Posting about sweet, decadent treats isn’t the usual January blog content, I know, but I’m always happy to bake new things, no matter what time of year it is.
If you followed me last year, you’ll likely know how much I valued the Puff the Bakery baking course I started last summer. I went from decorating a sponge cake with Malteasers as a special dessert last year to making opera cakes, chocolate entremets, and croissants late last year. The skills I have learned on this course has been amazing, and one of the things I’m most proud of is making croissants and pain au chocolat by hand. They were 3 day long processes, and the results were most definitely worth it, but the added bonus is that I had scrap pieces of dough. I kept these random offcuts in my freezer until I was ready to use them for something special which just happened to be, you guessed it, cruffins, a croissant-muffin hybrid.
The offcuts were all different lengths and widths, so to get them into a workable dough I lined them all up on a baking sheet and started bashing them all together, and rolling until they eventually formed one full sheet. I would have loved to have made another batch of pain au chocolat, but as the scraps were taking at different stages in the process, I’d never be able to guarantee a good rise. Instead, the hodgepodge of buttery pastry was perfect for making the small, flaky, and delicate cruffin.
Cruffins, something I love to say like an old-timey exclamation (“Oh cruffins!”), were created by Kate Rein at her Lune Croissanterie in 2013, before slowly popping up in bakeries around the world. There are so many variations, some with fillings, but I have to admit, it’s something I’ve never tried – until now that is.
As this was to be my first time making and eating cruffins, I decided to keep the flavour as simple as possible and just opted to cover them in sugar – always a winning idea in my eyes! The dough was already made so I didn’t follow a recipe but I did follow this lovely explanation at Good Things Baking Co to see how to shape them and was surprised to see how simple it was: I cut the pastry into long strips and then gently rolled them up before tucking the end underneath. They looked like little delicate roses, and I’m kicking myself that I didn’t get a picture of them before the oven.
Goodness me, these were dangerous. They tasted so satisfying, the sugar slightly melting into the flaky, buttery, pastry and I was so pleased they kept their beautiful swirl too. The cruffins were just small enough that one wasn’t going to cut it, but two was just right, which meant they didn’t stick around long. I can imagine these would be incredible with a dollop of jam in the middle, or some Nutella…You can tell they’re good when I’m already planning my next batch!