Easy Ham and Cheese Croissant Recipe Joy the Baker

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Baked croissants sliced in half on wire rack.

I’ve got 30 solid minutes of your weekend planned out for you.  You’re going to be standing in the kitchen, but I promise it won’t be long. Pour a cup of coffee – that’ll help with everything.  Within your 30 minutes you’re going to pull bakery-quality ham and cheese croissants out of the oven.  I’m trying to be as humble as I can here but this is a weekend life hack that deserves the hype. These croissants are so easy, fool-proof (though we’re no dummies), and incredible fresh out of the oven. Here is your criminally easy weekend croissant recipe.

If you picked up my last holiday magazine, you may recognize this technique from the Overnight Almond Croissant I had you made for Christmas morning.  Let this be your invitation to fill your puff pastry squares anything you like – sweet or savory.  Wait… were you here in 2009 when I made these Chocolate Croissants in 30 minutes flat?  Yep, we’re still at it.

Ingredients for easy homemade croissant recipe in small bowls.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make this easy Ham and Cheese Croissant recipe:

(If you like those warm Starbucks Ham and Cheese Croissants, you’re going to love this super easy recipe!)

•  two sheets of frozen puff pastry, thawed in the refrigerator

•  whole grain or dijon mustard

•  shredded gruyere cheese though you could absolutely substitute swiss cheese, cheddar cheese, or oh… gouda!

•  sliced ham (or any deli meat you prefer)

•  one beaten egg for egg wash

•  sesame seeds, optional but very nice

Puff pastry is going to bring ALL the magic here.  We’re just here to fill that magic with ham and cheese, ya feel?

Here are a few tips to work with store-bought puff pastry.  It’s actually super easy, but here’s a roadmap.

•  Allow puff pastry to thaw in the refrigerator overnight.  If you don’t have overnight – leave the puff pastry at room temperature for an hour and in the refrigerator for 2-4 hours until it’s thawed but still chilled.  Working with frozen puff pastry just isn’t ideal – give it some time to soften.

•  Unfold thawed but chilled puff pastry on a lightly floured board or counter.  The pastry will warm as you work with it and the flour will keep it from sticking to your work surface.

•  Square pieces of puff pastry unfold in thirds, which is perfect for making 9 croissant squares. Work with the natural seams of the pastry.

•  Work with one piece of puff pastry at a time, leaving the second piece to stay chilled in the refrigerator until its time to shine.

To make assemble this easy ham and cheese croissant recipe, unfold the pastry and brush lightly with egg wash.  Place 9 dollops of whole grain mustard over the square – three dollops in each of the three columns of dough.  We’re creating a roadmap for our croissants.

Next, sprinkle each dollop of mustard with a good pinch of your preferred cheese.

Ham folded over puff pastry for easy croissants.

Depending on how large your slices of ham are, you might want to cut them in half.  Once cut, give them a little fold and gently press them on top of the mustard and cheese situation.

Grab the second piece of puff pastry from the refrigerator and gently unfold. If you get any tears in the puff pastry along the seams, you can simply press the two pieces back together with your fingers.

Drape the puff pastry over the ham and cheese and mustard so it’s as flush as possible with the bottom piece of puff pastry. Starting from the center croissant square, gently press around the filling, removing as much air as possible and sealing each square.

Slice into 9 equal squares, place on a baking sheet and refrigerate while the oven preheats.

Croissant squares on parchment lined baking sheet egg washed and sprinkled with sesame seeds.

Space the squares so they have a few inches between each croissant.  Brush lightly with egg was and sprinkle with sesame seeds if you’re feeling fancy.  And I know what you’re thinking:

Can this croissant recipe be frozen?

Short Answer: Absolutely yes.

Long Answer: You have two options if you’d like to freeze these squares.  Pre-baked or post-baked.  Freeze the squares just after they’re filled and assembled (but not egg washed).  To bake, preheat the oven, remove the squares from the freezer, place on a parchment lined baking sheet to egg wash and bake.  The croissants will take an additional 5-7 minutes in the oven.

If you’d like to freeze the croissants after they’re baked to golden, place in a freezer safe bag and store for up to 1 month. To enjoy, remove from the freezer and toast gently in a 300 degree F oven until nice and toasty warm, about 12-14 minutes.  Keep an eye on the croissants to ensure they don’t brown to burnt.

Can you even believe how easy this croissant recipe is?  Bake until magically puffed and deeply golden brown.  Allow to cool for just a few minutes before enjoying, ya know… so you don’t burn yourself on molten ham filling.  These are perfect served warm with coffee.

Remember that Starbucks Ham and Cheese Croissant I mentioned earlier?  This dupe is so easy and even better.

Other easy brunch recipes you’ll want in your back pocket: 

  An Elvis-style breakfast moment where more is more: Peanut Butter, Bacon, and Banana French Toast

•  Fried tortillas meets scrambled eggs and salsa:   Chilaquilas Frittata Bake

•  These Battered Banana Pancakes are sliced bananas dredged in pancake batter and fried up in butter. Literally everyone loves these!

Print

Easy Ham and Cheese Croissants

Layers of baked puff pastry on wire rack.

The easiest way to warm croissants at home.

  • Author: Joy the Baker
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 9 1x
  • Category: breakfast, brunch
  • 2 sheets from one package of frozen puff pastry, thawed in the refrigerator
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 34 tablespoons whole grain mustard
  • 2/3 cup grated gruyere cheeses
  • 5 slices of black forest ham, cut in half and folded
  • Sesame seeds to top, optional

Instructions

  1. Gently unfold the puff pastry and set one aside. Lightly brush one sheet with egg wash and save the remaining egg wash for the top of the croissants. We’ll make nine square croissants, three from each column of unfolded puff pastry. Smear about a teaspoon of mustard onto each column of pastry, three per column. Sprinkle with a heaping tablespoon of grated cheese and layer with a folded piece of ham.  Gently drape the second sheet of puff pastry over the first. Use your fingers to firmly press the edges and then the edges around each slice of ham and filling. Try to press out as much air from each square as possible.
  2. Use a sharp knife to cut 9 squares.  Place on a parchment lined baking sheet, cover loosely with a kitchen towel and refrigerate while the oven preheats.
  3. Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Remove the pastries from the refrigerator and arrange on the baking sheet about 2-inches apart. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds if using.
  4. Bake for 20-24 minutes or until puffed and golden and bubbling around the edges.  Remove from the oven, allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before enjoying warm. Croissants are best the morning they’re baked but will last wrapped at room temperature for 2 days. Toast in the oven to refresh.

Notes

You have two options if you’d like to freeze these squares.  Pre-baked or post-baked.  Freeze the squares just after they’re filled and assembled (but not egg washed).  To bake, preheat the oven, remove the squares from the freezer, place on a parchment lined baking sheet to egg wash and bake.  The croissants will take an additional 5-7 minutes in the oven.

If you’d like to freeze the croissants after they’re baked to golden, place in a freezer safe bag and store for up to 1 month. To enjoy, remove from the freezer and toast gently in a 300 degree F oven until nice and toasty warm, about 12-14 minutes.  Keep an eye on the croissants to ensure they don’t brown to burnt.

Did you make this recipe?

Share a photo and tag us — we can’t wait to see what you’ve made!

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