Let’s be honest with each other from the outset: There is no reason on God’s green earth that there should ever be leftover croissants. But let’s just say that you find yourself at La Boulangerie, on Magazine Street in New Orleans, around closing time. The pastry chef has had an enormous brain fart and made too many croissants, and Donald Link, the owner, marches in, fresh off a giant crawfish boil lunch and cannot imagine eating another thing. So he gifts you with a pile of them, because he overheard your conversation about a spicy sausage and croissant bread pudding. He is intrigued and expects that, in return for his generosity, you will bring him a scoop of this deliciousness when he is feeling a little peckish again the next morning. You take the bag and sprint out of the door before you wake up from this Carrollian dream (that’s Lewis Carroll—I’m a quasi-intellectual, I freely admit) and scurry home to prepare the following recipe. Please bring Donald his sample. He was awfully kind in the dream.
You can frequently barter a deal at the end of the day at local bakeries to keep them from tossing out their goodies. (This strategy rarely works with cookies, but give it a shot; maybe it’s just chubby bald guys they don’t cotton to.) —John Currence