Stupidly simple fresh pastries, no work required

This is a lazy thing to post about, but I consider it a public service announcement.

You guys. I don’t know how many of you share my emotions on the subject of pastry, but I bet it’s a high percentage. I can’t get enough of good buttery pastries, mainly of the flaky croissant family, and pain au chocolat, with a good cup of coffee, is just one of those perfect foods. Ages ago I’d read somewhere that Trader Joe’s*, that home of genius food shortcuts, sells a good frozen croissant and pain au chocolat, ready to proof and bake at home. I always forgot to actually buy any, but last week they jumped out at me and I was eager to try them over the weekend.

Then I had an appendicitis scare, spent Friday night and Saturday in the hospital, and didn’t get to eat any real food for a little while. But that’s all in the past now! Everything is fine! I am a medical mystery! And I wanted to reward Ben for his frenzied trip home from a business trip to spend the night in the hospital with me, so before I fell into my own wonderful bed Saturday night I set the pain au chocolat out to proof. I was in no state to find my camera, and I failed to take photos of the little cigar-shaped frozen pastries or their box. Suffice it to say, the box warns that you need to leave four to five INCHES between them on the sheet, before leaving them out overnight to rise. I felt weird leaving them on the counter uncovered, as directed, so I popped the tray in the cold oven for a bit of protection from the elements.

Sure enough, when I woke up Sunday morning, the cigars were crazily puffy:

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And after 22 minutes or so in the oven:

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Wow, those were so good. REALLY flaky and light, very buttery, nicely bittersweet chocolate. In fact, they’d puffed up so much they were almost hard to eat! BTW, you can add an optional egg wash for added shininess. I forgot, and as you can see mine looked pretty much just like the box.

Here’s what the box looks like (thank you interwebs for filling in here):

Image via Just Insomnia, where the blogger actually met the baker who makes the croissants–apparently he does desserts for places like Dean & Deluca, too. This explains a lot.

*I swear, Trader Joe’s isn’t paying me, even though I’m pretty sure almost every post I tag “good stuff” talks about something from there. I just love them.

5 thoughts on “Stupidly simple fresh pastries, no work required”

  1. Wow they look super yum. Last week when I was in ny ate about 4 Baltazar croissants, heaven. I’ll have to try these out. Thanks for the tip. Hope your feeling better.

  2. I just found your blog, and the very first post is about one of my very favorite things! What are the odds?! I don’t have a Trader Joe’s anywhere near me, so when I visit friends in Chicago, I stock up from their TJ’s and keep them in my freezer. LOVE THEM. (and I, too was amazed how much they had poofed in the morning.)

  3. I totally agree. We get the Pillsbury ones here, and I love to bake them on Sunday morning. It makes the home smell like…home! Spring greetings to you.

  4. Cool! I also love to pick up a pack of already made croissants from TJ’s. They’re not great on their own, but they’re perfect for Martha’s croissant bread pudding. Recipe is on her website – great and incredibly easy.

  5. Grace from Design*Sponge tweeted a link to this post and I immediately went to TJ’s (love Traders!) and bought a box. A week later I finally had the chutzpah to give them a try and – ohmygosh – they are amazing. Thanks for the heads-up on this!

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