Why Stale Equals Success When Adding Flavor To Croissants

A fresh croissant from a pastry shop is rich, buttery, and flaky, but if you don't eat it within a few days, that allure tends to go away. However, don't be so quick to toss out those stale croissants because they are the perfect vehicles for absorbing other flavors. Since the air has sucked all the moisture out of them, they're much more eager to soak up liquids and pastes than fresh croissants. While they may not have the same texture, they're still a delicious base for a plethora of other ingredients and stiff enough to support their application. Plus, they won't get soggy from being topped with a spread the way that fresh croissants might. 

To turn your days-old pastry into a delicious breakfast (or anytime meal), cut it in half and add your favorite spread into the middle. This can include something you'd top your toast with, like butter, peanut butter, Nutella, jelly, or jam — or it could be a filling that you'd find in a pastry from your favorite shop, like custard, almond paste, pumpkin pie filling, or pecan pie filling. To make a complete sweet meal, place a sliced fruit in between your croissant halves too, like bananas, strawberries, or peaches.

Make a sweet or savory sandwich

Since we know that days-old croissants are the perfect blank canvas for an abundance of ingredients, you can up your game even more here by adding a liquid the stale bread will soak right up. Options include honey, maple syrup, simple syrup, agave, or molasses — or get a little fancy with a flavored syrup like chocolate, strawberry, lavender, pistachio, or caramelized fig, depending on what filling you'd like to include afterward. You can even take this one step further and smash your stale croissants with a rolling pin before coating them in a sweetener and frying them in butter — the pastries will turn out thin like pancakes, but they'll still be ideal for absorbing yummy flavors.

While capitalizing on sweet flavors may turn your leftover croissants into a delicious breakfast or dessert, there's no reason you can't make a savory sandwich too. Instead of starting off with syrup, go in with butter (or a compound butter), mayo, smashed avocado, balsamic, or pesto. Then add toppings that mimic your favorite panini with meats like prosciutto or Mortadella, cheeses like Swiss or provolone, and greens like spinach or arugula. Whether you go the sweet or savory route, it's entirely possible to make a tasty meal out of your leftover croissants instead of throwing them away.