Croissant Brittle

October 6, 2018

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: This scrappy idea hails from Sea Wolf bakery in Seattle. There, they take day-old croissants and turn them into magic. Co-owners Jesse and Kit Schumann kindly told me about their method, which inspired my own development here. You can use any type of croissant—from a bakery or the supermarket, fresh or stale. Best served with coffee. Emma Laperruque

Food52 Review: This is one of our Big Little Recipes. Read more here: 3-ingredient Croissant Brittle Is as Life-changing as It Sounds.The Editors

Serves: 8
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 55 min

Ingredients

  • 4 croissants
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
In This Recipe

Directions

  1. Heat the oven to 300°F. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment or silicone mats.
  2. Using a serrated knife, slice the croissants—horizontally, as if you were making a sandwich—into thin slices (figure 1/4- to 1/2-thick). Depending on the croissant, you should be able to get about 3 pieces out of each.
  3. Heat the half and half on the stove over low heat until very warm. Turn off the heat and add the sugar and salt. Stir until the sugar has totally dissolved. Pour into a shallow bowl.
  4. Using your hands, dip one croissant piece in the syrup and flip over to completely coat. Gently squiiiiiish the soaked piece between your fingers to squeeze out some excess. (It should still be soaked, just not dripping.) Transfer to a lined sheet pan.
  5. One sheet pan will be for bigish pieces (roughly 5 x 3 inches). The other will be for smallish pieces (roughly 3 x 2 inches). These cook for different amounts of time, so dividing them will come in handy soon!
  6. Repeat with the remaining croissant pieces, spreading them out on the sheet pans evenly. Sprinkle each croissant piece with a little sugar.
  7. Bake for about 45 minutes, rotating the sheet pans halfway through: top to bottom, front to back. At the 45-minute mark, check in with the brittle. The smallish pieces are probably done—remove that sheet pan from the oven. The bigish pieces probably need another 5 to 10 minutes. The brittle is done when it is deeply browned, with the outside the color of dark caramel and the inside, honey. It shouldn’t be crispy to the touch, but fairly firm, with very little give. (Just be quick and careful when touching, since the sugar is hot.) When the brittle cools, it should be completely crisp, with no give at all. If it has cooled for 10 to 15 minutes and still feels softish to the touch, just continue to bake for another 5 minutes, then check again.
  8. Cool on the sheet pan until you can easily remove the brittle. The easiest way to do this is slowly peel the parchment away from the brittle, not the brittle away from the parchment. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  9. This keeps for well over a week in an airtight container—though we don’t expect you to have it around that long.

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Reviews (28) Questions (0)

28 Reviews

Cathy November 12, 2018
Okay so I had been obsessing over this recipe until finally..... I just did it. I made them last night and OMG, they are soooooo gooood. I now have a fabulous new treat and I think that it may become a problem. LOL
 
Author Comment
Emma L. November 13, 2018
So glad you tried and loved the recipe, Cathy—thank you!
 
ElsieB November 8, 2018
Shame on Sea Wolf Bakery for letting this recipe out! Initially, I didn't have white sugar so used caramel flavored sugar (I live in Costa Rica) and added a pinch (or 2😊) of cinnamon. Second attempt, I followed the recipe. Apparently I did something good the 1st time, by accident, as they were better! Love this stuff! Have to hide it from myself! (Brown sugar may work if caramel isn't available to you.)
 
Nancy November 5, 2018
Gahhhhh!!!! Why did I make these?? I am now addicted to these amazing delicious things. We made them for a brunch and they were raved about. Pretty much eclipsed all the other awesome things on the menu. They are just way too easy to whip up too!!
 
Author Comment
Emma L. November 5, 2018
Aw yay!
 
Sandra E. October 30, 2018
Crisp and delicious, simple to make, and a good way to keep stale croissants from going to waste.
 
Author Comment
Emma L. October 31, 2018
Thanks, Sandra!
 
Kaitlin L. October 24, 2018
ok i made mine using brown sugar (it was all i had) and full fat milk. the brown sugar made this nice caramel flavor. i did end up adding half a teaspoon more salt.. i also used some nice chunky sea salt (farmed locally in kauai from a friend). omg so good! i think next time i will sprinkle some of the salt on top with cinnamon or nutmeg for xmas!
 
Author Comment
Emma L. October 31, 2018
Thanks for reporting back, Kaitlin!
 
Regine October 21, 2018
Mine stayed crispy but only lasted 2 days. I think so long as you make sure they were baked to crispiness in the first place as instructed and so long you let them cool completely before storing them, they should remain crispy and fresh for 2/4 days. But this is just an educated guess. O)
 
Kaitlin L. October 24, 2018
i think where you live will play a factor too... hawaii is pretty humid so i dont expect mine to stay as crunchy for more than several days. with the constant open and close of the container.
 
Foteini October 21, 2018
Hello, I was wondering if anyone knows how long / well they keep? Are they worth making ahead to give as a gift or will they go soft in a couple of days? (Naturally I will do them anyway...!)
 
McKenna P. October 21, 2018
I had mine out for about a week and they were still crispy and crunchy! They definitely will do well as gifts.
 
kim L. October 21, 2018
I have had mine in a plastic clamshell container all week and they are still crisp! Just made a second batch! Definitely worth making!
 
ElsieB November 8, 2018
About 30 minutes.....if that! 😉
 
Claudiabeth November 13, 2018
I kept mine in the clamshell, too - still crispy. However, I made them on Sunday, and now (Tuesday) only two pieces remain!
 
Regine October 21, 2018
Super delicious. I used 3 croissants from Trader’s Joe. I was able to slice each in 3. They must have been bigger than those you used because by the time i had the last slice to dip in the syrup, I barely had some left. The croissant brittles were delicious. The only thing is that you may need to be careful so the edges of the brittles don’t scratch your gums. This recipe is a keeper.
 
Author Comment
Emma L. October 21, 2018
So glad to hear you enjoyed! Thanks for reporting back.
 
Robin October 18, 2018
OMG, my local grocer has good price and good quality on too-many pack of croissants. I am sooo excited to try these out. No more waste!! Thanks so much.
 
Author Comment
Emma L. October 18, 2018
Yay! Hope you enjoy.
 
kim L. October 15, 2018
Made them this weekend, very easy and they were delicious.
 
Author Comment
Emma L. October 15, 2018
Thank you, Kim!
 
Regine October 15, 2018
I bought the croissants and half&half to make them this week. I cannot wait to try them. What is there not too like! Croissant-flavor and sugary crispiness. <br /><br />I put the croissants in the refrigerator so they firm up and can be sliced in 3 more easily. I will tell you for sure when I have actually eaten some and provide you more feedback.
 
McKenna P. October 14, 2018
Absolutely love these. My family ate them all and kept asking what exactly they were. <br />I used stale croissants and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, they turned out great. So similar to a palmier. I definitely recommend making these!
 
Author Comment
Emma L. October 14, 2018
Thanks, McKenna! Love the idea of sprinkling a spiced sugar on top.
 
Cory B. October 8, 2018
These were so so so so so so so good! (They tasted sort of like an.... even better palmier.) I can't believe the method is so simple, and what a brilliant way to transform day-old croissants! Definitely going to be using this very soon :)
 
Author Comment
Emma L. October 10, 2018
Yay! Thanks, Cory :)
 
Eric K. October 13, 2018
They really do taste like palmiers!