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Peanut Butter Maple Bacon Croissants

These Peanut ButterMaple Bacon Croissants, are filled with a light peanut frangipane and finished with a topping of candied maple bacon and peanuts. A truly decadent treat that turns stale croissants, into something salty, sweet, savoury and delicious. 

Peanut butter and bacon croissant

Let’s embark on a delightful journey through the layers of flaky croissants, exploring how this indulgent treat brings together contrasting elements in perfect harmony of crispy, crunchy, sweet, and savoury. This Peanut Butter Maple Bacon Croissants recipe is inspired by Jason Bakery in Cape Town. Come the weekend, I’d pop in at Jason pick up a croissant and coffee and enjoy it on the Promenade.

The Allure of Croissants

Before we delve into the delicious details of our star creation, let’s take a moment to appreciate the humble croissant. Originating from France, these buttery, flaky pastries have become a global sensation, transcending breakfast and earning a place in the hearts of pastry enthusiasts everywhere. The delicate layers, achieved through a labour-intensive process of folding butter into the dough, create a canvas that is both tender and crispy — a perfect foundation for our culinary adventure.

The history of croissants is a tale that intertwines French culinary tradition with influences from various cultures. While the precise origins of the croissant are a bit shrouded in mystery, it is generally believed that these flaky and buttery pastries have a Viennese ancestry.

The croissant’s story is often traced back to the 17th century in Vienna, Austria. At that time, bakers in Vienna were known for creating crescent-shaped baked goods, which were made with rich, laminated dough containing layers of butter. These early pastries were not quite the croissants we know today but were a precursor to the beloved French treat.

The specific pastry often credited as the predecessor to the croissant is the Kipferl, a crescent-shaped baked good that dates back to at least the 13th century in Austria. The Kipferl is believed to have been created to celebrate the victory of the Austrian forces over the Ottoman Turks during the Siege of Vienna in 1683.

The croissant made its way to France when Marie Antoinette, an Austrian princess who married Louis XVI in 1770, introduced Viennese baking techniques to the French court. The Kipferl’s crescent shape was later adapted by French bakers, evolving into the croissant as we know it today.

In the 19th century, French bakers refined and popularised the croissant, adding their own touch to the Viennese creation. The French version typically features laminated dough—layers of butter between layers of dough—resulting in the signature flaky and buttery texture. The croissant became an integral part of French breakfast culture and a symbol of French pastry craftsmanship.

By the 20th century, the croissant had gained international acclaim and became a staple in bakeries around the world. Its popularity transcended borders, and variations emerged to suit different culinary traditions and preferences.

Today, the croissant has evolved into various forms and flavours. Classic butter croissants remain a favourite, but bakers also experiment with fillings such as chocolate, almond paste (frangipane), ham, and cheese. The crescent shape is still a defining characteristic, though some variations may have different shapes.

The croissant’s journey from Vienna to France and its subsequent global popularity showcase the evolution of culinary traditions and the enduring appeal of this iconic pastry. Whether enjoyed plain, stuffed, or as part of a decadent breakfast, the croissant continues to be a beloved symbol of French pastry excellence with roots in the rich history of European baking.

Irresistible Glazed Bacon

Glazed bacon’s deliciousness can be attributed to the harmonious interplay of sweet and savoury flavours, the transformative effects of caramelisation, a pleasing combination of textures, enhanced umami, enticing aromas, versatility, and visual appeal. Glazed bacon is a culinary delight that captivates the taste buds with its irresistible combination of sweet, savory, and crispy flavours.

The glaze, often made with ingredients like maple syrup, brown sugar, or honey, adds a sweet component that complements the natural savuory richness of bacon. This delightful contrast creates a harmonious flavour profile that is both satisfying and indulgent.

The sugars in the glaze undergo caramelisation during the cooking process. This chemical reaction transforms the sugars into a golden-brown, sticky glaze that enhances the overall flavour and texture of the bacon. Caramelisation not only adds sweetness but also contributes to the appealing glossy finish on the bacon.

Glazed bacon achieves a desirable texture that combines crispiness with a slight chewiness. As the bacon cooks, the glaze forms a crispy outer layer, while the rendered fat underneath keeps the bacon moist and succulent. The contrast in textures elevates the overall eating experience, making each bite a delightful crunch followed by a burst of flavour.

Bacon naturally contains umami, the savoury and meaty flavor that enhances overall taste satisfaction. When glazed, the umami in the bacon is accentuated by the sweet and salty components of the glaze. This synergy of flavours creates a more complex and deeply satisfying eating experience.

Peanut butter and bacon croissant

My Twist on Frangipani Paste

Frangipani paste, also known as almond paste or almond cream, is a sweet filling used in various pastry and dessert recipes. It is made from ground almonds, sugar, butter, and eggs, resulting in a smooth and rich paste with a delightful almond flavour. Frangipani paste is commonly used in tarts, pies, and pastries to add a luscious and nutty element to the dessert. For this recipe, I replace the almonds with peanuts for more robust flavour that won’t be overshadowed by the glazed bacon.

