Apple croissants are easy to make and hard to keep around! They're a German recipe, only slightly sweet using applesauce in the dough and filling, so they're the perfect kid-friendly snack.
These seductive little Apfelmushörnchen that should definitely find their way on your breakfast- or brunch table soon! They're the perfect little things to pick up as a quick treat without being loaded with sugar. Which makes the the perfect treat for kids, too.
I mean, which kid doesn't like applesauce?! Not only do these little German apple croissants have applesauce in the super easy dough, but also in the filling!
Use homemade applesauce
Of course you can use bought applesauce, but homemade applesauce makes this recipe even better! I used my homemade chunky applesauce, which is perfect for the filling of these apple croissants! I love how the applesauce runs out the sides because those pieces become the best, caramelized bits! Think a caramel apple in a croissant. Yum!
Substitutes for quark?
Another of the few, but very important ingredients in this recipe is QUARK, which makes these apple croissants German. I am referring back to Anja from Our Gabled Home, who has had much success making her own quark!
If you're not as ambitious to make your own, you could purchase quark online as well.
If that's too costly for you, then you could also substitute with full-fat Greek yogurt (5% fat). I like the Fage brand the best as it's a little thicker.
How to make it
Please know that the kneaded dough needs to chill in the fridge for 4 hours or longer (up to a couple of days), so if you're planning to make these Apfelmushörnchen, make the dough, toss it in the fridge, and make them the next morning. The rolling out, filling, shaping and baking goes quickly!
These German apple rolls are on the barely sweet side! If you would like to add more sweetness, you could fill them with jam instead of applesauce, spread on jam after baking a or give them a good dusting of powdered sugar after baking.
These apple croissants were originally posted on Emmi Kocht Einfach, and were adjusted for American measurements, ingredients and baking instructions that worked better for me (I made 2 batches).
If you love applesauce, also check out Ghackets mit Hörnli (a Swiss macaroni and meat sauce recipe served with applesauce), rice pudding (I love to top it with apple sauce) and my quark pancakes (perfect with some applesauce).
German Apple Croissants (Apfelmushörnchen)
- 32 tablespoon applesauce for the filling
- 1 eggyolk
- powdered sugar for dusting, optional
- Combine all dough ingredients in a bowl and either using a dough hook and your electric mixer or your hands, knead until you end up with a smooth dough that's not too sticky. You may need add more flour, so it stops sticking. Now wrap the dough airtight and move to the fridge for at least 4 hours or even better overnight to rest.
- Preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit/ 180° Celsius (conventional setting, NOT convection). Divide the dough into 4 equal portions.
- Working one quarter at a time, roll out the dough to rounds measuring about 12 inches or 26 centimeters in diameter. Cut the dough like a pie into 8 equal pieces. Now top each piece with one tablespoon of applesauce. If you're using Grandma Hoerner's chunky applesauce, some chunks are delicious, just avoid the large slices. It's okay if the applesauce oozes out a bit. Those pieces become extra caramelized and delicious.
- Now roll up each section starting from the wide end and transfer to baking sheets covered with parchment paper. You should be able to fit 16 on a large baking sheet, so you'll need 2 baking sheets.
- Whisk the egg in a bowl and brush onto the rolled up croissants. Move to the oven and bake for 20 minutes, then change to convection at 320° Fahrenheit/ 160° Celsius and continue baking for another 10 minutes. Remove from oven and. allow to cool for a few minutes before eating. These rolls aren't very sweet, so if you would like, you can give them a dusting of powdered sugar or enjoy them with some jam.