July 20, 2009

Not in France? Enjoy Chocolate Croissants at Home

To me there is nothing more delicious than a pain au chocolat, or chocolate croissant. These tasty croissants are best when freshly baked and enjoyed in France. The locals line up outside their favorite bakery (boulangerie or patisserie) to buy their pain au chocolat on Sunday mornings.

Is it possible to have a croissant culinary experience at home that comes close to the French experience? If you have a Trader Joe's® nearby, then you are in luck! My friend in Berkeley had told me to try the frozen croissants from TJ's.

I was skeptical about the taste and texture since France is one of our favorite vacation destinations and a place where I've consumed many fantastic chocolate croissants. They are quite addictive. Fortunately, I walk so much when in France that I can honestly say that consuming croissants on a daily basis led to weight loss, not weight gain!

To bake the frozen croissants, remove them from the package before going to bed at night. Place them on a baking sheet on top of parchment paper. Let them rise overnight, uncovered. Make sure you leave at least four inches of space between the frozen pastries, as they more than triple in size once they have risen overnight. The next morning, bake the croissants for 25 minutes in a 350° oven. It doesn't get any easier or better - unless you're in France!

Voila! Bon appétit!

No free croissants were received in exchange for writing this story. However, a few were consumed! I'm out walking now. Photos and words by Freda Cameron.
Freelance travel writer. My current fiction writing projects include a completed manuscript and several works in progress.

By the way, my name is pronounced fred-ah, not freed-ah. Thank you.

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