crunchy croissants and vers potatoes

unsnackable vol. 45

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Folu

Aug 02 2021

7 mins read

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I had a dream. Finally. After months of dreamless nights, I had an entirely banal, positive dream and remembered it when I woke up. Browsing Costco memes before bed shook loose a part of my subconscious that has laid dormant and took me on a journey through the bulk retailer's aisles during my R.E.M. cycle.

The food court, deservedly, gets a lot of attention in Costco lore, but their oversized croissants have a special place in my heart. With only a loose resemblance to a laminated French pastry, it is more of a buttery processed memory in the shape of a moon. They are a blessing and a curse sold in bulk, impossible to consume fast enough to avoid food waste. The quest to outrun that waste, as always, is an opportunity to make something I love. 

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Croissant Brittle is something I discovered back in 2018 when I devoted myself to making an outlandishly complicated cake each month for #ayearincakes. The cake above was an ode to breakfast and any truly luxurious western breakfast includes croissants. It also included cinnamon butter cake, a maple bourbon soak, boozy blackberry apple butter, brown butter cereal-milk buttercream, and mini boozy apple butter pop tarts with creme de cassis icing. 

I've made the croissant brittle countless times since then and have discovered my favorite version uses full-fat coconut milk instead of half & half. Since I've also tried countless times to start a recipe blog and failed, I'll just share a recipe below.

Ginger Coconut Croissant Brittle 

(Yield 16 pieces)


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Adapted from food52 https://food52.com/recipes/77961-croissant-brittle

Ingredients:

8 Croissants

1 cup Full-Fat Coconut Milk (Unsweetened, Not Coconut Cream)

1 1/2 Cups Granulated Sugar

1 tsp ginger powder 

1 tsp kosher salt

Equipment:

Serrated Knife

Small saucepan

Whisk

Shallow Plate/Bowl

2 Foil or Parchment Lined Baking Sheets 

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 250°F

2. Shake the can of coconut milk before opening, measure 1 cup into a small saucepan, and add the sugar, salt, and ginger powder. Heat on low heat whisking occasionally.

3. While the coconut milk syrup is heating, use the serrated knife to cut each croissant in half. No extra points for beauty, but aim for equal-sized pieces because it helps you judge cooking time more easily.

4. Once the sugar, salt, and ginger have dissolved into the coconut milk, pour the syrup into a shallow plate/bowl.

5. One at a time, dip each cut croissant piece into the sugar syrup, taking care to make sure it is fully saturated with the syrup. Use your fingers to squeeze out any extra syrup. You don't want the pieces to be dripping.

6. Repeat with each croissant piece and arrange the coated pieces snugly on the cookie sheets with the cut insides pointing up. You might not fit all 16 pieces onto two cookie sheets so feel free to work in shifts.

7. Put the cookie sheets into the oven and bake for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, rotate the pans and bake for another 25 minutes. Low and slow is your friend in this recipe, baking the brittle for longer at a lower temperature gets you a caramelized crunch at the end.

8. After the final 25 minutes, check the croissants. They should be a deep golden brown. If the color is light, put them back in the oven and check again in 10 minutes.

9. Take the pan out of the oven and let the brittle cool on the pan until it is cool (usually around 20 minutes) and store it in an air-tight container for up to a week. You can eat the brittle plain, or crumble over yogurt/ice cream, dip it into coffee or use it as a textural element (like knockoff feuilletine) in a dessert.



I hope that offering a recipe that you can easily make at home doesn't make you think that I have stopped valuing the unattainable. Don't worry, I have also assembled a potato-themed assortment of inaccessible snacks just for you. Without further ado, this week's  unsnackables


the unsnackables



sweet

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Maybe it is because I grew up in a bomb pop & rainbow sherbet household, but I will always choose a frozen dessert that features multiple complementary flavors instead of one. This ice bar is yet another ode to Okinawa and showcases vividly purple Okinawan potatoes and brown sugar harvested from Hateruma island. Hateruma is very close to how learning about this made me feel, Hater U Ma(d) and I am both mad and a hater because I cannot eat this. 



savory

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In search of guiding principles to help me navigate this wide world of snacks, one thing that has become exceedingly clear is that hyper-regional polarizing foods make for amazing chips. Something about singular flavors with a small but vocal fandom or localized history pushes food scientists to do their best work. That's why I'm dying to try these Black Pudding crisps. There is no way they aren't packed with a mind-blowing amount of savory flavor. 



thirsty

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As a noted member of the anti-milk movement and a person literally addicted to novelty, I love the alt-milk landscape. I don't think I like actual milk enough to be truly impressed by any of the contenders made to replicate it but please believe I am very interested in trying this potato milk for no reason other than I currently cannot try it. And also because I'm trying to wean myself off of my new, slightly unhinged habit of drinking undiluted cold brew concentrate on ice.



boozy


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I should feel dumb every time I go through making a "boozy" pick for this newsletter and discover yet another fruit or vegetable with natural sugars & starches that can be fermented and turned into alcohol. It's simple science, but luckily I am an incredibly beautiful woman who has no qualms about being amazed by things I had simply been too busy (with the cultural accouterments of being hot) and didn't realize before that moment. Anyway, I can't stop thinking about this Canadian take on a german spiced potato schnapps with notes of vanilla, honey, and angelica root. Angelica root is said to be like wormwood and despite the pure resentment I have felt for every person who has made me take shots of Malört when I've visited Chicago, I am still intrigued. 


In case you missed it, I made my Eater debut with an article about coping with the looming immorality of the olympics with incredible Japanese snacks. Here is a little preview

There are links of where to buy snacks listed in the article but my first recommendation for buying japanese snacks online is always Yami. The amazing selection and the free shipping are literally unbeatable because most online snack sources will either overcharge per snack by 400% or run your pockets by pricing shipping by weight.


I’m still figuring this out, but hopefully, you enjoyed v.45 of unsnackable.

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