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.
|Prep Time||25 minutes|
|Cook Time||25 minutes|
- 3/4 cup almond flour blanched and finely ground (on package), or 90 g
- 5 tablespoons powdered or confectioners' sugar sifted, can use 30 g to 90 g, or 5 tablespoons to 9 tablespoons
- 1-1/2 tablespoons water or 20 ml
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract or up to 1/2 teaspoon
- 1/2 teaspoon rosewater optional, food grade, or food grade orange flower water
- 2 frozen puff pastry sheets thawed
- 8 tablespoons almond paste
- 8 tablespoons sliced almonds toasted
- 2 pinches cinnamon
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons vegan butter melted
For the almond paste:
For the croissants:
- Place the almond flour and confectioners sugar into the food processor and pulse until combined.
- Add the water and almond extract to the food processor. If using rose water or orange flower water, also add at this time. Pulse until a dough begins to form.
- Remove the dough from the food processor. Using your hands, continue to form the dough, adding any additional water or almond flour as needed to reach the right consistency.
- Place the almond paste on a clean surface and knead for 30 seconds.
- Shape the dough into a log and wrap it in plastic wrap. Refrigerate it for 30 minutes to an hour to let it get more firm. (Use within 10 days or place it in the freezer for up to 3 months.)
- Preheat oven to 375° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Remove two frozen puff pastry sheets from the package. Place each puff pastry sheet in the middle of its own floured rolling surface to thaw. Let thaw according to package directions.
- In the meantime, toast the sliced almonds and a pinch of cinnamon in a small skillet on low to medium heat for about 8 minutes. The almonds should be nearly crispy to the bite and browning slightly. They will get crisper upon cooling. Remove the nuts from the skillet immediately and set aside to cool.
- In a small saucepan, heat 1/4 cup of granulated sugar, 1/4 cup of water, and a pinch of cinnamon. Bring the mixture to a slight boil, then reduce to simmer for 3 to 4 minutes to thicken into a syrup. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
- Once the puff pastry has thoroughly thawed, roll each pastry sheet out to make the dough thinner. (I roll mine to about 13 inches square.) Once the first pastry is rolled out, lightly brush it with half of the melted vegan butter.
- Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut the puff pastry in half, then split each half so you have four quarters of dough. On each quarter of dough, cut from corner to corner. After cutting all the quarters of dough, you will have 8 long triangles of dough for 8 croissants per pastry sheet.
- Remove the almond paste from the refrigerator and cut the almond paste log in half crosswise. Then cut each half into 8 almond paste slices, for a total of 16 slices.
- Place one slice of almond paste onto the widest part of each dough triangle, far enough from the edge that you can fold about an inch of the dough completely over the almond paste. Use your finger to spread water around the sides of the almond paste pocket to make a seal when you fold it over.
- Once the almond paste pocket is sealed, roll up the croissant, bend it slightly to shape like a crescent, then place it on the baking sheet. All croissants will fit on one baking sheet, since they don't spread during baking.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the croissants are beginning to brown.
- While the croissants are warm from the oven, brush the top of one croissant with the simple syrup. Crush about 1 tablespoon of sliced almonds onto the top of the croissant. Drizzle more simple syrup over the top of the almonds. This will hold the almonds in place as the syrup hardens somewhat. Repeat with the rest of the croissants.
- Serve the croissants warm. They will keep in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. They can be reheated by microwaving for 20 to 30 seconds, or warmed in the oven until soft.
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