending on your age)

    :)

  • P

    Thanks so much for this! Made them today and they were deeeelish! Merci from Montreal!

  • http://thupantry.wordpress.com Yuvi

    I try to make this today!!! it went out really fast, luv it definitely is a keeper.. thanx

  • http://sophielovesplump.tumblr.com Sophie

    thank you so much for this recipe! it was perfect for my mum’s mother’s day present and great for getting me back into blogging after a year’s break.

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

      I’m delighted to hear it, Sophie, thank you!

  • Diana

    My mouth was watering as I read your article! What could possibly be more French or more delicious than an Almond Croissant?! The croissant is such a culturally accented dish, that I cannot help but feel a little more French as I indulge in this delectable pastry!

  • Natasha

    So glad to come across this! I run a B&B and we bake croissants fresh every morning, sometimes (but not often) we end up with leftovers and have to throw them out because they just don’t keep well. This is a great alternative! Think we will put them as an addition once in a while to our dinner menu. Almond Croissant and a Latte…. Who could turn that down?!

  • Lori Bobula

    What a wonderful sounding recipe! One question. Is almond powder the same as almond flour?

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

      Yes, almond powder can also be labeled as almond flour or almond meal. In all cases, it should consist in 100% finely ground almonds.

  • http://laurasmess.me/ laurasmess

    A friend of mine makes these croissants, and I have often wanted to find a recipe. Your version looks perfect! Thanks so much for sharing Clotilde!

  • http://www.cupofteasolveseverything.com cheeniroti

    Salut! Merci pour avoir partage votre recette. Je l’ai adapte un peu pour faire des pains au chocolat aux pistaches (apres avoir fait les croissants moi-meme a la maison). Incroyable! Ils etaient trop, trop bons!

    Hi, thank you for sharing your recipe. I adapted it slightly to make homemade chocolate and pistachio croissants, using croissants I’d made from scratch myself. They were amazing. Just yum!

  • Charlie

    I have make this recipe many times.
    I altered the procedures though.
    I have finally learned how to make them perfect…for me.
    I slice the croissant first. It’s almost impossible to slice them when they’re soggy. I don’t open them when dipping.
    I drain then put on paper towel to blot. after blotting I keep them on parchment paper until they dry some.
    I add a little good almond extract to both the dipping liquid and to the cream. I put the cream into the fridge to become stiffer for spreading. The croissants dry and the cream stiffens at about the same time. I put them together and bake them as instructed.
    Now my revelation…I cool them and put them into a plastic box and place in the refrigerator. They then look damp and unappetizing, but they keep for more than a week. I have one a day.
    I put my one on a rack in the oven for 16 minutes until they start browning…not burning. They are crispy and frankly the best tasting I’ve ever made.
    This of course is to my taste.
    Hope this was useful, Charlie

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

      Thanks so much for reporting back and detailing your process, Charlie!

  • Laura

    Thank you so much for this recipe, I’m so excited to try the almond/choc variation for christmas day breakfast! :)

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

      What an excellent idea, I’m sure your family will love it!

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