French pastry chefs let nothing go to waste. Leftover croissants (make sure you use great ones) filled with an almond butter paste, and rebaked, are sublime. This is a pastry and hotel school staple and something you can expect to see in many a French pastry shop window. They are puffy, buttery, extremely easy but unique treats that will make you say, 'Oh shut up. Too good!" If you like this recipe, you'll also love Costco Cronuts from BetterBaking.com (C) and Butter Flakey Doughnuts (not quite Cronuts)
8 left over or day old croissants - such as Kirkland Croissants from Costco
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla or 2 tablespoons kirsch or rum or brandy
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Almond Paste Filling
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup, scant, finely ground almonds
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon orange oil
1/2 cup slivered almonds
Confectioners sugar for dusting
Make simply syrup first by placing water and sugar in a small saucepan.
Bring to a gentle boil, reduce heat, and let simmer to dissolve sugar, about 5 minutes. Cool, then stir in vanilla or kirsch or other liqueur. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 400 F. Stack two baking sheets, one inside the other and line top one with parchment paper. Split croissants in half, horizontally, and lay 8 of the halves on baking sheet.
In a medium bowl, cream the butter and sugar until smooth. Add in almonds, then eggs, vanilla, almond, and orange flavorings, blending well after each addition.
Drizzle a bit of syrup over the bottom of each croissant. With a small spatula, spread the almond cream on interior of bottom halves of croissants, allowing a little to overflow down sides. Top with croissant tops and press slightly. Smear on more almond cream and then dust with remaining slivered almonds. Bake until topping turns medium brown, 12-15 minutes, drizzling twice, near the end of baking, with some simple syrup.
Cool, then dust with confectioners' sugar before serving.
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