It seems like everyone has their "I almost burned down the kitchen" story. I finally have mine. I set a croissant on fire in my oven. Within seconds, it went from being a lovely toasty croissant into a blazing fireball. No worries though. I turned off the oven, kept the door closed, and the fire quickly lost its appetite. The croissant transformed into a piece of charcoal, but no other casualties.
After that experience, I haven't put a single croissant into my oven. But surprisingly, I don't miss it at all.
I found the idea to grill croissants from chef Alex Raij, which she calls Croissants ala Plancha. Croissants grilled in butter and topped with vanilla butter. I couldn't believe the ingenuity when I saw the recipe. And her quote, "buy all the day old croissants you can," made me love her even more. I could live by that principle.
Fortunate for me, I work at a coffee shop, so there's always a chance that I'll end up with some day old croissants. At the end of each shift, I'm always looking around. Croissants? Do we have any croissants left? Any croissants still on the display shelf? Sometimes, I am lucky and I snag one or two.
There's not much to making grilled croissants. Melt some butter on the stove on medium-high heat. Cut each croissant in half. Fry them for a few minutes on each side. Vanilla butter is made simply by creaming room temperature butter with some vanilla beans.