There’s a reason croissant-other pastry hybrids are so popular: so many baked goods can benefit from the light, buttery, flaky dough that croissants are made from. One such pastry is this spiced cruffin—or croissant muffin. It’s somewhere between croissant and cinnamon roll, with a generous interior of spiced sugar wrapped up in a sweet spiral and baked in a muffin pan. The exterior of the pastry becomes crisp and lightly caramelized (think: palmier vibes), and the interior remains soft—with a gloriously layered texture that’s streaked with melty, gooey bits of the sugar. For a twist, try flavoring the sugar with dry ingredients other than the warming spices, like vanilla bean or citrus zest. —Erin Jeanne McDowell
Test Kitchen Notes
Bake It Up a Notch is a column by Resident Baking BFF Erin Jeanne McDowell. Each month, she'll help take our baking game to the next level, teaching us all the need-to-know tips and techniques and showing us all the mistakes we might make along the way. Today, a crash course in yeasted puff pastry—the labor-of-love dough for crispy-tender croissants, danish, kouign amann, and more. —The Editors
- Prep time 15 hours
- Cook time 30 minutes
- makes 12 cruffins
Softened unsalted butter, for greasing pan
(198g) granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons
recipe yeasted puff pastry (https://food52.com/recipes...)
Egg wash, as needed
- Lightly grease the cavities of a 12-cup muffin pan with butter. In a small bowl, mix the sugar, cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves to combine.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a rectangle 12 by 20 inches in size. Lightly apply egg wash to the surface of the dough, then sprinkle the spiced sugar evenly over the surface.
- With one of the longer sides of the dough facing you, use a knife or pastry wheel to cut the rectangle into 12 even strips. Roll each strip up into a spiral and place into each cup of the prepared muffin pan.
- Cover the pan with lightly greased plastic wrap and let rise until nearly double in size. The amount of time this will take can vary drastically—as little as 30 minutes in a warm environment, and over an hour where it’s colder. To see if the dough is properly proofed, gently press a finger into the surface. It should leave an imprint that slowly starts to spring back. If it won’t hold an imprint when gently touched, it’s still underproofed and needs more time. If it holds the impression and doesn’t spring back at all, it’s likely overproofed.
- Towards the end of rise time, preheat the oven to 375°F. Bake the cruffins until they are evenly golden brown and have an internal temperature of at least 190°F, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the pan and place on a wire rack. Cool at least 10 minutes before serving.