Petit pain au chocolat are light, flaky, classic French pastries, filled with bittersweet chocolate. They are perfect for breakfast or an afternoon treat with tea or coffee.
The French really do breakfast quite differently from the British and Americans. While we tend to favor protein heavy breakfasts of eggs, sausage or bacon, and toast, Parisians are content with a strong cup of coffee and a simple croissant, or even better, a Petit Pain au Chocolat. Every once in a while, especially when one of the girls has a friend stay the night or weekend, I’ll make something a little more special that usual. I like to keep a roll of puff pastry in the freezer for last minute appetizers, desserts, or these simple chocolate filled breakfast pastries. The puff pastry is filled with a thin baton of chocolate, (chocolate stick). (affiliate link)
While these batons are readily available online, or through commercial bakery suppliers, they are not readily available to the public as I found out the Saturday I had planned on making these. My friend Christina, from Christina’s Cucina, gave me a couple dozen chocolate batons. I had told her I was going to be making petit pain au chocolat, and so I wouldn’t have to buy a 3.5 lb. box of Callebaut chocolate batons, she gave me some. I wrapped them carefully and thought I’d hidden them well in my baking drawer. But when I went to use them a few weeks later, all but 3 were left.
My 14 year old, who had eaten most of them, apologized profusely. After calling several places, we realized the only option was to buy a huge box online. Then the offending 14 year old spoke some words of wisdom. “If they are that hard for you to find, why would anyone else want to do that?” Good point. So, here are two options. The first is to make your own batons, which is just melted chocolate, spread on a cookie sheet, slightly chilled and then cut into 3” by 1/2″ sticks, or cut your favorite chocolate bar into sticks.
After I’d gone through the entire baton reconstruction, I found 100 calorie milk chocolate sticks at Trader Joe’s which worked perfectly well. Oh, well. We tried them with dark chocolate, bittersweet and milk chocolate, with everyone having a favorite. My husband preferred the less sweet, dark chocolate pain, while my daughter’s friend liked bittersweet, and Sophie the milk chocolate.
Petit Pain Au Chocolat
- One package puff pastry thawed, so that it's easy to work with, but not soft and doughy
- 24 batons of chocolate or your favorite chocolate bars cut into 3" x 1/2" sticks
- 1 egg slightly beaten
- Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Roll thawed puff pastry out slightly, the rolled out pastry should have natural creases, for 6 pastries per sheet.
- Place one stick of chocolate on each end and roll toward middle.
- Brush seam with beaten egg and place, seam-side down on cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining pastry. Brush tops with beaten egg.
- Bake at 425 degrees F. for 13-15 minutes, or until pastries are deep golden brown.
- Cool. Serve warm or room temperature. Store leftover pain au chocolat in an airtight container.
Roll out the thawed puff pastry. It doesn’t take much, just a roll in either direction to smooth out any seams. The folds make natural divisions. Each sheet makes 6 pain.
Place a chocolate stick on each end of the puff pastry rectangle.
After all that work to make little chocolate batons, I found 100 calorie chocolate sticks at Trader Joe’s. If you have odd sizes of chocolate, just piece them to make one longer stick. (left side of shot)
Roll chocolate towards center, meeting in the middle. Seal seam with beaten egg.
Bake, seam side down at 425 degrees F. for 13-15 minutes, or until golden brown.
Cool on wire baking rack.
Petit Pain au Chocolat are a delicious breakfast treat. Have them with a cup of coffee in the afternoon, and imagine you’re sitting in a Parisian cafe!
A little chocolate peeking out the sides of the flaky pastry.