I adore chocolate croissants but don’t have a good bakery nearby. I have a wonderful little trick, though, which lets me produce these tasty pastries quickly and painlessly. Here’s my recipe for a lazy pain au chocolat, i.e. choco-croissants.
My secret? Frozen puff pastry! There are two brands commonly available in U.S. grocery stores: Pepperidge Farm, and Dufour. When I have the chance, I use Dufour, made with butter. But I’ve never ever had anyone turn down one of these made with “plain old” Pepperidge Farm puff pastry.
Puff pastry can hang out in my freezer for a good long while, and can be thawed overnight in the refrigerator or in about 2 hours on the kitchen counter, which makes this a wonderful and easy treat.
I keep chocolate sticks like these in my pantry, because they’re just so handy. If you don’t have any, use good quality chocolate chips. Once these treats are baked, nobody will notice!
There’s only one drawback: they don’t keep long. Plan to eat them soon after they’re out of the oven, and figure on having no leftovers.
Lazy Pain au Chocolat
- 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed and ready to use (I like Dufour or Trader Joe's)
- 8-12 semisweet chocolate sticks, or sub chocolate chips
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp water
- 1 Tbsp coarse sugar for sprinkling the tops
- Be sure to thaw the puff pastry according to package directions. A good butter-based puff pastry is the secret to lazy pain au chocolat!
- Heat oven to 400˚F (200˚C).
- Lay out the sheet of thawed puff pastry. Beat the egg with a little water; brush this over the entire surface of the pastry sheet. Depending on the size of the pastry sheet, cut it into 8 to 12 rectangles about 3 inches by 4 inches (7 cm x 10 cm).
- Place a chocolate stick about 1/2 inch from one of the short edges of each rectangle. Note: I keep chocolate sticks like these in my pantry, because they’re just so handy. If you don’t have any, use good quality chocolate chips. Put a line of chips at the edge of each rectangle.
- Flip the smallest part of the pastry over the chocolate, then place another chocolate stick (or line of chips) right next to that, and finally fold the rolled part over the second line of chocolate. You’ll end up with a double roll of pastry and chocolate. Place each roll, seam side down, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Brush the tops of the rolls with the egg mixture and sprinkle each with a bit of sugar for sparkle and browning.
- Bake 10 minutes or so, until the pastry is puffy and golden. Let them cool a bit before eating.