Easy Pain au Chocolat

These Easy Pain au Chocolat (Chocolate-filled Croissants) are the perfect holiday treat for breakfast, dessert…or both!

These Easy Pain au Chocolat (Chocolate-filled Croissants) are the perfect holiday treat for breakfast, dessert...or both!I made croissant dough one time.  Key phrase in that sentence: one time.  A good croissant is the stuff of dreams.  Buttery, delicious, flaky.  But croissant dough is anything but easy.  Croissant dough falls into the category of ‘laminated doughs’ as the dough is literally used to laminate pieces of butter.  Think about a laminating machine.  You insert paper (i.e. butter) and then the machine laminates it with plastic (i.e. dough).  Well, croissant dough is similar…pieces of butter get rolled in between layers of dough until the butter essentially becomes part of the dough.  Then you just keep repeating that laminating step again…and again…and again.  And, of course, more butter is added at each step.  Butter is the not-so-secret weapon for creating a delicious croissant!

These Easy Pain au Chocolat (Chocolate-filled Croissants) are the perfect holiday treat for breakfast, dessert...or both!Back when we first moved up here to upstate New York, I took some professional baking courses at the local community college.  You see, I was stuck in our tiny apartment in the middle of winter with a neighbor who fancied himself as a DJ.  The vase on our dining room table would literally vibrate across the table when he was “practicing.”  I needed an outlet, and Laura suggested looking into baking courses.  I’ve always loved to bake thanks to growing up in a Southern kitchen, and those courses were the perfect outlet for me!  And I also suspect that those courses contributed to me becoming a food blogger.

These Easy Pain au Chocolat (Chocolate-filled Croissants) are the perfect holiday treat for breakfast, dessert...or both!But let’s bring it back to the laminated dough used for croissants.  I’d learned how to make croissants in class, so I wanted to repeat the process at home for practice.  Hours upon hours later, I was standing in my kitchen nibbling on the most delicious ham and cheese croissant ever!  But here’s the thing: most normal people don’t have hours upon hours to make croissant dough.  Most normal people need shortcuts.  And that’s where this Easy Pain au Chocolat comes in!

For this Easy Pain au Chocolat (loosely translated as ‘chocolate-filled croissant’), I used a package of puff pastry as the base.  I still used that puff pastry to laminate pieces of butter, but it only took one round of laminating…way easier than the repeated rounds it takes when you make croissant dough from scratch!  (Although, truth be told, making these Easy Pain au Chocolat kinda made me want to make the dough from scratch again.  I enjoy kitchen projects like that…kinda like the time I made everything bagels from scratch.  However, I suspect I might have to wait until Robbie is a bit older…like 18 years older…before I tackle those kinds of projects again.  Hah!)

These Easy Pain au Chocolat (Chocolate-filled Croissants) are the perfect holiday treat for breakfast, dessert...or both!These Easy Pain au Chocolat take less than 30 minutes to make (not including baking time), so they can easily be made for friends or family during the holidays.  Or you can make the entire batch for yourself.  I won’t judge!  I will say that these chocolate-filled croissants taste best when freshly baked, though.  The tops are perfectly crispy and flaky, and you can pull them apart into layers upon delicious layers.

These Easy Pain au Chocolat (Chocolate-filled Croissants) are the perfect holiday treat for breakfast, dessert...or both!If you’re looking for a fun (and relatively quick) dessert recipe for the holidays, then I highly suggest these Easy Pain au Chocolat.  You could even serve these for breakfast or brunch with a hot mug of coffee.  I’m not much for chocolate in the morning myself, but Laura is all about chocolate in the am.  (For me, give me a nice, strong coffee with a maple-glazed cinnamon roll, and I’m a happy camper!)  However, when it comes to dessert, bring on the chocolate!  No matter what time of the day you serve these Easy Pain au Chocolat, I can promise they will be a big hit!  Enjoy, my friends!

These Easy Pain au Chocolat (Chocolate-filled Croissants) are the perfect holiday treat for breakfast, dessert...or both!

Easy Pain au Chocolat

These Easy Pain au Chocolat (Chocolate-filled Croissants) are the perfect holiday treat for breakfast, dessert...or both!
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 20 servings
Calories: 252kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 sheets frozen puff pastry thawed
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter cut into small cubes
  • 20 1”x 2” chocolate bars, chopped (see note)
  • 1 large egg + 1 tsp water lightly beaten
  • {optional} coarse sugar for topping (i.e. sparkling or demerara sugar)
  • powdered sugar for topping

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
  • Working on a lightly floured countertop, place one sheet of puff pastry on counter. Spread cubed butter evenly on top and then lay 2nd sheet of puff pastry on top.
  • Lightly flour the top of the puff pastry and then use a rolling pin to roll dough into a large 15”x20” rectangle. (Tip: Work carefully here as the puff pastry can tear if you are too rough.)
  • Using a pizza wheel, cut the dough lengthwise to create (2) 15”x10” rectangles. Cut each rectangle into 10 triangles. (The base of each triangle should be ~3”. See photo in post for example.) This will create 20 total triangles.
  • Make a 1” cut in the middle of each triangle base. Place chopped chocolate bars parallel to the base and then roll the dough, starting with the base, over itself into a tight roll. Place croissants on parchment-lined baking sheet, tip-side down.
  • Brush the tops of the croissants with the lightly beaten egg wash.
  • {Optional} Sprinkle the tops of the croissants generously with coarse sugar.
  • Bake at 375°F for 28-32 minutes, or until tops of croissants are deep golden in color.
  • Let croissants cool and then dust with powdered sugar immediately before serving.

