I am a sucker for homemade, still dripping with oil, donuts (or doughnuts as some say). Every year for Christmas my father makes "little men," a fried donut recipe passed down from his mother. The recipe is simple enough: just thawed bread dough from the freezer aisle in the grocery store, fried in oil, then shaken in a brown bag loaded with sugar and cinnamon. The fried treats are fluffy and delicious, but require a bit of planning, specifically thawing the dough in the fridge overnight.
I get busy. I get cravings for donuts the morning of. So what if there was a way to make crispy and flaky donuts without any planning? I immediately thought of switching out the bread dough for Pillsbury canned croissant dough. After a bit of internet sleuthing, turns out multiple food blogs such as Mom Foodie, Fav Family Recipes, and Deliciously Yum had already shared their successes with it.
After a quick run to the grocery store, I was ready to make this super easy cronut recipe.
What Are Cronuts?
Invented by pastry chef Dominique Ansel in his New York Bakery, Dominique Ansel Bakery, cronuts took New York City by storm when they were first introduced, prompting New Yorkers to stand in line for hours to have a taste! Made with a flaky pastry dough that's a combination of croissant-donut, the yummy golden brown pastry is flaky with distinct layers.
There's no doubt the entire process of making real cronuts takes hours. But I don't have hours. I don't even have an hour.
How to Make Cronuts in 15 Minutes Flat
Some recipes call for puff pastry, but this one calls for croissant dough found in the refrigerated aisle. It's more readily accessible in my opinion.
To start, unroll the dough on a floured surface. Fold the dough in half, then in half again. Roll the dough out to 1-inch thickness.
Meanwhile, heat 2-3 inches of vegetable oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Drop a piece of the dough into the hot oil fryer to gauge whether it is ready. If it immediately bubbles, it is ready to fry!
Cut the dough with a cookie cutter and make a hole if desired. Drop the dough carefully into the hot oil and cook until golden brown on both sides. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate then coat in cinnamon sugar. Serve before they cool down to room temperature.
You can also fill the donuts with jelly or cream, dust with powdered sugar, or enjoy them plain! Heck, you can even top it with ice cream. The sky is the limit on this one.