Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Pain au Chocolat

My sister had a Bastille Day party on Saturday, and we were supposed to bring a French food to share. I was going to take the easy way out and bring a baguette, but then I had the great idea to make croissants. So off to the World Wide Web I went!

And I now present to you: Pain au chocolat!

These were so delicious, and so easy. I SWEAR.

You will need:

1 package of frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 jar of Nutella
Seedless raspberry preserves
powdered sugar

Unfold your thawed puff pastry and cut into thirds along the fold lines.

Roll each third out to about 16" long on a floured surface. Then cut it into thirds again. (There are 2 puff pastry sheets in each package. You will cut each sheet into thirds, for a total of 6 strips. You will cut each strip into thirds, for a grand total of 18 mini strips. I worked with one strip at a time, making three complete Pain au Chocolat at a time.)

At this point, I put my Nutella into a pastry bag, the very same bags I use for decorating cakes and cupcakes. If you don't have one of these, you can put yours into a plastic zipper bag and snip of one end.

Then I squeezed three lines of Nutella onto each mini strip. Mmmmmm...Nutella...

Next, spoon a bit of raspberry preserves onto each mini strip. I used about a teaspoon. Use more or less to suit your taste. You can even omit it all together, or use a different jam. Whatever makes you happy.

Then, gently cut 3-5 vent holes on the raspberry side. Fold the raspberry half over the chocolate half and seal the edges. You can use wet fingers to do this, or you can use egg. I just used my fingers. Make sure they are sealed well or they will explode open in the oven. They are still delicious, but not as pretty. In fact, they look sort of like hot dog buns when they explode open.

Put some baking parchment onto a baking sheet, and put the pastries on top. Leave a couple of inches between them. I have jelly roll pans (really big cookie sheets with edges) and I could only fit 7 pastries on at a time.

Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Cool on a wire rack.

Once they are cool, dust them with powdered sugar. Voila! A beautiful and delicious dessert or coffee accompaniment. I think my dad called them "scrumpy." Nobody could believe I made them.

Now you go make them. They are so easy and so worth the small amount of prep work.

I have many varieties floating around in my head. Like, how about pie filling? Or apricot and white chocolate? Oh, the possibilities!

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