I haven’t been in a Trader Joe’s for awhile. Not sure why, wasn’t an intentional thing unless you count the frustration of parking at many of them. No, just circumstance. Kinda odd actually, since I think they have some of the best frozen pizzas (imported from Italy and France) available, and something I had forgotten about, their frozen chocolate croissants.
Croissants came to me fairly late in life, when I was partners with an American woman living in Europe. We had a place in Leysin, Switzerland, and after a few globe trotting years relocated to Paris, just off the Rue Saint Denis, in the 10th. We were just a down the street from Gare de L’est, one of the city’s train stations, and handy for popping around the rest of Europe. In both Leysin and Paris, pain au chocolates (not really a croissant) were a big part of our morning routine, walking down to the patisserie or bistro or tabac to have one along with an espresso or six.
Trader Joes does an outstanding job of replicating that experience, although you’d never expect that when opening the box and pouring out the four little rock hard nuggets of dough; you have to let them thaw and rise on the counter overnight, so they are not really an impulse item (well, they are to buy, just not to eat).
After you let them thaw, pop them into a pre-heated oven for 20-25 minutes, the box cautions you that if they are “light brown” they aren’t done – bake until they are a deep rich brown in color. They are amazing. They also have almond ones (which I like) and ham and cheese (which surprisingly, I haven’t tried. note to self).
Trader Joes Chocolate Croissants