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Trader Joe's Kouigns Amann - a question about baking them

I've never had this pastry before, TJ's or anyone else's, but after reading so much about it here and elsewhere, and then finding that TJ carried them in their freezer section, I took a chance and bought a package yesterday. I intended to bake them while the snow flies.

I knew you had to proof them overnight, but it wasn't until I got them home and read the directions that I found they call for baking spray on the (provided) baking cups. I don't have any (never do).

Can I just lightly grease the cups, or then dust them with flour? Or must I wait for the post-storm shopping trip?

Any help is much appreciated.

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  1. Sure, you can butter and flour them.

    1. They should have so much butter in them they wouldn't stick anyway :)

      1 Reply
      1. re: buttertart

        Nope. That's what I thought. I bake them one at a time and once forgot to spray the cup before beginning the rise. The next morning, it stuck badly and tore the paper when I pried it loose. There's a lot of sugar on the bottom of the pastry, which turns into sticky dark caramel.

        I would oil or butter - but not flour - the cups in the absence of baking spray. I don't think the cups do much to maintain the shape of the rising pastry. I believe they are there to contain the caramel. You could raise and bake them in a dish or pan if you had the right size.

      2. I would grease them, but not flour them. The pastries are pretty buttery on their own, but it's the caramelized sugar that gets really sticky.

          1. I just baked off the one a few days ago. I'd done the grease & dust on the provided paper cup, and there was only the slightest sticking as I pulled the paper off.

            Ambient temperature in my kitchen is only 70 degrees, so I'm not sure I got a good rise on it. It came out pretty flat in the middle. I might try proofing the next one in the oven with the light on. (Oh, for the pilot lights of yesteryear's gas ovens. It made for a great, always-ready proof box.)

            3 Replies
            1. re: mcsheridan

              Turn on the oven light and check half an hour later. You may find the oven noticeably warmer.

              1. re: mcsheridan

                Dough does not need warmth to rise. It will rise in the fridge. Time is the main factor.

                1. re: sandylc

                  They recommend 6-7 hour rise from their frozen state, and at room temperature; I had it out for 9-10. I know things can rise in the fridge, but this might take a long, long time.

              2. a light greasing is all you need

                  1. re: ChrisOfStumptown

                    Took me a few tries ;-) to decide which I like more, the almond croissants or the kouign amann. They have the same calories and percentages, as well as identical prep directions (other than the baking cup for the k.a.) and price, so those weren't factors. It's close, but I give the kouign amann a slight edge. They are equally almondy but the latter has the crispy edges from the caramelized sugar.

                    1. re: ChrisOfStumptown

                      Even though my first attempt at baking one off didn't come out as high as I might like, the taste is delightful I can't wait to have my next one. It's like a croissant brûlée.

                      1. re: mcsheridan

                        Alright you've twisted my arm. Obviously I have no choice and must pick up a pack on the next TJ's run.

                        1. re: ChrisOfStumptown

                          I thought they were as good or better than I get at fancy bakeries in San Francisco. TJ's come to $1 each, at bakeries about $4 each.

                          1. re: walker

                            That's a mixed blessing. The cost and the need to make a special trip to the bakery is why I don't eat one everyday.

                      2. re: ChrisOfStumptown

                        Frankly..a bit bland.....but with a scoop of vanilla I/C on top.delicious

                      3. Thanks to all who responded. My second attempt involved greasing the paper, no flour. The pastry came away cleanly, better than when I'd floured as well; go figure.

                        A warmer rise helped, and I'm now totally hooked on these inexpensive, flaky delights. :)

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: mcsheridan

                          I couldn't find them at my TJs, where are they kept in yours?

                          1. re: buttertart

                            They're in the freezer case, near the croissants and other ready-to-bake items.

                        2. would anyone happen to remember the baking instructions? My dad threw the box out and now it's long gone. They have been rising, but I just need to know the temperature and baking time if anyone can remember!

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: nonibear

                            Preheat oven to 350F, bake on a tray in the center of the oven for 25 minutes until quite brown.

                              1. re: EM23

                                If they've spread out during the rise, I find 20 min is enough - 25 and the sugar is starting to burn. Ovens vary, but I suggest checking at 20.

                              2. re: nonibear

                                They rise higher and bake up better when proofed and baked in muffin cups rather than on baking sheets.