Making Croissants with Honey Cardamom Butter
My father told me I should just catch the red eye from Kuala Lumpur to Doha to get there as soon as possible . It wasn’t a bad prospect. If anything, you’d remember looking down, misting the windows, watching the lights blurring together with the night sky. New Year’s Eve at 30,000 feet, sitting next to a complete stranger.
Was the year kind to you, I’d ask. And I would listen to their answer. And if the gesture was reciprocated, what would I tell them?
I’ll tell them that it’s been peachy. That I started the year sitting at the opposite side of the physician’s table that I’m used to. That I celebrated my birthday in the “pit”, a high five from an anesthesiology resident. That April fools coincided with the 7th year anniversary of a relationship. That May to August was uneventful, but I’ve second assisted an orthopedic surgery and scrubbed in for a craniotomy. That September brought with it bounties - a first signed contract and a kind offer to contribute to a calendar and cookbook. That December came in with heartbreaks and a revelation. A gamble on a future career path.
I’ll tell them I find resolutions poignant. The truth is it is just as easy to break resolutions as it is to make them, but I’ll leave you with a few words of others that I will strive to live by in the following year;
That much unhappiness has come into the world because of things left unsaid. If you cherish a person, find a way to tell them, and then hope for the best. Parents don’t live forever, fathers have buried their sons. People don’t pine for eternity, so grab your chance.
That when nobody else celebrates you, learn to celebrate yourself. It’s not up to other people to keep you encouraged. Also to never dismiss the achievements of others. We are akin to dew drops hanging precariously on a spider’s web, each movement affecting us and those near.
That people are not always what you want them to be. Sometimes they disappoint you or let you down, but you have to give them a chance first. You can’t just meet someone and expect them to be everything you’re looking for and then be angry when they’re not everything you projected onto them. Sometimes, when you give them a chance, they turn out to be better than you imagined. Different, but better.
Perhaps most of all, though, is the assurance that you deserve to be okay. You deserve to know that a day in which you can just barely get out of bed because you are sad, or sick, or simply not ready to see the outside is not the end of the world. You deserve to know that moments of weakness do not make you fundamentally weak, only fundamentally human. And that sometimes it is okay to be selfish and have things turn out the way you prefer them to.
Which is why I chose to stay a little longer to have these with friends and sister on New Year’s morning, instead of being a chatty stranger up in the air.
SHORTCUT CROISSANTS with HONEY CARDAMOM BUTTER:
[ 1 (13-ounce) packet ready rolled butter puff pastry + 1 egg, beaten + 1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature + 1 tablespoon honey + 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom + a pinch of salt ] OPTIONAL: sliced almonds + powdered sugar.
Thaw the puff pastry by leaving it at room temperature for an hour.
To make the honey cardamom butter, mix butter, honey, salt and cardamom to combine in a small bowl. If you wish to, you can shape it into a log with some cling film and refrigerate it until needed.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or sprinkle it with a bit of flour evenly.Place the puff pastry on a lightly floured surface. With a light floured rolling pin, gently roll out the puff pastry, extending the dough about 1 inch on all sides. Lay the dough horizontally and divide into 4 rectangles. Cut each rectangles diagonally to make a triangle.Place each triangle so the wider part is toward you and the point is away from you. Cut a little slit at the base of the triangle and roll towards the point. Once rolled, curl the ends toward the center slightly.
Place the croissants on the prepared cookie sheet. Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle each top with a bit of sliced almonds if using.
Bake at 425 degrees F for 10-15 mins or until golden brown. Leave to cool for 5 minutes before lightly dusting them with powdered sugar, if using. Serve warm with the honey cardamom butter.
Enjoy and Happy New Year!