Product: Schär Gluten Free Hazelnut Croissants – $5.99+
Let’s face it…when it comes to gluten-free breakfast (or dinner or whenever) treats…one of the most difficult to find is the croissant. And I used to be a sucker for the warm, buttery, flaky little roll of baked dough. Croissants simply…rock.
Going gluten-free, I’ve pretty much been able to find a recipe or something to satisfy any void in any treat that I want. Puff pastry is the tricky one. At least puff pastry that acts like puff pastry. The recipe is WAY too complicated and the one I purchased in stores doesn’t exactly…puff.
Croissants have also been rather elusive. Granted, my gluten-free bakery, Annie May’s Sweet Café, does offer croissant rolls…and I purchase them around Thanksgiving every year as they are my Black Friday breakfast (filling and full of carbs for shopping energy!). It is the one time every year that I get to enjoy that special treat. (As a side note, I could order these from my allergen-free bakery at any point…but there are so many goodies there…I have to pace myself, LOL!).
But then Schär filled this void recently with the introduction of their frozen croissants. I was excited when they made the announcement, also noting that they had two (2) different versions – Plain and Hazelnut. And for the longest time, I searched my usual gluten-free go-to stores for these. But, no joy. No one carried them. I figured they would be the unicorn of my gluten-free life…sort of like Rudi’s Gluten Free Texas Toast (still haven’t found that anywhere).
It took one of my trips to Columbus, Ohio, to finally find these. In the freezer section. Happy dance ensued. Thank you, Raisin Rack, for your extreme awesomeness and LARGE gluten-free selection. This made my day. And I purchased them, the Hazelnut ones, put them in a cooler with dry ice, and got them home and to my freezer. Where I promptly forgot about them…as I just piled other things on top.
But, when my freezer begged for some organizing this past weekend, I discovered the bag all the way in the back and I moved it forward…because these were going to happen this week. For sure. And what better day to test them out than a Wednesday after a 4 mile run and 20 mile spin class? Yep…no better time.
I left the bag of croissants out on the counter to thaw while I was at the gym, and when I got back, I preheated the oven to 350°F and removed the Schär Gluten Free Hazelnut Croissants from the package and moved them to a baking sheet. They went into the oven for about 7-8 minute (around 10-12 in my old-ass oven that doesn’t heat right)…giving me time to shower while they cooked. When I removed them from the oven, they were golden brown and looking like…amazing, beautiful, perfect, croissants. I moved them to plates and served them up for breakfast.
My roommate got to hers first (I was pouring myself coffee…because…priorities). I asked her what she thought and she said, “They’re pretty good.” Now, with her, that means they are either good…or they aren’t so good, but they are edible. And I never know which way it goes until I try it myself. At least she didn’t say, “They’re okey-dokey,” because that, friends, means she hates them…and is just being polite. I settled in with the morning news, my laptop, my Wonder Woman coffee mug (now filled with piping hot, fresh coffee) and my plate with my own Schär Gluten Free Hazelnut Croissant on it. I sliced into it with the side of my fork tines, and then, stabbing the flaky (and yes…it actually was flaky) pastry with it…took my first taste.
When I think about croissants, I think of this flaky, rich, buttery breakfast goodie. And Schär definitely provided the rolled up pastry form. As for taste, it was airy, and not as dense as I had thought they would be. That was a nice surprise. I was a little disappointed with the lack of the hazelnut filling in each bite, but, I sort of figured that would be the case. I was just hoping I’d be wrong. The croissant itself…buttery flavor in every bite. Which, if you managed to get a bite with at least a little of the filling…it was indeed heavenly. The hazelnut (like Nutella) filling was chocolate-nutty goodness and I was digging for more. But filling or not, these weren’t dense…but they were definitely filling. Small…much smaller than I anticipated…but filling. It made for a good treat for breakfast for sure. Not nearly as amazing as the ones Annie May’s Sweet Café provides for me each holiday season…but lighter and flakier than those…and ranking right up there. For a frozen product, this was love at second bite (the second bite had some of the hazelnut filling, for the record).
Let’s talk about ingredients for a moment. Because, at first glance, what goes into Schär Gluten Free Hazelnut Croissants might…scare you. My mind was put to ease awhile back with an article discussing Schär’s use of gluten free wheat starch. Yep, you read that right. GLUTEN. FREE. WHEAT. STARCH. If you have a wheat allergy…DO NOT EAT THESE!! I was mostly concerned as I am very sensitive…but no affects on me whatsoever in regards to a gluten reaction. So, that’s a win. The Schär Gluten Free Hazelnut Croissants are made from gluten free wheat starch, water, vegetable margarine [vegetable fats and oils (palm, palm kernel, coconut, canola), water, salt, mono- and diglycerides, butter flavor], hazelnut
cream (sugar, canola oil, hazelnuts, skimmed cocoa powder, skimmed milk powder, whey (milk) powder, lactose, sunflower, lecithin), eggs, yeast, chicory fiber, dextrose, fructose, glucono delta-lactone, baking soda, egg albumin, skimmed milk powder, sugar, salt, mono- and diglycerides, xanthan gum, and butter flavor. Believe me…these croissants ARE gluten-free.
As far as nutrition goes…let’s face it…it’s a croissant. These aren’t going to be packed with a wide array of nutrients. But it is nice to have a treat every now and again. The serving size of the Schär Gluten Free Hazelnut Croissants is one (1) croissant and there are four (4) in each package. This serving will dish up 240 calories, 10 grams fat, 4.5 grams saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 10 mg cholesterol, 160 mg sodium, 34 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams fiber, 7 grams sugars, and 2 grams of protein. Yep…I admit…there are far better choices for a breakfast out there, but dammit, sometimes you just need to treat yourself.
I was surprised by the flavor, the texture, and with the overall deliciousness of the Schär Gluten Free Hazelnut Croissants. I wish they had more filling than they did, but aside from that, each bite was heavenly and totally worth the indulgence. Love sometimes comes in packages that are in your natural food store freezer. Impressed.