Chocolaty Croissant Puffs
Flaky layered doughnuts filled with chocolate pastry cream and iced with a ganache glaze. Makes12-14
  • 1 package active-dry yeast
  • 1⅓ cups warm milk
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cold butter
  • A shallow bowl of sugar for rolling pastry in
  • oil for frying, enough to fill pot 3" (I prefer peanut oil)
  • ......
  • Pastry Cream:
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup water
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 cup half & half
  • ¼-1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ..........
  • Chocolate Glaze
  • 6 ounces dark chocolate (or 1 cup chocolate chips)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ½ cup half & half
  • 1 teaspoon powdered egg whites or meringue powder (optional)
  1. In a large bowl (a stand mixer is best) combine the yeast and warm milk. Let it sit until dissolved - about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the butter, vanilla, sugar, salt, and 1 cup of the flour and stir until combined.
  3. Switch to a dough hook and slowly add 2 cups of the remaining flour. Knead with the dough hook for 3-4 minutes. Add the remaining ½ cup of flour if needed to make the dough come away cleanly from the sides of the bowl.
  4. Cover with a towel and let the dough rise until doubled - about 1 hour.
  5. Drop the dough on a lightly floured surface. Turn it over to coat, and knead a few times. Place the dough in a large plastic zipper bag, or wrap loosely in plastic wrap. Put in the refrigerator.
  6. Working with one stick of butter, pound and roll the butter between two pieces of waxed paper or parchment, making a 6½-inch by 4-inch rectangle. If necessary, trim the butter to get reasonably straight edges and use a knife or spatula to spread the trimmed butter back onto the rectangle. Place in the refrigerator. Repeat with the other stick of butter.
  7. Refrigerate for 15-20 minutes.
  8. Place chilled dough on floured surface and roll it out to approximately 12x8 inches, with the long side towards you.
  9. Put one piece of chilled butter in the middle of the dough, with the butter's short edge towards you. Fold the dough from the right, over the butter, pressing down gently. Place the other piece of butter on the dough that is covering the first piece of butter and fold the left side over, pressing the seam to close. (It is like a book, with the "open" edge on the right and the short edge facing you.
  10. Roll out gently to measure 12x8 inches. Fold into thirds again, press the edges to seal, and put the dough back into the plastic bag. Refrigerate for 45 minutes.
  11. With the long sealed edge on the right, roll out again to 12x8 inches. Fold into thirds and place back in the bag in the refrigerator for 45 minutes
  12. Repeat one more time and refrigerate overnight.
  13. The next day, roll the dough out to measure 12x8 inches. Fold into thirds. Roll it out again, to approximately ½-inch thick. Cut shapes out with a flower-shaped cookie cutter or a round biscuit cutter. Lift the cutter straight up - don't twist it. Use a small round cutter (a bottle cap works in a pinch) to cut a circle out of the center of each pastry. These doughnut holes are wonderful when fried! Cover with a towel and let rise until almost double, about 1 hour.
  14. Heat oil to 370 degrees in a deep pot, with the oil about 3 inches deep. Keep a close watch on the temperature, as it will change quickly as dough is added and removed. It is important to keep the temperature near 370 degrees to keep the pastry from absorbing oil.
  15. Slide a few pieces of dough into the pan, leaving enough room for them to move around. Cook for approximately 1 minute on each side, or until a light golden brown. Remove with a "spider" or slotted spoon. Place on paper towels to drain, with more paper towels over the top. When cool enough to handle, roll the bottom and sides in sugar. Repeat until all of the doughnuts and the holes have been fried and sugared.
  17. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch, sugar, water, and egg yolks. Beat or whisk well.
  18. In a medium saucepan on medium heat, heat the half & half until it's hot and bubbly. Pour half of it over the egg mixture, whisking briskly. Pour the egg mixture back into the hot half & half. Whisk continuously on medium heat until thick, about 2 minutes.
  19. Remove from heat and add the chocolate. Whisk until incorporated. Cover and let it cool, stirring occasionally. When completely cool, put the pastry cream into a pastry bag with a bismark tip or a medium round tube tip.
  20. With a skewer, poke a hole in one side of a pastry. Insert the skewer to the left as far as you can without poking it through the side of the pastry, then to the right. Put the tube into the hole you just created and squeeze filling in each direction. Repeat on the other side of the pastry. Each doughnut should have two holes. NOTE: If you prefer, you can cut each pastry across the equator, add filling and replace top. OR you can "plug" the bottom with a small piece of one of the doughnut holes and fill the core from the top.
  22. Melt the chocolate in a small saucepan over the lowest heat setting. Add the butter, corn syrup, and vanilla. Stir. Add the powdered sugar alternately with the half and half until the mixture is fairly thin. Adjust the amount of liquid as necessary. If you want a firm glaze, add the powdered egg whites or meringue powder and stir well.
  23. Dip the top of each pastry and decorate with candy flowers or sprinkles if desired.
Recipe by The Rowdy Baker at