Pain Au Chocolat/Homemade Croissants

Croissants are one of those Intimidating Baking Projects. For a lot of amateur bakers, they go straight into the Too Hard basket and are deemed not worth the effort / better store-bought / both. I’m here to tell you not to panic. Yes, they are a bit finicky. Yes, it’s a long process. And yes, I have ruined an oven-full of croissants before, quite spectacularly, with very little effort. But I have used the recipe I’m going to share with you five times now, and only once have I had a bona fide baking disaster – the time I made the insane rookie mistake of leaving the house during the final, crucial proofing stage only to come home to two full trays of fat, buttery globs. Which I baked and served to general approval, but which were not really croissants.

That was last Easter. This Christmas, I tried again, opting for smaller, chocolate-filled croissants instead. A French girl told me they tasted Parisian, which as far as I’m concerned locks these solidly into my own personal baking Hall of Fame. And honestly? They’re not actually that hard to make.

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Gingerbread Biscotti

Happy 2015 everyone! I spent the first few minutes of the New Year on a beach surrounded by friends, which is also how I spent Christmas, which is the great thing about having December in the summer. To be fair we’ve had a lot of rain, too, but the weather has pulled through on the important days.

Speaking of Christmas, I know I promised you croissants, and they are forthcoming. First, though, something a little simpler. I actually made these purely for the purpose of using up leftover ingredients from my gingersnaps, which makes the recipe perfect for this time of year. They take a bit of time – being biscotti, they do need to be baked twice – but they’re not difficult and they’re very worth your while.

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I halved the recipe below because my oven is small and again, I was really just making these to use up some leftover ingredients. I would highly recommend making a full batch.

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