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Almond Croissants, again

I thought I gave up this search after deciding France is the only place to get a worthy one but i've fallen off the wagon and taken up the cause again after having a couple of decent ones in London of all places. In researching new venues I came across I couple I missed the last time, Flour and Quebrada. Also saw a glowing review and impressive photo of one from Lyndelle's (huh, what?) slathered with generous almond goodness inside. That's what I'm talkin' about.

My gripe is that the almond is almost always nonexistent, save for a couple of sliced almonds thrown on top. Just this weekend I threw 2 in the trash from a place in Concord NH, Bread and Chocolate. Cardboard with trace elements of something almond-ish. An abomination.

Most recently had one from MA France, supplied by Pain d'Avignon, and one from Iggy's. Iggy's won that face off.

Isn't the definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result? Well, I guess that makes me guilty of almond madness. Anyone else?

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  1. I remember a good one from Danish Pastry House at a farmer's market. Not as full as I'd like but enough to satisfy.

    1. I recommend the almond croissants at Clear Flour in Brookline. It's been awhile since I've had one, but I believe they are filled with almond paste and then topped with some almond paste and sliced almonds. The almond paste topping gets brown and crispy when the croissant bakes. Another almond treat that's good at Clear Flour are the bostoks, which are slices of pain de mie slathered with almond paste and sliced almonds then toasted. Neither treat is available daily, so best to call ahead before making a special trip.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Velda Mae

        I do most of my Clear Flour runs on the weekends, and have never seen almond croissants there when I go. I just checked their web site, and they no longer list almond as a choice. They do have insanely good gruyere cheese croissants, however.

        1. re: Velda Mae

          love bostok. Flour has it daily but it sells quickly. I always order ahead and get a few slices. It freezes very well.

        2. Never had one in France, but I like the one made by Area 4. I assume you can get them at their restaurant, but I have had it from the Barrington cafe on Congress St (which serves their pastries) and the A4 truck in Dewey Square. Lots of slivered almonds on the outside, a good amount of filling on the inside.

          1. It's not close, but way closer than France--you should definitely try the croissants from Maison Villate, which just opened in Falmouth.

            I'm not an almond guy, but I've tried croissants and pain au chocolat from some of the best places in France and Montreal, and this place is state of the art. Easily the best I've had in the US.

            1 Reply
            1. re: winedude

              I'll back up winedude on this one. When on the Cape, you must try Maison Villette for some of the best French pastries you'll find anywhere this side of the Atlantic. It's certainly worth the trip from Boston, just to load up. Crisp on the outside with light flaky layers of buttery goodness with delicious almond filling gives me everything I love about a top quality croissant.

            2. Seven Stars Bakery in Providence is famed for their almond croissants. They are twice baked with homemade almond paste inside as well as a crust of caramelized almond paste on the top. They are heaven. Whenever I'm in Providence I pick up a bunch and bring them home to freeze.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Scruffy The Cat

                road trip!! Heading south sometime soon. Thanks!

                1. re: Scruffy The Cat

                  Seven Stars are pretty good. The best I've had in Boston, by they way, are at Tatte in Kendall Square, and Canto 6 in JP (again, don't know if they have almond croissants, but their plain and chocolate are definitely worth trying).

                2. Canto 6 in JP has fabulous almond croissants.

                  As for almond madness, I know the feeling of a quest, so if you're insane, you're not alone.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: calisson

                    japonaise is my almond croissant of choice because i like them small, crisp, and nutty - however my friend who loves the almond cream thing swears by athans who fills theirs apparently.

                  2. AJ King in Salem is my choice for almond croissants.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Pegmeister

                      I had one this morning from AJ King... Good stuff, and my 2 yr old loves the cheese Danish.

                    2. I enjoy almond croissants from Swiss Bakers in Allston and Reading.

                      1. If filling amount is the issue, maybe explore almond danish? I know the yeast makes a difference, but they're both laminated, butter-dominated doughs, and the yeast tends to inhibit gluten, so it's easier to keep the dough tender. Plus, the remonce will enhance the sweetness of the almonds?

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: enhF94

                          So who has almond danish? I've never actually seen that particular variation.

                          1. re: Allstonian

                            I... just figured it was a common one. :(

                            1. re: enhF94

                              It would be awesome if it were, that's for sure! But I've mostly ever seen fruit fillings, cheese fillings, and fruit-and-cheese fillings. I would love to hear about anyplace that has almond danish.

                              1. re: Allstonian

                                I previously mentioned the Danish Pastry House for croissant. At farmer's market they offer 2-3 almond pastries, one being almond Danish.

                                1. re: trufflehound

                                  Good to know - thanks! If I ever manage to get to one of the farmer's markets that DPH attends, I will try one.

                        2. These are a hike from Boston but worth it:

                          French Memories Cohasset Ma.While the article is old the croissants are still divine.

                          Rickards Bakery Vineyard Haven

                          Scottish Bakehouse Vineyard Havenhttp://scottishbakehousemv.com/marthas-vineyard-takeout-bakery/?page_id=667

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: foodieX2

                            Cafe Vanille on Charles St and the cafe at the Chestnut Hill Mall are outposts of French Memories only a lot closer. They also have a cafe in Sharon center.

                            1. re: catsmeow

                              oooh cat, that is very helpful info. thk you. now on my list to try.

                              tweetie, if you are insane, then there are many bozos on your bus(if you are a younger CH, you will not likely get this reference.) Now that you have a large handful to try, I will add another one. Lee Napoli of Chocolee (wkends only) and the soontoopen Bread and Butter- does excellent and very heavy croissants(as in heavy w/ filling) almond included. They are not as airy as i prefer but still excellent. They freeze and reheat well in the toaster oven. I also think you might like the ones at the new Swiss Bakers in Allston.

                              For regional perfection , I hope you can someday travel up to beautiful Burlington VT where you will find the (only sweets bakery to really impress me in New England) stellar Mirabelle. Their croissants are crunchy on the outside, w/beautiful ethereal thin layers and generous moist almond filling. Looks like it's time to make another trip up there as I've run through my inventory from the fall......:-}

                              Now that you have an itinerary for your continuing quest, I hope you will remember to update us!

                              1. re: opinionatedchef

                                The other thing I really like there is made from their croissant dough(at least I think it is). It's a flat pinwheel shaped cinnamon pastry. So cinnamony and sticky good!

                          2. Victory! Seems I not only love Joanne's twice baked brioche but the almond croissant turns out to be just what I'm looking for. Right under my nose the whole time. I've never given the croissants a glance before. Flaky, buttery and positively stuffed with frangipane. And so, we have a winner at least in my book.

                            Quebrada's was quite nice too but paled in comparison to Flour. That said, it was a stand out from the others I've tried along the way.

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: tweetie

                              What/where is Joanne's? I couldn't find it earlier in the thread.

                              1. re: tweetie

                                spurred on by your quest, i had the Japonnaise one the other day and it was excellent. Very gooey and well flavored almond filling, with some crunch to the layers. Seems that will be my go-to there now that they have captained a long descent and finally hit rock bottom on their formerly addictive/heaven- sent Adzuki Creams. A sucker no more will I be.

                              2. Once upon a time, Athan's in Brookline had a great almond croissant, although I have not had one in years.