Food Network Kitchen contributor Dan Langan joined “Good Morning America” to help turn leftover desserts into sweet breakfast treats.
To make use of any leftover croissants, Langan filled the French pastries with a buttery almond filling and baked them until caramelized.
He also transformed a leftover crumb cake into lovely layered trifles with lemon mascarpone cream and berries.
Almond toffee croissants
Makes: 6 large croissants or 12 mini croissants
“If you think you love croissants, just wait until you’ve had an almond toffee croissant. Leftover croissants are filled with a buttery almond filling and then baked until caramelized. These are rich and toasty with a touch of sweetness for a totally indulgent breakfast treat,” he said.
6 large croissants (or 12 mini) leftover from the day before
1/2 cup simple syrup-optional
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, very soft
3 tablespoons white sugar
3 tablespoons brown sugar, lightly packed
Pinch fine salt 1 large egg, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons fine almond flour
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
For the topping
1/2 cup sliced almonds, untoasted
1/4 cup toffee bits — optional
Powdered sugar for dusting
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
Slice the croissants in half as if you were making a sandwich and then place the croissants on the prepared baking sheet. Use a pastry brush to brush the inside of each croissant with simple syrup, if desired (this adds moisture to the croissants if they are stale and is a traditional but optional step).
Make the almond cream by placing the soft butter and both sugars in a medium mixing bowl. Use a rubber spatula to stir the mixture until well combined and smooth. Add the salt, egg and vanilla to the butter and stir until well combined, the mixture may look separated and that is OK. Stir in the almond flour and all purpose flour mixing well until combined.
Spread about 2 tablespoons (1 tablespoon for minis) of almond cream filling onto the bottom half of each croissant and then place on the croissant top. Once all of the croissants are filled, divide the remaining cream evenly between the tops of the croissants and spread it smooth. Top the croissants with a sprinkle of toffee, if desired, and then a handful of sliced almonds and press the toppings into place.
Bake the croissants in your preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes until the almond cream topping is golden brown. Place the baking sheet on a wire rack and allow to cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar before serving, if desired.
Mascarpone and crumb cake trifles
Makes: 6 individual trifles
“Leftover crumb cake adds the perfect blend of crunchy and tender when layered with fresh berries and a lemon-scented mascarpone cream. These trifles come together in a flash when made in wine glasses and will add a special touch to any brunch table,” Langan said.
1 8-ounce container mascarpone cheese, cold
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
Pinch fine salt
Zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream, cold
1 pint of your favorite fresh berries
About 4 cups cubed crumb cake, coffee cake or pound cake (from one 8-inch square cake)
To make the cream, add the mascarpone cheese to the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed until smooth, about two minutes. Add the confectioners sugar, salt, lemon zest and vanilla and mix on low until combined. Stop the mixer and scrape the bowl and beater.
Mix again on medium speed for 30 seconds, or until completely smooth. With the mixer on low add in half of the heavy cream and mix until combined. Scrape the bowl and beater and then add the remaining cream and mix on low until smooth.
Raise the mixer to medium speed and beat until thickened and the cream holds soft peaks, about one minute.
To assemble the trifles, place a single layer of crumb cake to cover the bottoms of six wine glasses. Add a layer of berries over the cake and then spoon about 3 tablespoons of cream over the berries. Repeat with another layer of crumb cake and another layer of berries.
Top each trifle with another layer of cream and then a few more berries. Serve immediately or place in the refrigerator for up to one day.
Recipe courtesy of Dan Langan.
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