Twice-Baked Almond Croissant at Bakery Nouveau:Bakery Nouveau’s owners, William and Heather Leaman,

Twice-Baked Almond Croissant at Bakery Nouveau:Bakery Nouveau’s owners, William and Heather Leaman, have been sugar pushers for more than twenty years. William was captain of the US bread bakers team in 2005 and won the World Cup of Baking that year. They’ve been running their West Seattle shop for years, and have built up a reputation for being one of Seattle’s best. They do cookies and cakes, pain au chocolat, breads and pastries and all sorts of desserts.None of those are what makes Bakery Nouveau essential.What puts them over the top–elevating them above so many other bakeries in the area–is just one thing: the twice-baked almond croissants that are one of the specialties of the house. While most of the rest of the products offered behind the glass at Nouveau are good, the almond croissants are just amazing–managing to somehow be both crisp and flaky and chewy and soft all at the same time, filled with an almond paste that is restrained enough that it doesn’t taste like eating liquid candy, and topped with a gentle fall of powdered sugar. The stiff skin, the soft insides, the smooth savor of all that butter mixing with all that sugar, balanced so gently by the comforting warmth of the dough–there’s something almost dirty in the way they have to be described, and anytime a person has to resort to softcore porn writing just to talk about a baked good, you know it has to be good.Actually, more than good. They are incredible, those little almondy bastards. I love ’em. And since my first weeks in this city, Bakery Nouveau has been one of the places to which I’ve turned whenever I’ve needed a little bit of comfort and a fix of something sweet.


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