I've found it! I've finally found it!
The kouign aman had become my holy grail of pastries. (It's a traditional Breton pastry. Here's a brief history.) I first read about it back in Philly, but it's hard to find in the states. Then I started looking for it here in Brussels, to no avail. (To be fair, I never really asked for it, I just peeked around at bakeries like the shy American girl I become when the tongue is not my native.)
And then. Yesterday. In Paris.
There was a market just across from the metro stop on Rue Rivoli and I had some time to waste before my train back to Brussels, so of course I went over. The seafood was all beautifully laid out and there was a woman specializing in sheep's milk cheese (my fave), but it was the last booth I visited that was to hold my golden treasure. I was half-looking at the baked goods on offer when the words caught my eye--kouign aman. There it was!!! In retrospect, it was so easy.
So how is it?
Let me tell you, it's magic. (Especially warmed in the oven.) It's like a sweeter croissant. Or a cinnamon roll without the cinnamon. It's got a caramelized sugar top, with a flakey buttery pastry. Magic.
I know it's not much to convince you with some crappy iPhone pictures, but trust me on this one. If you ever spy one of these beauties, do yourself a favor and snatch it up. Go forth, friends, and find your own kouing aman.
Or here's David Leibowitz's recipe. It just goes to show you how much love goes into making one.