Notes

Note: I found chopped plain chocolate candy bars work quite well!

These Easy Pain au Chocolat (Chocolate-filled Croissants) are the perfect holiday treat for breakfast, dessert...or both!

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30 Comments

  1. I’ve never made croissants from scratch – I’ve only cheated using puff pastry a couple of times. There are certain things in cooking, particularly in baking, that I’d rather leave to the professionals. I mean it might be cool to make filo or croissant dough from scratch one day, but it’s not worth right now as I’ve got to try so many things. Besides, if we can make everything by ourselves, there won’t be any room left for some fun like stopping at the bakery once in a while. Or imagine if you realize that your croissants or the Austrian cakes are indeed better than in France or Austria? Life would basically be ruined!:) So, I don’t mind having these easy croissants by breakfast, dessert, and possibly for lunch. But if you make the authentic croissants one day, please don’t forget to share!

    1. Yeah, I’m right there with ya, Ben. It really is cool to make croissants completely from scratch, but man does it require a good bit of time. And a good bit of time is something I just don’t have these days! I’ve been thinking it might be fun to make a full-on authentic version again sometime, but we’ll see. Maybe on a cold, winter day when there’s nothing else going on. In the meantime, this easy version is totally awesome! 🙂

  2. I’m not a croissant making expert, but I am a croissant eating expert. Oh, they definitely are the stuff of dreams with their buttery goodness. Loved how you used puff pastry here (so freakin’ versatile, right??). Pinning these beauties and making soon. P.S. homemade bagels are so good! Actually made a batch this weekend – so much better than store-bought! Have a wonderful week, my friend!

    1. Haha! I love that you call yourself a croissant-eating expert, Dawn! You should put that on your business card. 🙂 Puff pastry is indeed incredibly versatile, and it made this job SO much easier. I still rolled some butter into the dough because, well, butter. Haha! But, yes, these were a hit! Laura took them into work so they didn’t just stare at me all day from the countertop, and she had coworkers asking for the recipe all day! Enjoy the holiday baking, my friend!

  3. I loooove making laminated dough, but no one ever mistook me for normal :). However, I also love eating croissants and obviously can’t just whip some up any time I feel like eating a flaky pastry. UNTIL NOW! Um, this is probably the most brilliant recipe I’ve ever seen. I totally have to make these for Christmas breakfast!

    1. Oh, Kelsie. We really were separated at birth. I love making croissants (and laminated dough) from scratch, but it seriously is a labor of love. But then again, I love a good kitchen project! Have you tried bagels from scratch? Check out my link…it’s a fun project, and it definitely falls into the labor of love category. I’m a big fan of using puff pastry as a shortcut, and these pain au chocolat really are easy! I still added some more butter there though because, well, butter. 🙂 Happy Tuesday, my friend!

  4. Pain au Chocolat in 30 minutes?! Wow! This is one Pain au Chocolat I could get behind! David, like you, I made croissant dough ONE TIME! I followed Paul Hollywood’s recipe and those croissants took me almost a whole day to finish making with all the layering and chilling and all! The croissants were so so good – but gosh – I definitely don’t have that kinda time! So I’m all for giving these puff pastry/butter layering tip a try! Genius idea! Happy Monday to all of y’all!

    1. Seriously! 30 minutes! 🙂 I’m right there with ya on the croissant dough. I had a blast making it as I love a good kitchen project. But I seriously don’t have time these days to spend an entire day making croissant dough…even if it tastes amazing when it’s done! That’s where the puff pastry comes in. It’s a great shortcut, and it lets you get Pain au Chocolat done in 30 minutes. Now that I can make the time for! Thanks so much, my friend!

  5. Chocolate-filled croissants !! YUM!! These look crazy good David! I wish I could come over to your house for coffee sometime.. I love a buttery flaky croissant ..but the technique is too intimidating for me to venture into..USing puff pastry is smart..ALso the pics depicting how to do it are really helpful! Thanks a bunch !!

