Recipe: Baked Cronuts Two Ways. Filled with sweetened marscarpone and topped with a lemon glaze, or decorated with marzipan crumbles and bing cherries

Hi everyone! Alexandra and I are very excited to share our new recipe for baked cronuts today! Truth be told, neither of us have had the opportunity to try an actual cronut. They sound amazing but as if a regular fried piece of dough wasn't bad enough, adding a million layers of butter inside sounds like overkill. 
But the idea of a tender, flaky piece of baked puff pastry dressed up like a donut sounded just right, especially if it incorporated some seasonal fruit, and so our baked cronuts were born! You can make either of the two flavors, but we found our favorite was stuffing everything into one huge, hard-to-eat monstrosity of awesomeness. There's no photos of that scene, but you get the idea...

 First, assemble your ingredients:
1 package Dufour Classic Puff Pastry (one sheet will make about 12 cronuts)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 roll of marzipan, finely chopped into crumbles
A pint of ripe cherries, pitted and cut into eighths
8 oz. tub of marscarpone cheese
1 cup plus 2 tbsp powdered sugar
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp milk
Tiny bit of flour for keeping pastry from sticking

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Allow your sheet of puff pastry to thaw completely before unfolding it onto a sheet of parchment paper sprinkled with a little flour, then use small and large cookie cutters to cut out your donut shapes. We used a cute scalloped one, but round, or even hearts or squares, would be cute too. We also saved our scraps and baked them up separately to munch on later with leftover glaze and toppings!

Transfer your sheet of parchment to a cookie sheet and spread the rings out. Brush each one generously with melted butter. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-18 minutes, until firm to the touch and nicely browned. If they deflate as they cool then they need to be baked a teensy bit longer.

While they're baking you can whip up the glazes, fillings, and toppings. If you want to make the lemon glazed version, start by combining the tub of marzipan with two tablespoons of powdered sugar. When they're well mixed, spoon it into a baggie and clip the corner for piping, or use a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip.

When your baked cronuts have cooled, slice them in half very carefully with a good serrated knife. Use a sawing motion without applying too much pressure to keep them from crumbling. Pipe a generous amount of the sweetened marscarpone filling into the bottom half of the pastry.

 To make the lemon glaze, combine 1/2 a cup powdered sugar with the zest and juice of a lemon, adding the juice slowly while stirring until the glaze is relatively runny. If the juice wasn't quite enough liquid to make the glaze thin, add a tiny bit of milk to achieve the right consistency. Dip the top half of the cronut into the glaze and sandwich it with the filled bottom half and immediately apply your sprinkles so they stick:

If you want to make the cherry and marzipan version, make a plain glaze by combining the remaining 1/2 cup powdered sugar with a tiny bit of lemon juice and about a tablespoon of milk to achieve a runny consistency. Dip the top of a whole baked cronut into the glaze and top with the cherry slices and crumbled marzipan and enjoy! And if you want to be truly decadent, stuff a glazed cronut with the cherries, marzipan, and marscarpone all together and chow down... You know you want to.

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