Kouign Amann - Trader Joe's versus Montreal's

What is a Kouign Amann? Another buttery, puffy French pastry with lots of caramelized sugar.

My first Kouign Amann (the thing in the picture that isn't a croissant) was at Patisserie Kouign Amann in Montreal this past August. 


My girlfriend and I aren't into really sweet, so we were afraid this would be too much for us, but this was eggy and caramelized and perfect. 

So when, just three months after I had ever heard of the pastry, Trader Joe's came out with a frozen package of them, I was like What?! Get outta my head! The world is a dream!
And knowing how goddamn good their frozen croissants are, I knew this would be a winner.

I was a little surprised to see the shape since it had been so different at the Montreal bakery, but the internet tells me this is actually a more traditional rendering of the shape. It's hard to get the dough to rise perfectly in the winter. The second time I did it, I put them in the oven overnight, which worked slightly better.

As opposed to the eggy taste of the Montreal KA, Trader Joe's taste like a straight up palmier. Now, considering how difficult it is to get a freshly baked palmier in this country, this is not necessarily a criticism. It's freaking delicious. Dip it in your espresso (or just pair it). Eat it for breakfast or dessert. Ooh, maybe put some ice cream on that bad boy.


Anyway now I need to try a third Kouign Amann so that I can get to the bottom of what they traditionally would taste like. Let me know if you know where to find one!

Update: I found one!