Spring has officially arrived in Paris and perhaps no bakery in the city epitomizes the season more than Ladurée with its mint green awnings, and piles of pretty pastel colored macarons in flavors like, pistachio, rose petal, and lemon verbena. Credited with starting the version popular today (two shells joined with a ganache filling) in the early 20th century most people go to Ladurée for the macarons, but I go for something else entirely– the Croissant aux Noix or croissant with nuts.
This unique Ladurée creation is like an almond croissant, but better. Typically filled with almond paste, topped with sliced almonds and powdered sugar and baked, the story goes that the almond version was started as a way to reuse day old croissants (that’s why they always look a bit smashed). The one at Ladurée is baked fresh and what really sets it apart is the filling that includes not only almonds, but hazelnuts, walnuts and brown sugar. The nut paste is crunchy and flavorful, but not overly sweet. Tucked beneath layers of buttery croissant dough it makes for a delightful surprise and there’s enough to enjoy a bit in every bite. The croissant is also glazed with a thin layer of vanilla icing giving it a pretty sheen and a touch of sweetness.
Ladurée began in 1862 and while the company has grown considerably (there are now locations all over the world), the original pastry shop and tearoom, stills stands at 16 Rue Royale. They make many other delicious French pastries as well and the pastry case is a jewel box of fruit tarts and choux pastry and cream filled creations.
The Croissant aux Noix may look like an ugly duckling among swans but it’s truly worth seeking out. It reminds me a bit of the cinnamon rolls my mom makes which are loaded with walnuts, butter and brown sugar. My favorite bite is always the one I save for last, the very center where there’s the largest concentration of brown sugary, nutty goodness. The same goes with this croissant. It’s truly good to the last bite and you’ll be sad when it’s over.
16-18 Rue Royale
Paris, France 75008
+33 (0)1 42 60 21 79
The walnut croissants are lovely indeed. Just had one for breakfast! :-))