Croissants aux Amandes

- 4 large day-old croissants or, if you can't find good croissants around you, 1 package of frozen puff pastry - 1/2 C sugar - 2/3 C blanched almonds - pinch of salt - 1 stick of butter (cubed) - 2 eggs - touch of almond extract - 1 cup water - 2 tablespoons sugar - 3 tablespoons triple sec, light rum, or amaretto (optional) - powered sugar and sliced almonds to top
I love pretty much any dessert with almonds. It's up there with dark chocolate and espresso for favorite foods (even if espresso is a drink). Naturally, when I first had a croissant aux amandes, I quite possibly fell in love. I went on a mad search to find out how to replicate these little beauties at home, and this is sort of a mish-mash of recipes that I found and tried. My biggest issue with making them was I can't find really good croissants where I live. I decided to try with puff pastry, and the result, while a little more time consuming, was quite good. If you can find good croissants, use them. If not, a package of frozen puff pastry does wonders. It doesn't have the rubbery texture the grocery store croissants tend to have. 1) If using puff pastry, defrost according to directions, cut into 6 pieces (in half and along the seams), and prepare according to the package. After they are cooked, let them sit at room temp for a day. 2) The next day, preheat oven to 350 3) Heat the water, sugar, and liquor (if using) in a saucepan until it comes to a slow boil, reduce heat and stir, dissolving sugar. Once dissolved, take off heat, place in bowl to cool to room temp. 4) In a food processor, combine the sugar, salt, and almonds. Pulse until finely ground. Add butter and pulse until blended. Add the eggs, one at a time, until creamy. 5) Slice croissant in half (like you would a bun) and one at a time, dip halves into syrup to coat, and place on cookie sheet. (If you have one, Silpat will help to keep from sticking, parchment paper works as well.) 6) Spread about two tablespoons of filling on one half, place the top back on, spread another tablespoon on top, and sprinkle with sliced almonds. Do this with all the croissants and bake for about 15 minutes. Dust with confectioners sugar and enjoy. This great with big cup of coffee.