Never, ever toss them
Say you hosted a brunch, or maybe you brought in breakfast for the morning meeting. You piled a tray high with croissants, but sadly there were many left uneaten. The pastries sat out all day (and then all night, because you forgot about them), and now you have a bunch of stale croissants that no one's going to eat. Not yet, that is. There are plenty of things you can do to transform sad croissants into a breakfast you’d be proud to serve and eat. Here are our favorites.
You’d want to use stale bread (or babka!) to make bread pudding, and same goes for croissants. Tear a bunch of croissants into small pieces, then swap them into your favorite recipe. The flakey, buttery pastries will do the rest.
I’m sure you remember the “can you waffle it” and “will it waffle” videos all over YouTube a few years ago. Well, this one is one of my favorites. Back in 2015, Katie Quinn (often known as KatieQ around the internet) delighted viewers with her Croffle, a slab of puff pastry dough on a waffle iron. But say you have no puff pastry, and you do have stale croissants? You can guess where I’m going. Pop those bad boys in the iron, smush, and devour with plenty of syrup. You can also make a croffle sandwich. Slice the croissants in half and make a your go-to scrambled egg breakfast sandwich (or go my favorite: slathered will almond butter, raspberry jam, and sliced bananas) and let the waffle iron do its thing.
French toast is the laziest, simplest way to pass off less-than perfect pastries as fresh breakfast. Slice croissants in half, dunk in a mixture of egg and milk, then pan fry until crisp.
Inspired by a treat at Sea Wolf bakery, Food52’s Emma Laperruque makes croissant brittle. Day-old croissants go for a swim in milky simple syrup, then are baked low and slow until crispy and golden. It’s more work than French toast, sure, but the end result is significantly more snazzy.
When making a panini, you’re basically looking for a bread that will squish, but not disintegrate into the fillings. Enter the stale croissant. Firm enough to hold its own with a panini press, yet still flakey, you’ve got to try this with your next breakfast sandwich.
Nigella Lawson calls her savory baked croissant casserole “French lasagne,” which is every bit as charming as Lawson herself. Essentially a mess of ham and cheese sandwiches on old croissants that are covered with a garlicky custard and shredded cheddar, there’s no way you could regret letting the pastries go stale after a bite.