I have a happy story to share today about how two unassuming blobs came together, fell in love, and made the loveliest almond "croissants." While they're distinctly different from the flaky French variety, these are more like almond pastries and way easier to make (from my quick comparison of scanning traditional croissant recipes) but just as good. They're tender, buttery, and filled with that wonderful almond paste that makes an almond croissant.
Bake until golden (one of my batches came out a little darker/over-baked than I'd have liked; the best tasting ones were just lightly golden) and finish with a dusting of powdered sugar.
So pretty and tasty! Perfect for surprising your grandparents with on a Saturday afternoon--which is just what I did this weekend. Nothing impresses my grandparents like home baked pastries still warm from the oven :)
Adapted from Patricia Glass' recipe
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (105 degrees to 115 degrees)
4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup cold butter
3/4 cup warm milk (110 to 115 degrees F)
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup almond paste
1 egg white
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1 egg white
1 tablespoon water
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup confectioner's sugar for dusting
1. In a bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Cut in butter until crumbly. Add milk and egg yolks to yeast mixture; mix well. Stir into flour mixture; mix well. Do not knead. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
2. In a mixing bowl, beat filling ingredients until smooth. Punch dough down. (I skipped this step since my dough didn't need it). Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface; divide in half. Roll each piece into a 12-in. circle; spread filling over circle leaving a quarter inch edge. Cut each circle into eight wedges; roll up from wide end. Place with point side down 3 in. apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Curve ends to form a crescent shape. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour (dough will not double, but will get puffy).
3. Beat egg white and water; brush over croissants. Top with more almond paste if desired, then sprinkle with almonds. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool and dust with confectioner's sugar.