I am a fanatic of all things French (see Favorite French Films
), especially pastry. Croissants are a special favorite of mine, as are baugettes. I die whenever I find a good French bakery and am able to savor a delicious and perfectly baked pastry. In reality most of my encounters with croissants have been of the Costo
variety, and though not bad, they are incomparable to a REAL French croissant.
And, if you are lucky enough to find a good French bakery, do yourself a favor and get the chocolate croissant. They are the ultimate indulgence. I’ve only had a handful of really good ones, including at a Ba-Le sandwich shop in Hawaii, the café at the Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas, and a street vendor in New York City. I’ve also had a few mediocre ones, at Panera Bread
and the Lion’s Den (at LMU), though they have assisted me thought many a night of essay writing in college.
But, one of the best chocolate croissants I have ever encountered came right out of my kitchen, well, my god-mothers kitchen.
I had made the trek up to Seattle area for Thanksgiving holiday, along with my sister and mother. This was the first time my mother, sister, god-mother, god-sister and I had been together for 8+ years, so the reunion was long over-do.
My god-mother is an amazing Italian cook. And she does it right, no corners cut. Trays of homemade eggplant parmesan with her special sauce, real homemade New York City cheesecake, antipasta with only buffalo mozzarella, vine ripened tomatoes, and fresh picked basil.
But the crowning moment of that Thanksgiving weekend was when I had just got settled into the guest room, when a waft of something incredible and amazing smelling emanated out of the kitchen.
I followed my nose and found a glowing pile of golden brown croissants. They were absolutely freshly baked, piping hot from JUST being pulled out of the oven. Cooking eggplant parmesan was one thing, making cheesecake was another…but baking croissants was an entire other level that I had no idea existed in my god-mothers repertoire.
Turns out, it didn’t. My god-mother had gotten a box of William Sonoma Chocolate Croissants from one of her clients. THEY HAD COME IN THE MAIL. Frozen, and delivered straight to your door by a UPS carrier.
She explained, all you had to do was let the croissants defrost and raise overnight. They will double in size and become puffy. Pop them in the oven in the morning and bake for 20-25 minutes.
These croissants were so delicious. Buttery and flaky, and the semisweet chocolate was divine.
Since that Thanksgiving I have encountered other Williams Sonoma Chocolate Croissants at friends and families homes during the holidays. Everyone who has ordered them or received them as a gift has had the same great product delivered no problem and was able to bake perfection in their oven.
They are available exclusively at WilliamsSonoma.com
, and at $39.95 a box for 15 croissants, they are not meant for an everyday indulgence. But they do make a great gift, and are wonderful to have on hand for special occasions. I will be ordering some for my parents so they, along with my sister and I, and probably the neighbors when they smell the magic coming from the over, can enjoy them over Christmas.