I’m big on hype. I’ve talked about it before, how I get really excited about hyped-up things, only to be disappointed. Case in point: I was really looking forward to the buddy update for Pokemon Go because I thought you’d get to see your buddy next to you in the game. But no, you don’t get to see Pikachu walking next to you in the game – you only get to see him when you look at your avatar. Sigh. Wouldn’t Pikachu literally walking next to you have been the cutest? My world is so much more fluffy and filled with sprinkles.
Like these cruffins! Which are sprinkle filled and full of fun. Cruffins are definitely a viral food item, just like cronuts. But the thing is, when I tried cronuts, I wasn’t that jazzed. So, when I had to chance to line up for cruffins, I didn’t do it. We were in and out of San Francisco in a hot minute, and I kinda, sorta (okay, really really) wanted to fall for the hype and line up for hours and hours, but the call of the open road was too hard to ignore, so we bought a California croissant filled with smoked salmon, ginger, wasabi, and nori instead. It was delicious.
But I couldn’t really get cruffins out of my head. So I made some. Here there are: funfetti-ed and full of all my hopes and dreams for hyped up food stuffs.
Of course, I had no idea how to make them. I mean, I guess at their core, cruffins are croissant dough shaped into muffins. But I needed more than that to go on, so I did some internet research on the matter: did you know that someone broke into Mr. Holmes Bakeshop (the original cruffin maker) just to steal the recipe? I scoured Google for a long time but I couldn’t find that recipe. My google-fu needs some work.
But, I did find Mandy’s recipe! It’s perfect because I’m not the greatest at laminating dough, which is the technique you use to make croissants. You take your dough, and a block of butter, and fold it over and over on itself, while rolling it out. It’s hard work and funnily enough, croissants were one of the first ever things I experimented with when I really started to get into baking and cooking. Mike and I were obsessed with pain au chocolat (fancy French way of saying chocolate croissants) and I was determined to make them at home.
Long story short, they didn’t really work out. Laminating dough takes a lot of time, butter, and arm power. The croissants baked up, but they definitely weren’t fluffy. Ever since then, I’ve kind of stayed away from croissant making. But now, with the genius pasta maker method, I might just have to revisit regular croissant making.
In a few words, all you do is: knead your dough, let it rest, feed it through a pasta roller on decreasingly smaller thicknesses, smear your dough with butter, roll, and bake. It’s both simple and a little complicated. I find those are the best kind of recipes – the ones you really get your back into. It makes you feel like you’ve really accomplished something when you’re done.
These cruffins are definitely an accomplishment. I was so excited while I was rolling them up. And after they proofed and were big and fluffy, I couldn’t wait to get them in the oven. They turned out just the way I thought they would: shatteringly crisp layers on top, with a more traditional croissant cross-section on the bottom. I loved the way the sprinkles caramelized into tiny crispy crunchy brûléed bits. The mascarpone is the literal frosting on top (and inside). You don’t need it, but if you’re going to go in, you got to go all in.
Funfetti Cruffins Recipe
makes 6 cruffins
- 1.5 tsp (6 grams) instant dry yeast
- 130 grams (1/2 cup) luke-warm water
- 150 grams (1 cup + 1 tbsp) bread flour
- 150 grams (1 cup + 1 tbsp) all-purpose flour
- 25 grams (2 tbsp) sugar
- 1.5 tsp (11 grams) salt
- 50 grams (3 1/2 tbsp) unsalted room temp butter
- 165 grams (11 1/2 tbsp) unsalted room temp butter
- 1 cup sprinkles
- 8 ounces mascarpone, at room temp
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 cup whipping cream
slightly adapted from Lady and Pups
You need a stand mixer, pasta roller, and a specialty pop-over pan for this recipe. It’s involved and time consuming. It’s a commitment, but so worth it! There are some excellent step-by-step photos of the process here, so be sure to check it out if you’re going to make these guys.
Start off by bringing your butter to room temperature. You want it to be soft, but not at all melted.
Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together the flours, sugar, and salt. Add the water and yeast mixture to the flours and stir. Use a dough hook and knead on slow for 3 minutes. The dough will be shaggy and very stiff. If needed, add a touch more water, bit by bit (no more than 2 tablespoons). Continue kneading until the dough comes together.
Add in 50 grams of softened butter, bit by bit. Do this slowly – you want the butter to be completely incorporated into the dough before adding the next bit. Continue to knead for 10-15 minutes on medium speed, or until the dough is extremely smooth and elastic. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 40-45 minutes at room temperature. It will expand very slightly.
Lightly butter your popover pan.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and divide into three equal parts – I used my scale for this. Cover two portions lightly with plastic wrap. Lightly dust the portion you’re working with and using a rolling pin, roll it out to 1/4 inch thickness.
With your pasta roller at the thickest setting, feed the dough through at a very slow speed. Overlap the ends to create a continuous loop. Lightly dust the dough, inside and out with flour and continue to roll, at a low speed, decreasing the thickness as you go. Use your hands to stretch and move the dough so that it doesn’t fold back on itself. When you have a paper thin sheet of dough, cut the loop (best to cut it near the top of the machine so you don’t have to feed in the dough again) and release it from the machine.
This is where a long counter top comes in handy. You want to lay out the dough as flat as possible. If needed, cut your sheet in half – I did. Take a third of the room temperature butter and divide it between the two sheets. Use your fingers to rub the butter gently and evenly on the dough, extending all the way to the edges. Dust with a generous amount of sprinkles.
Roll the dough up, starting at one edge, into a tight, firm log. When one sheet is rolled up, place it on the end of the other sheet and continue to roll until you have one log. Cut the log with a sharp, lightly floured knife, lengthwise, exposing the layers. Keeping the layers exposed, shape into a loose knot and place into the buttered popover pan. Cover with plastic wrap until you complete the other cruffins.
When all the cruffins are shaped, cover loosely with plastic wrap and let proof at room temperautre until fully doubled in size, about 2-3 hours.
If you’re making the mascarpone filling, beat the sugar into the mascarpone. Whip the whipping cream and fold into the mascarpone in batches, being careful not to deflate. Set aside in the fridge.
Preheat your oven to 400°F and bake for 25 minutes, until puffy and golden. Let cool slightly and then remove and cool on a wire rack.
To fill, make sure the cruffins are completely cool. Use a sharp knife and poke a hole into the top. Fold in sprinkles into the mascarpone and place in a piping bag. Pipe into the cruffin, until you feel resistance and the filling comes out the top. Enjoy!
Notes: You can make these in regular muffin tins – just check out Mandy’s post.