For a quick, simple dessert or brunch pastry, these puff pastry almond paste-filled French almond croissants (croissants aux amandes) are perfection. They are easy to make and have a delightful, slightly sweet, almond-y flavor. I top them with drizzled simply syrup and sliced toasted almonds for a nice glaze with a little crunch. The filling is a homemade vegan almond paste that you can use for other dessert recipes, too.
Original almond croissants are made by slicing a cooked croissant in half then filling the middle with almond cream, and topping it with glazes, powdered sugar, or almonds. With this puff pastry recipe, you bake the almond right into the center of the croissant.
If you are unfamiliar with using frozen puff pastry, don’t worry. All of the instructions you need are right on the box it comes in. Basically, you thaw it, then roll it or cut it however you need for your recipe. For this recipe, you only need to cut the puff pastry into long triangles, then roll them up to make croissants. You can’t go wrong!
The almond paste recipe is adapted from Ela Vegan. I altered the amount of the confectioners sugar a little to make it less sweet, but I know I will use various sugar measurements in the recipe, depending on how I’m using the almond paste. It’s such a great base recipe to have on hand!
I was also excited to use Ela’s recipe because she includes measurements to use a kitchen scale for the ingredients. I just got my new kitchen scale and had never cooked by weight, so of course I measured everything that way! The original recipe recommends using 70 grams of powdered sugar, but I like to use around 30 grams, which is around 5 tablespoons instead of 9 tablespoons. You can truly go up and down the scale on the level of sugar in this paste. Find your happy place!
I always sift my powdered (confectioners) sugar to remove any clumps. Sometimes I also sift my flour. We live in florida, a.k.a. humidity central, and everything clumps. I even have herbs and spices that clump and those jars are supposed to be airtight! You may not need to sift your sugar, but if you see any clumps, I highly recommend it.
What are the differences between almond paste and marzipan? Almond paste is coarser and less sweet than marzipan. The sweeter it is, the more it’s like marzipan. The almond paste itself, even the finely ground, is grainy. You can try to pulse the almond paste and powdered sugar in the food processor to make it a little smoother.
You can vary this recipe to make only 8 croissants using both pastry sheets, if you wish. One way is to cut the pieces large, so only 4 triangle dough pieces per pastry sheet (and cutting the almond paste into only 8 larger pieces). The other way is to place one thawed pastry sheet on top of the other (after you’ve brushed it with the melted butter), then roll the two sheets together before cutting into 8 triangle dough pieces. I haven’t tried this “double dough” method, but next time I will – I’ll let you know how it goes!
I haven’t tried this yet, either, but food grade rosewater or orange flower water are traditional in marzipan. You can add them to the almond paste if you wish. I’ve included them as optional ingredients in the recipe.