If you have yet to try a Kouign Amann, you should probably put it at the top of your to-buy list, as it’s likely to become your go-to guilty pleasure.
A rich, buttery dough is coated in sugar that caramelizes when baked, giving the outer layer the perfect amount of crunch before you reach its flaky croissant-like core. “They’re striking,” says Brian Murphy, co-owner of Figtree Kitchen. “People are always stopping and saying, ‘oh what is that?’ And once they try them they’re hooked.”
The dessert originates in Brittany, France. Breton, the dialect spoken in the region, has a Celtic influence, hence the name kouign amann, which doesn’t appear typically French. And don’t feel embarrassed if you get tongue twisted attempting to pronounce the name (it’s kooween a-mahn, by the way). Or, “just point and say, ‘one of those things,’” says Murphy.
Murphy and his partner Michael Shea started making the dessert in 2008.
During the first few years, in a true labor of love, Murphy would spend the entire day before he and Shea would go to a farmers’ market preparing the treats solely by hand. They eventually invested in a sheeter to help roll the dough—and to keep up with the growing demand. Once you’ve snagged a Kouign Amann, you’ll soon realize what may be the best part about the pastry is its ability to be utterly delectable all on its own.
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