Sweeten Up Father’s Day with Fauxnuts

You already know the story of how Erin Gardner of Wild Orchid Baking and I hopped on the Cronut bandwagon and spent a day in her amazing bakery testing store-bought doughs for making fauxnuts. As much as we may all want to get our hands on the genuine article, the fauxnuts Erin and I dreamed up are a pretty tasty treat.  Just go very heavy on the fruits and veggies for the rest of the day.

So, here’s your turn to take our results for a test drive, just in time for Father’s Day. We used a mini deep fryer to make our fauxnuts, which is definitely the safest, easiest and most-quickly-cleaned-up option, but you can also use an 8-quart saucepan filled (no further than halfway) with oil. The oil needs to be at 375 degrees, so if you’re using a saucepan, you’ll also need a candy thermometer. If you go the saucepan route, the oil will take about 10-15 minutes to come to temperature and then you’ll need to pay attention to your burner to keep the oil at the right temperature.

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Step 1

 Open GalleryFor the purposes of the tutorial, I’ll explain as if you’re using the Pillsbury Grands Flaky Layers Original dough that was our overall favorite, but really, the process is pretty similar no matter what dough you use. If you’re using the Trader Joe’s, just leave it out to proof overnight and then remove the chocolate sticks before you start working with the dough in the morning. Getting back to the fauxnut process … now’s the time to get your oil heating up to 375 degrees. Grab your can of dough and break that beauty open.

Step 2

 Open GallerySeparate the pre-cut biscuits. Like I said in my intro post, if you want the true height of the real deal Cronut, you’ll need to double the dough, but if you want to stick with the more calorie- and budget-friendly option of using one biscuit per fauxnut, just lay the dough rounds out in a single layer.

Step 3

 Open GalleryIf you ARE going for the full, calories-be-danged monty, now’s the time to brush the top of four of the biscuits with a little water and then stack on a second dough round, pressing them together firmly with your palm. After you press, the difference between the single-dough and double-dough sections might not look that big, but once they’re done, it’s pretty obvious.

Step 4

 Open GalleryUsing a small circular biscuit cutter or a sharp knife, cut out the center of each dough round and set aside to be made into … wait for it … FAUXNUT HOLES!!! (You saw that coming, right?) They’re pretty glorious — a single bite that’s crispy on the outside, with soft layers on the inside. I dare you to try to eat just one.

Step 5

 Open GalleryChecking to make sure your oil is at 375 degrees, gently and carefully submerge your dough into the oil using a slotted spoon or spatula. (On a serious note: It’s oil heated to 375 degrees for the purpose of deep frying dough, so let’s all be careful about oil spatters, shall we? No need for any DIY fauxnut injuries.) Give each fauxnut 4-5 minutes on each side, until it’s a DEEP golden brown, not a pale golden a la Krispy Kreme. Same goes with the fauxnut holes, but a shorter 2-3 minute time frame will do it for them.

Step 6

 Open GalleryOnce the fauxnuts/fauxnut holes are done, remove them from the oil with a slotted spoon or tongs and place on a baking sheet lined with paper towels. You can see in this picture that the outside is a dark golden brown, and the inside is fully cooked with easy-to-see layers of dough.

Step 7

 Open GalleryWe tossed the fauxnut holes in cinnamon sugar (my personal favorite) right out of the fryer and it was bliss. For the full-sized fauxnuts, drop any that you want coated in cinnamon sugar into a bowl of it as soon as they’re done, toss to coat and then remove. For fauxnuts that get the glazed/pastry cream treatment, let them rest on your baking sheet until they are cool enough to handle.

Step 8

 Open GalleryTo create the glaze, Erin whisked together about a cup of powdered sugar with 2-3 tablespoons of water. Dip the top half of the fauxnut into the glaze and return it to the baking sheet to let the glaze harden.

Step 9

 Open GalleryHere’s the figurative cherry on the top of our fauxnut Sunday: the pastry cream. Don’t be scared — Erin literally whipped it up almost faster than I could say photography, and made it look like a breeze. Then again, she is an award winning pastry chef, so anything confectionery IS a breeze to her. You could easily make this the night before you need it so it’s properly chilled for the morning, and one less morning rush step in the process. Go here for the recipe.

 

Step 10

 Open GalleryOnce your fauxnuts are room temperature and glazed, and your pastry cream is chilled and in a bag to pipe, you’re ready to make the magic come together. Dominique Ansel does a combination of piping pastry cream directly into the layers of his Cronuts, but for our DIY fauxnut hack using refrigerated dough, we decided to go low-tech and just pipe it on top. It turned out to be the perfect amount — enough cream to taste and enjoy, but not so much that it overpowered the crispy, flaky cronut. Heaven, no?

Step 11

 Open GalleryPair it with some festive confetti and a cute Father’s Day card like I did from my favorite letterpress boutique, and you’ve got a Father’s Day breakfast that will be sure to knock off his socks. Just make enough for a crowd — if your neighbors get wind of Cronut-like fauxnuts in town, you might have a line down the block waiting for more. Erin and I may not have been lucky enough to get our hands on a genuine Cronut, but we’d like to think our fauxnuts are wait-worthy, too. Happy Father’s Day!

Project Resources

Materials

For pastry cream:

  • 2 cups whole milk (can’t use anything lighter, and come on — it’s going on a fauxnut)
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Tools

About Ellen Foord 

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As the founder, designer, and one-woman workforce behind Minnow + Co, a tight budget has never stopped this DIY-girl-at-heart from creating a beautiful, modern, creative home and treating every ...

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