So are you up to date on the new dessert craze aka the Cronut?? Invented by NYC Chef Dominique Ansel and the originals are only available in his NY Bakery for 5 bucks a pop! If you haven't seen all the daytime TV personalities drooling over them or scoring one and eating a cronut live, it's basically a cross between a croissant and a doughnut. All homemade daily, there are long lines and waits for them and apparently a black market where you can buy one on the street for $40! (only in NYC). Find the low down from the bakery here. There are lots of similar treats being produced by other bakeries around the world, some go by other names like "dossants" or "doissants" or or "croughnuts" or "cronots" since "cronut" is trademarked now (please don't sue me I am not making any money from your dessert!). Even Dunkin' Donuts is getting in on the action aka NewYork Pie Donuts (well they are in South Korea anyway).
Although I work in NYC, I've yet to make it down to the bakery to try one, plus I don't have 2 hours to wait in line! So I attempted really quick make at home ones. The goal seems to be big flakey buttery layers, a donut shape that's deep fried to crispy perfection then filled with a pastry cream, and topped off with a powdered sugary milk glaze. At least that's what I think - and since I've not actually tried one, that's the goal I had in my head!
For these you will need:
For Cronut Base
1 package of crescent rolls
2 tablespoons of melted butter
Canola oil for frying
For "Pastry Cream"
1 cup of vanilla pudding mixed with 2 tablespoons of Cool Whip topping
3/4 cup of powdered sugar mixed with 2-3 teaspoons of water or lemon juice
Food coloring (optional)
Since I have zero experience making from scratch croissants, I cheated and opted for some good old crescent dough.
Unroll the dough, ignoring the crescent shapes, and cut into squares (try to fix the pre-made perforations in the dough). Stack them into 4 or 5 layers. You can roll them a bit to make the layers thinner. Brush each layer with melted butter before stacking.
Cut out your doughnut shape (I used the rim of a metal martini shaker!) and also cut out the middle hole (I used a large icing tip!). From 1 roll of crescent rolls, I got 2 regular sized doughnuts, 1 smaller one, and some "cronut holes"!
Then fry in oil (never thought I'd type those words here as I never really "fry" in oil)
Until nice and golden brown (pretend that one in the upper left is "golden" brown!)
Make sure you check for doneness inside. Ok here is where the recipes didn't work, they looked nice and golden brown, but were so not done and still dough-y inside. I only fried them for about 1-2 minutes (way less for the holes) but if I left them in any longer they would have burned. I blame my lack of frying skills and I'm sure the oil temp was not right.
As a fix (because no one wants to bite into a half cooked cronut knock off), I baked them at 350 F for about 15-20 minutes. Make sure to cover with aluminum foil so they don't brown anymore.
When "done" slice lengthwise and fill with pastry cream. My pastry cream was 1 cup of vanilla pudding mixed with about 2 tablespoonfuls of Cool Whip (btw-my mock pastry cream was totally yum, I could have eaten that all by itself!)
Drizzle with glaze and top with your sprinkle of choice. And don't forget the cronut holes!
And immediately eat!
These were made easily with some pre-made dough (ok not the same thing as homemade croissant like dough in the real things but it's a good head start). Others have tried this out as well, like here with home made from scratch dough, here with pre-made croissant dough and similarly here with pre-made crescent roll dough. Even Pillsbury has a recipe on their site here!
And you get some kinda homemade "cronuts" without all the wait. These were pretty buttery and dense, but the filling and glaze really make them pretty tasty. You can see my layers were not quite as pretty and distinct as the professionals. And i'm sure the real things are like a gagillion times better - most people seen eating them seem to be as close as you can get to food heaven, but if you are no where near downtown NYC or near a knock off bakery, you can at least *try* making some on your own!
PS I hear Dominique Ansel has invented yet another new treat the "Frozen Smore"- vanilla ice cream coated with chocolate crunchies then inserted into the middle of a homemade marshmallow square, freeze the entire thing, add a smoked stick, and torch the outside. WHAT?! Yes, yes, and yes to the S'mozen (not sure if that's the real name but it sounds good). Why can't I come up with the next frankenpastry??