Puff Pastry Chocolate Croissants
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Quick Puff Pastry and a Starter Recipe (Puff Pastry Mini Chocolate Croissants)

Classic puff pastry calls for lots of rolling and folding to create zillions of those celebrated flaky layers. For bakers who don’t care for all that work, store-bought frozen puff pastry has long been their secret to everything from turnovers to tarts, pigs-in-blanket to Beef Wellington.

But now, with our easy Quick Puff Pastry recipe, we no longer need to rely on Big Pastry for our supply. This quick and easy version rises into maybe a half zillion light, buttery layers. And the dough keeps beautifully in the freezer, ready for whenever the urge for la pâtisserie overtakes you.   

And if you need more convincing, compare ingredients. Quick Puff Pastry has only three: flour, butter and water. Pepperidge Farm’s Puff Pastry Sheets’ long list does not include butter—only vegetable oil, including some hydrogenated oil. And there’s even a smidge of high fructose corn syrup. You’ll find no such dreaded additives in this recipe.

Now, nobody likes a soggy puff pastry confection. So we often serve pastry and fillings separately—as kind of deconstructed desserts. For instance, we’ll bake these Puff Pastry Mini Chocolate Croissants (see below) or Palmiers and serve fruit or pudding on the side. Both pastries are quick, easy, buttery and delicious on their own. And if you want to know what else to make with frozen puff pastry, check out Pepperidge Farm’s site—they have lots of ideas to steal.

And for the best recipe for bakery-style croissants and a good story, check out our Croissant Crazy post.

Quick Puff Pastry

Adapted from Flour by Joanne Chang

Makes almost 2 pounds of quick puff pastry dough.

  • 2¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 pound (2 cups) cold salted butter, cut into cubes
  • ½ cup ice water (made by stirring ice into water)
  1. Prepare ice water and set aside.
  2. Measure flour into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add butter cubes, and pulse until butter pieces are slightly larger than the size of lima beans. Add almost ½ cup of ice water and whirr about 5 seconds. If too dry, add the rest of the water and process a few more seconds, until the dough comes together in a rough, shaggy dough. Don’t overmix. You want small chunks of butter to remain. (If you don’t have a food processor, cut in the butter by hand.)
  3. Pour out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Pat it into an 8” square, then use a rolling pin to form a rectangle about 8” x 18”. Dust the dough and rolling pin as needed to keep them from sticking.
  4. Now we do the “turns,” which create flaky layers. Using a dough scraper if needed, fold the dough into thirds, like a letter, from the long side. The dough will measure about 6” x 8”. Turn the dough 90 degrees, and roll out again to about 8” x 18”, then fold in thirds again. Turn, roll and fold this way two more times. This makes a total of four turns. (You can dust the dough and rolling pin as needed, but brush off excess flour as you fold the dough.)
  5. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate 1-2 hours.
  6. Roll out dough and fold into thirds two more times. (This completes the total of six turns in this recipe.)
  7. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour before using.
  8. Cut in half to make about two 1-pound portions and wrap each in plastic wrap. (A box of Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry contains about 1 pound of dough, portioned into two approximately half-pound rolls.)
  9. Dough keeps well in the fridge for a few days. To freeze, store wrapped portions in a zipper freezer bag for up to a year.

Puff Pastry Mini Chocolate Croissants

  • About 1 pound of prepared Quick Puff Pastry (fresh or thawed overnight in the refrigerator)
  • ¾ cup bittersweet chocolate chips or chunks
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, securing the paper with a dab of vegetable oil.
  2. Whisk egg and water in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. Lightly flour work surface. Using rolling pin, roll the dough into a 16-inch square.
  4. Cut the square into quarters, then cut each quarter into half, to make 8 rectangles, each measuring 8” x 4”.
  5. Cut each rectangle into on the diagonal to make a total of 16 triangles.
  6. Place about 2 teaspoons of chocolate chips down the center of each triangle. Then, starting at the wide end of the dough, roll up each into a crescent. Place each on the baking sheet, tucking the tip under the rolled pastry.
  7. Lightly brush each pastry with the egg wash.
  8. Bake about 20-25 minutes until puffy and golden brown.
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