Goodbye Cronut, hello Crookie: The new cross-bred croissant everyone’s obsessed with

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To us, croissants are perfect. 

Crisp, flakey layers of warm buttery goodness – maybe with a little dark chocolate, like Meryl Streep makes them in the movie It’s Complicated

To brazen bakers hoping to appeal to the social media masses, however, croissants have become a canvas for increasingly crazed combinations. 

From the Cronut (croissant x doughnut) to the cruffin (croissant x muffin), this quintessentially French breakfast treat has kickstarted nearly every hybrid foodie trend over the past decade. 

Its latest frankensteined form? Le crookie, an Americanised twist via soft, smudgy chocolate-chip cookie dough, spilling from the croissant’s middle and slabbed on top. Yum (and a bit yuck) at the same time. 

It was created in 2022 by French pâtissier Stéphane Louvard, who runs the Maison Louvard bakery in Paris. Priced at €5.90 each, the crookies were a “modest hit” initially, Louvard told the BBC, with around 110 to 150 sold a day. 

Then, in February 2024, TikTok influencers got a hold of them.

@annakloots

“Le crookie” has arrived in Paris. A cookie dough stuffed butter croissant that I had to try and hate to admit – was absolutely DELICIOUS. You really should try this perfect mix of america and france!

♬ Thank You for Being You – OctaSounds

Quite suddenly, there were queues around the block, with the bakery selling over 2,000 of the cross-bred croissants a day and having to hire more staff to keep up with demand. 

In comments to The Guardian, Louvard remarked that it had been a surprise, but also “a little stressful.”

Since then, other bakeries around the world have caught on and started selling their own versions of a crookie. 

In London, there’s French baker Philippe Conticini’s absolutely-bulbous-with-cookie-dough croissant, while in Scotland there’s Big Bear Bakery’s Nutella splattered take. 

Philippe Conticini’s London crookie

Whichever way the crookie crumbles, they’re all ridiculously sweet and bloated with a “dirty deliciousness” that’s reminiscent of deep fried Mars Bars and peanut butter-laden beef burgers. Basically, overindulgence is the selling point. 

“You should share this with someone,” said TikToker Anna Kloots, who tried one of Louvard’s. “It’s crazy rich, but really delicious.”

Flake it ’till you make it

Here’s something that might shock you more than the previously discussed pastry portmanteaus: croissants aren’t technically French. 

Known as a type of viennoiserie, their origins actually date back to 13th Century Vienna, where they evolved from doughy crescents known as kipferl. 

The uniquely flakey croissant arrived some time between the late 19th century and early 20th century, with the first-known French recipe recorded by a baker named Sylvain Claudius Goy in 1915, according to The Institute of Culinary education

Key to the croissants success is its texture, created through a baking process known as lamination, which involves folding multiple thin layers of pastry. Once baked golden brown, this produces a satisfying crunch that gives way to a soft centre.

There’s a complex simplicity to a croissant that makes it versatile; the poodle of pastry, if you like. Its sacred status within French cuisine also adds a cross-cultural (near blasphemous) novelty to it being combined with American treats in particular.

Cronuts, the croissant cross-breed that started it all.

The Cronut began the madness. In 2013, French pastry chef Dominique Ansel was creating treats for Mother’s Day when he boldly combined a croissant with a doughnut.

 Rose vanilla flavoured, the debut batch had a pinky glaze sprinkled with crystallised rose petals, making it destined for Instagram greatness in a burgeoning age of aesthetic-led food trends on social media. 

The cruffin followed shortly after from Australia, while the tacro – where the croissant takes on the folded shell shape of a taco to cradle sweet and savoury fillings – is a more recent, American-raised amalgam.

Part innovation, part capitalistic necessity, these hybrid trends are often born out of a need for bakers to not only challenge themselves creatively, but also to survive in a fiercely competitive market where success can be dictated by algorithms. 

But social media trends move fast, and chances are, nobody wants to eat a crookie more than once. 

After the initial burst of excitement dwindles, so do the queues – until the next beautifully botched-up bake arrives via a “run don’t walk” TikTok that convinces you nothing in this world could be more important than queuing for hours just to try something that makes you feel a bit sick after two bites.

Bon Appétit, crookie lovers.

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