Prepare Peanut Butter Maple Bacon Croissants the Night Before for the Morning After

Greasy food is often recommended as a hangover cure based on a few perceived benefits, though it’s important to note that the effectiveness of this remedy varies from person to person. You can prepare most of the Peanut Butter Maple Bacon Croissant recipe in advance, and day-old croissants are perfect for this!

This is why these croissants are the best accompaniment for your boozy New Year’s Day brunch:

Consuming greasy foods before or during drinking is thought to slow down the absorption of alcohol in the bloodstream. Fats take longer to digest, and they may create a sort of “barrier” in the stomach, potentially delaying the entry of alcohol into the bloodstream. This might help reduce the overall impact of alcohol on the body.

Greasy foods, especially those rich in fats and carbohydrates like Peanut Butter Maple Bacon Croissants, can provide a source of sustained energy. Alcohol consumption can lead to a drop in blood sugar levels, contributing to feelings of fatigue and weakness. Eating greasy food may help stabilise blood sugar levels and provide the body with a longer-lasting source of energy.

Hangovers often come with cravings for indulgent or comforting foods, and greasy options like Peanut Butter Maple Bacon Croissants may be appealing in such moments. Eating something you enjoy can have a psychological boost and contribute to an overall sense of well-being.

While some people may find relief from hangover symptoms by consuming greasy foods, it’s essential to recognise that this approach may not work for everyone.

Enjoyed the Peanut Butter Maple Bacon Croissants?

If you loved Peanut Butter Maple Bacon Croissants – please let me know about it! Leave me a comment and give this recipe a rating below, and remember to tag your photo #theculinarycartel on Instagram so we can see what you come up with.

If you enjoyed this recipe, you might also like other brunch favourites like:

Cardamom Coconut French Toast with Rhubarb

Panettone Brulée French Toast

Vegan Eggnog French Toast Bake

Peanut butter and bacon croissant

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make this recipe gluten-free?

Yes! Simply grab some glutten-free croissants.

Can I make this recipe vegan?

Unfortunately not. This recipe relies on eggs for the rich peanut butter frangipane and the smoky, crispy bacon to help line the stomach!

Can I make this recipe in advance?

Partially, yes! Pick up the croissants the day before, fry your bacon, and whip up the peanut butter frangipane. This is particularly fab if you’re feeding a crowd, since all the hard work will be done and all that’s left to do is the final baking — done in less thank 15 minutes!

Can I substitute the peanuts and peanut butter if I’m allergic?

You can use sunflower seeds and sunflower seed butter to replace the peanuts and peanut butter.

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Peanut butter and bacon croissant

Peanut Butter Maple Bacon Croissants


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  • Author: Jess Bunn
  • Total Time: 0 hours
  • Yield: 4 portions

Description

This Peanut Butter Maple Bacon Croissant recipe is inspired by Jason Bakery in Cape Town. After a strenuous gym session, I’d pop in at Jason, pick up a croissant and coffee and enjoy it on the Promenade.


Ingredients

Units
  • 4 croissants (day-old croissants are great for this)
  • 1 pack thick cut bacon
  • 4 tbsp maple syrup or alternatively 3 tbsp/36g light brown sugar
  • 60g roasted, salted peanuts, roughly chopped
  • Powdered sugar for dusting

Peanut frangipane

  • 50g unsalted butter, softened
  • 50g light brown soft sugar
  • 90g smooth 100% peanut butter (no added sugar or salt, ideally)
  • Pinch fine sea salt
  • 1 medium free-range egg

Instructions

  1. If using sugar syrup over maple syrup, combine the 3 Tbsp of brown sugar with 3 Tbsp water in a small bowl. Heat in the microwave until the sugar has dissolved. Set aside.
  2. Place bacon on a tray lined with a silicone mat or baking paper, and place the bacon onto the tray. Brush with the maple or sugar syrup, then place into the oven or air fryer to cook until golden.

In the oven: 190°C for 10 — 14 minutes

In the air fryer: 190°C for 8 — 12 minutes

  1. The bacon should be glazed and the fat rendered, but not super crisp, as it will continue to cook later.
  2. Combine the soft butter and brown sugar with a spatula and mix until light and fluffy. Mix in the peanut butter and egg until combined. If your peanut butter is unsalted, add a pinch of salt to the mixture.
  3. Remove the bacon from the air fryer or oven and roughly dice. Add the diced bacon to a bowl with the chopped peanuts, then stir through two tablespoons of maple or sugar syrup.
  4. Split the croissants in half. Brush the insides with the remaining sugar or maple syrup, and brush the tops too.
  5. Divide the peanut butter mixture between the bottom and top halves of the croissants, spreading the mixture out to cover the tops and bottoms evenly. Repeat the process with the peanut-bacon mixture, pressing it into the peanut frangipane.
  6. Place the croissants back into the air fryer or oven, and cook until the peanut frangipane has set and the croissants are a lovely deep golden brown.

Air fryer: 8 — 11 minutes at 160°C

Oven: 10 — 14 minutes, at 190°C.

  1. Remove from the air fryer/oven, dust with powdered sugar if desired and serve.
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 20 - 30 min
  • Category: Breakfast and brunch
  • Method: Air fryer or oven
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