Quick Kouign Amann(ish)

They're just delicious. Crunchy, sweet and sticky on the inside

 

I’m a big fan of things that look more complicated than they actually are. This Kouign Amann recipe is a cheat recipe to get something that looks and smells amazing, but doesn’t cost a lot of time or effort at all. Kouign Amann (“Kween-Amahn”) is a delicacy from Brittany in France. It’s basically a twist on a croissant, only with more butter and loads of sugar.

I was inspired by Chef’s steps Kouign Amann recipe, who make it from scratch. Which is amazing and which I would love to be able to make, but I simply don’t have the skills to make laminated dough (believe me… I have tried and failed. Failed so hard). So I cheated by using pre-made laminated croissant dough. The result is undoubtedly less amazing than when it’s made from actual home-made dough…but it’s the best I can do. And still really delicious and it looks impressive!

Ingredients:

  • Laminated dough
  • Sugar
  • Butter
  • optional: cinnamon/salt/little pieces of apple/jam

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven at 190-200°C. Make squares from your laminated dough. Because I used croissant dough, it was pre-cut into little triangles, so I just mushed those back together to make squares

I squished the triangles together to get square pieces of laminated dough
I squished the triangles together to get square pieces of laminated dough

2. Cover both sides of the triangle in sugar. Just press the sugar into the dough and be very generous with the quantity.

Really press the sugar into both sides of the dough to get the best effect
Really press the sugar into both sides of the dough to get the best effect

3.  Generously butter a muffin tray and cover the butter with sugar so you get a layer of sugar in each cup.

Cover the inside of the muffin tray in butter and cover the butter in sugar
Make sure to use loads of butter, to get the best caramel

4. Make beautiful little shapes by folding the sides together and put the dough in the tray.

Fold the dough and put it inside the muffin tray so it looks like little flowers
Fold the dough and put it inside the muffin tray so it looks like little flowers

5. Cover with even more sugar for an extra caramelized effect.

the sugar on top will give the final kouign amann a crispy caramel layer
the sugar on top will give the kouign amann a crispy caramel layer

6. Put in the oven and bake for about 25-30 minutes. Keep an eye on them. They’re done when they start to brown and the sugar is caramelized.

They get the browning both from the dough and from the caramel. The smell is amazing.
They get the browning both from the dough and from the caramel. The smell is amazing.

7. Take out of the oven and quickly take them out of the tray. Do not leave them in the tray. Let them rest upside down on a sheet of parchment paper.

The underside is really sticky. It will stick to anything while cooling down.
The underside is really sticky. It will stick to anything while cooling down.

8. Let them cool and then eat as many as you like.

They're just delicious. Crunchy, sweet and sticky on the inside
They’re just delicious. Crunchy, sweet and sticky on the inside

What I have learned:

  • Read the ingredients on the dough

The first time I made these, I wanted to go impressive and make a salted caramel. So I added quite a bit of coarse sea-salt to the sugar. What I hadn’t thought about, was that the pre-made croissant dough was salted. This meant that I got really, really salty Kouign Amann, which was disgusting and we had to throw it out. Salted caramel is amazing, but if the dough has been salted already. Do not add more salt!

I have also made the mistake of buying really cheap croissant dough, which just had a crappy taste that no amount of butter or sugar could cover.

  • Cinnamon is a great addition

This recipe just begs for the addition of cinnamon. I’m not sure if it’s still technically a Kouign Amann if you add it, but I’m very sure it’s delicious. I added a lot of cinnamon to my sugar and it gave a beautiful brown swirl on the inside of the pastry.

The smell of these was just out of this world. The whole living room smelled like caramel and cinnamon.
The smell of these was just out of this world. The whole living room smelled like caramel and cinnamon.
  • Eat them today!

Well, not necessarily today: you can do whatever you want. But do eat them the day you’ve made them. They’re so much better when they’re fresh and they get old really quickly. Reheating them for a couple of minutes gets a bit of the crunch back, but it will never be as good. They’re at their absolute best about an hour after they got out of the oven. The caramel will have settled and the to will be crunchy, but they will still have that “freshly baked” feel and smell.

  • Caramel is sticky

I left a couple of them in the tray to take a picture, and it was near impossible to get them out. The ones that I removed straight when they got out of the oven, just fell out of the tray. But the ones that I left in there for about 10 minutes became a near permanent feature of my muffin tray. So don’t be tempted to have them cool down inside the tray, or you’ll be prying them loose using a knife like I did.
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