There are times when one just needs something rich, sweet, and comforting. There are also times when one is suddenly gifted with a dozen perfect croissants from Ann Arbor’s Croissant Shop. They are crisp. They are fragrant. They melt in your mouth. Two or three can be consumed more quickly than one would like to admit.
What to do with the remaining pastries to avoid plummeting into a complete shame spiral? The answer: freeze them, and then turn them into Baked Croissant French Toast the next time you have friends over for brunch. Puffy, golden, delicious. Have yourself a hearty portion- with no regrets.
•6-8 plain croissants, cut in half lengthwise
•1 1/2 cups whole milk
•1 1/2 cups half-and-half
•1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
•1 teaspoon vanilla
•2 tablespoons Grand Marnier
•1 orange, zest of
•1/4 cup packed brown sugar
•1/2 cup white sugar
•1 pinch salt
1. Butter a 9 by 13-inch baking dish. Arrange the croissant halves in the baking dish. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, half-and-half, nutmeg, vanilla, Grand Marnier, orange zest, 1/4 cup brown sugar, white sugar and salt. Pour this mixture over the croissants. Cover the baking dish and chill until all of the liquid is absorbed, at least 2 hours or overnight.
2. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes or until puffy, golden brown, and set in the middle.
3. Serve with: warm maple syrup, homemade preserves (I used my own blueberry-lime jam), or a dusting of powdered sugar and a squirt from a lemon wedge.