    1. Oh, you are welcome to swing by for coffee anytime you’d like, Deepika! 🙂 I’m always baking up something around here, and I’d love the company. Plus, I’d love to have someone help me polish off all the stuff I’m always baking. Haha! Making croissant dough from scratch really isn’t that difficult…but it takes a lot of time. Like a LOT of time. This puff pastry version is a total shortcut, and you can have Pain au Chocolat ready to go in 30 minutes. That’s how I roll around here these days! Thanks so much, my friend, and happy holiday baking!!

  6. This would be such a great thing to do if you were having company over for the holidays. Like you, I want to take the all-from-scratch route, but I agree with you – I often just don’t have the time! So thanks for the shortcut.

    1. Anytime, my friend! The full-on croissant from scratch thing is something you really should tackle one day. (I saw your buche de Noel…I know you appreciate a good kitchen project now and then!) But in the meantime, this shortcut version using puff pastry is perfect for the busy holiday season. Just don’t expect any leftovers here! 🙂

  7. These will be a big hit in my house! I’ve thought of using puff pastry to make croissants before, but I’ve never considered laminating it, what a great idea! I will pin for later and hopefully try it over the holiday! Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. Yes! You can totally use puff pastry and still laminate it. More butter, more better, right? 🙂 If you need a quick and easy recipe sometime during the holidays, keep this puff pastry trick in mind! These Pain au Chocolat were a big hit around here. Laura took ’em with her to work so I wouldn’t eat them all, and she had coworkers stopping by her desk asking for the recipe! Thanks, Laura!!

  8. Mmmmm, buttery laminate machines! Sounds delicious! Hahahaha. Bare with me, I think I’m funny. This chocolate dessert sounds incredible! Someday I’ll dabble with homemade croissants but for now, I’ll stick with shortcut version. Puff pastry to the rescue! Seriously though, these look amazing 🙂

    1. Hey, I’m right there with ya on the laminate machine! If only they made one for the kitchen where you could load flour and water into one side and butter into the other. 🙂 (They actually do make these…but they’re for professional kitchens. As in, they’re really expensive. They should make a home version!) For now, though, this shortcut method using puff pastry is a winner. I mean chocolate croissants in 30 minutes? Yes, please. I’ll take 2! Thanks so much, Christina!!

    1. Oh man, croissants in Europe! Now you’re speaking my kinda language, Nicole! Croissant dough from scratch is a fun kitchen experiment, but it does take a big investment of time. This puff pastry version is an awesome shortcut. I still laminated the dough, but only one time…which means I made these chocolate croissants ready for baking in about 30 minutes. That’s how I roll around here these days. Thanks so much, my friend! 🙂

  9. What a great shortcut with delicious outcomes! These chocolate filled croissants look amazing! I’m betting Little Robbie will be a great help in the kitchen – he probably already is! He just might not be giving you the kind of help you need quite yet! 🙂

    1. Oh man, these chocolate croissants were SO good, Kathy! I had to send them in with Laura to work so that I wouldn’t eat ’em all. 🙂 And, yes…you are absolutely right about Robbie being my little sous chef. Too bad his “help” isn’t quite on task right now…but soon! Thanks so much, my friend!

  10. i saw the title and immediately was like, BS. i haven’t made croissants before, but i have done puff pastry, and that is a pain in the butt. but this sounds like a really good compromise, and i love the idea of adding even more butter to already decadent puff pastry (;

    1. See, here’s the thing…just use store-bought puff pastry! I know you can make a quick puff pastry at home, but you can seriously make these bad boys in about 30 minutes if you use store-bought puff pastry. I still laminate a bit more butter in there because butter. 🙂 And chocolate makes this one a great afternoon or evening snack (I’m not a chocolate in the morning kinda guy). I want to try these with ham and cheese now though! Thanks so much, Heather!!

  11. I can’t wait to make these! I had choc croissants in France and have been missing them! Just checking before I make them, your photo seems like there is more than 4T of butter?

  12. Hey Thea! You are absolutely right that it looks like more than 4T of butter in that photo…but I promise it’s not. I even went back to my notes to check! I did cut the butter into tiny cubes, so I think that must be why it looks like more. But I promise it’s 4T! Do give these a shot…they’re insanely easy, and perfect to pull out for the holidays! 🙂

    1. These croissants are perfect for the holidays because they use puff pastry as a shortcut. I’ve been thinking it would be fun to make croissants from scratch again, but that might have to wait until a cold, winter day when there’s nothing else to do! 🙂 Thanks so much, Dawn!!

  13. Would love to make croissants from scratch but I have never tried it – what a fantastic shortcut though! I am with Laura on the chocolate in the am front, I can almost smell them from here and they would make great companions to my cup of tea right now 🙂 Have a lovely weekend, David!

    1. Croissants from scratch is a fun project, Miriam! But you better put aside a good chunk of time to make ’em happen. This puff pastry shortcut is perfect for the holidays, and you can have these in the oven in about 30 minutes! I’m not a huge fan of chocolate in the morning, but I might make an exception for one of these croissants with a nice cup of coffee or tea. 🙂 Thanks so much, my friend!

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