Monday, February 25, 2008

Product Junkie Review: Trader Joe's Mini Ready to Bake Croissants

For YOU, my friends, I do this.

Trader Joe's has had, in the freezer section, ready to bake, raw chocolate croissants (full size) for awhile now. They are very popular according to various reviews, and indeed I have a box in my freezer as we speak, but I've never baked them.

A) I am not into chocolate that much, really (chocolate ruins a good croissant in my humble opinion); B) I bought them to make a romantic Sunday breakfast with my boyfriend (who definately thinks chocolate elevates a good croissant and who never fails to remind me that he spent a summer in Paris and had one every single morning, with *THAT* girlfriend, the beeyotch); C) I have not been presented with the opportunity for a romantic Sunday breakfast with said boyfriend because D) we have not spent a summer in Paris and E) we seem to just automatically get up and go get coffee and work on our business and we don't make the time for B. She was the Queen Bee, apparently, whereas I'm the Worker Bee. But I've lasted a lot longer. Going on 7 years. Time for MY damn trip to Paris.

I digress.

So. One of the observations made at Trader Joe's Fan (a web site dedicated to review of all things TJs) was that what they really need is an UN-chocolate, plain version. And huzzah, they listened! Not only do they now make a plain version, they made it MINI. 8 to a box! Yay! Which reminds me of the comedian who does the "hot pockets" routine ... what's his name? He makes fun of mini muffins. "Oh yes, I'll have 1 mini muffin ... or maybe 12."

I digress again.

Because I care about all of you, and your baking needs, I decided to fall on the grenade and buy them, and make them, and let you all know how they turn out, so you can plan your future purchases accordingly.

TJ's directions are:

Step 1, take frozen croissants and place them on a parchment lined or buttered baking dish, and leave out at room temperature for 7-9 hours (best overnight, for morning baking). This will both thaw and "proof" the dough. The box promises me this: "You will be astounded by how much these grow!"

Step 2, for a shiny croissant, brush with a teaspoon of beaten egg. Because I like to do things like that, but don't like to break a whole egg necessarily, I keep a little container of egg beaters in my fridge. Also, a quail egg would be terrific. No wasted egg. Or use a teaspoon and then eat the rest of the egg. The box doesn't say this. These are all valuable tips from me. Did I astound you with these tips?

Step 3, "Bake for 15-20 minutes until quiite brown. Light brown croissants will not be thoroughly baked!" (that's what it says, and it uses yet another exclamation mark, so Elaine Benis may have written these instructions).

Step 4, cool for 10 minutes.

So what we have in progess here, is step 1, about to go sit inside my toaster oven overnight, because somehow I think that will be more hygenic. The pan is a little pan from Daiso for $1.00, which happens to be perfect for my toaster oven. The standard paper clip is for scale.

Check back with me in the morning! Watch me oversleep and not make them, and come home to a balloon dough wad in my toaster oven. That's so me.

Oh, and this is the bad news: 1 croissant is 150 calories, 3g protein, 16g carb, and 9g fat.

I swear to you, if these come out no better than Pillsbury Crescent Rolls, I'm going to be UN. HAPPY.

UPDATE! The results are in:

I was a little frightened at first, because they looked doughy and firm, like a dinner roll, but they baked up light and airy, although a tad flakier than I care for: You couldn't slice these, as they shatter into flakes almost instantly. They are a cross between a croissant and puff pastry, but they are very tasty indeed.

This photo is after 7 hours in my toaster oven, at room temp overnight:

... after 17 minutes bake time, the butter was sizzling.

They stuck to the parchment paper a bit. I'd spray the paper next time. After breaking one open ... the interior was moist and soft, the exterior was very flaky. They were actually a bit too hollow, more like puff pastry, but they were excellent, and it was delightful to have a hot croissant right out of the oven.

1 comment:

  1. I've often wondered about those frozen croissants, but have been to afraid to try them for fear they may become habit forming. (Chocolate + bread = evil combination.)