Sunday, June 17, 2012

Pain au Chocolat: a Father's Day Treat

I belong to two book clubs in Vegas: Destinations Book & Dinner Club and the Las Vegas Non-Fiction Book Group.  I love book clubs because they introduce me to books I might never read - and people I might never meet - otherwise.  However, I have had a lot of trouble finishing the assigned books.  Not sure why; I'm a reasonably fast reader.  Maybe I have too much going on; maybe I just don't focus as well as I used to.  Regardless, it's become a trend for me not to finish the book, and it's been bumming me out.

I have been determined to turn things around, and I've succeeded! Oddly enough, it's with a Destinations book that we're not due to discuss until August.  Nutty!  The book is "Tout Sweet: Hanging Up My High Heels for a New Life in France" by Brit Karen Wheeler.  I'll share more about the book, and our corresponding restaurant outing to Marché Bacchus, later.  For now, though, reading about la anglaise's experiences with French cuisine inspired me to make something French for my husband Mike for Father's Day.  Problem was, I didn't have too many appropriate ingredients in the house, or so I thought.

I remembered the leftover chocolate chips I had from the day before's Flower Power Fudge and thought a chocolate pastry would be ideal.  A quick scan of online pain au chocolat recipes revealed that I didn't have the time - or the inclination - to make a proper dough, but I gleaned a tip that proved helpful in my semi-homemade version.  I rolled out a tube of refrigerated pizza dough and slathered it with butter before folding it over, re-rolling it, and repeating the process.  This little step resulted in a rich, somewhat flaky crust that tasted fantastic.

  • 1 tube refrigerated pizza dough
  • Butter, softened
  • Chocolate Chips (I used 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Chips, to better mimic an authentic French pain au chocolat, which is generally less sweet than an American pastry.)
  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Roll out pizza dough.
  • Spread a thin layer of softened butter on the dough.
  • Fold in thirds, turn and roll out flat.
  • Spread another thin layer of softened butter on the dough.
  • Fold in thirds again, turn and roll out flat.
  • Using a serrated knife, cut dough down the middle and then in thirds.  You'll have six pieces of dough.
  • Spoon some chocolate chips into the center of each piece of dough.
  • Fold over, carefully pressing the edges to seal them.
  • Sprinkle with sugar.
  • Bake for 11-15 minutes until golden brown.
I'm linking up this recipe with It's a Blog Party.

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