In 2013, the cronut, created by pastry chef Dominique Ansel, hit bakery shelves in New York. People eager to try the fancy croissant-doughnut combination lined up around the block at his Soho store, from early morning to late at night. Although the cronut is still a big thing, there’s a new kid on the block: the croffle.
A cross between a waffle and a croissant, the croffle is the ultimate breakfast treat. Rolled-out croissant dough is popped into a waffle iron to make a waffle packed with layers of buttery dough. It is far superior to a regular waffle and easier to make.
You can have a lot of fun with how you serve them. They can be sweet, topped with fruits, ice cream, chocolate, nuts or caramel, or savoury, with toppings like bacon and eggs, sautéed sausages with fennel, or poached eggs with spinach.
Normally, a special croissant-like dough is used to make croffles, but if you’re not up to making your own, try this easy version using some store-bought short cuts.
Defrost frozen, unbaked croissants and let proof overnight. Costco carries frozen croissants, as do several specialty bakeries. Mabel’s in Toronto has excellent ones. In Vancouver, try Merci Boulangerie. When they have risen, depending on the size of your waffle maker, press 1 or 2 croissants into the iron. Add a sprinkling of brown sugar, if desired. Cook until they are lightly browned and baked through. (The timing will vary, depending on the iron and the dough.) The croffles should be crisp on the outside and have buttery layers inside.
You can also make a croffle using frozen puff pastry. Place a layer of defrosted puff pastry in the waffle iron and press. Top as desired. Cut up, these make incredibly good hors d’oeuvre bases.
Kouign-Amann, pronounced “queen-a-mahn,” is another option for an indulgent pastry. This rich, buttery croissant-like pastry from Brittany has been called “the fattiest pastry in the world.” To make an easy version, buy frozen puff pastry, defrost and roll the rectangle slightly thinner. Cut into 4 squares (about 4 inches) slightly larger than a muffin cup. Cut the remaining puff pastry into 1/4-inch strips, about 2 to 3 inches long. Melt about ½ cup butter and swish the squares around so they are coated with the butter. Sprinkle a layer of brown sugar onto each square and press into a muffin cup. Dip strips into butter and sprinkle with more sugar. Curl a strip and place in the centre of the square. Make a little topknot out of the pastry and place on top of the strip. Brush again with butter and sprinkle with more sugar. Bake at 400 F until brown and slightly crisp, about 15 to 20 minutes. You can add finely chopped apples, peaches or plums on the square piece before you bake.
And finally, a savoury hack from my daughter, Emma. Potato waffles with Korean hot sauce, the perfect base for Korean fried chicken. Defrost a box of tater tots. Push as many as you can into the waffle iron so there is no space showing. Press down on the tots to make the waffle. For the hot sauce, stir together ¼ cup ketchup, 1 tablespoon gochujang and 1 tablespoon maple syrup. Serve with or without chicken splattered with the hot spicy sauce.
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