Whole Foods shares the sweet secret behind its Brown Butter Cookie Croissant

Croissants / Robyn George / USA TODAY NETWORK

Certain food moments have the power to go viral. Whether it is flavor combination that is a new discovery to a food mashup that is pure genius, that taste, image, and buzz make people run to experience that deliciousness for themselves. The Whole Foods Brown Butter Cookie Croissant has captivated the food world with the ultimate dessert combination.

Anyone who has tried to master baking a croissant appreciates that the perfect honeycomb center is not an easy feat to master. Even after laminating layer after layer of dough, delicate flakey layers are not guaranteed.

While a croissant might be pastry perfection, a satisfying chocolate chip cookie is equally as perplexing. From the right texture to the ratio of chocolate chips to dough, it is more than just throwing ingredients into the mixing bowl.

Whole Foods embraced the idea of combining their perfectly flakey, buttery croissant with its signature brown butter chocolate chip cookie. The center of the croissant reveals a slightly gooey, cookie center. That contrast of crisp pastry with soft cookie is utterly irresistible.

Recently, FoodSided spoke with Erica Skolnik, Senior Culinary Program Manager for Whole Foods Market. Skolnik leads bakery innovation at Whole Foods. After having run her own baking company and amassing 20 years of experience in the culinary profession, Skolnik is always looking for ways to bring excitement and creativity to the Whole Foods bakeries.

During the Q&A, Skolnik offered her insight on the Whole Foods Brown Butter Cookie Croissant. After listening to her responses, it is hard not to make a quick run to a local Whole Foods to experience the treat for yourself.

Cristine Struble/FoodSided: How important is it for Whole Foods to jump on viral food trends? Do you try to add something unique to these ideas that makes Whole Foods’ version stand out? 

Erica Skolnik/Whole Foods: The viral food trends that pop up in social media are often recipes that influencers are making at home with unique ingredients that are usually sold at Whole Foods Market. We already know that one of the top reasons customers come to Whole Foods Market is to try new things, so if we have the ability to bring a trend to life in stores, we do our best to make it happen. This trend stood out because it highlighted two top selling items already carried in our stores, including the fan favorite Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie, which gave this item a signature Whole Foods Market twist.  

CS: When it comes to the Whole Foods Brown Butter Cookie Croissant, how do you balance the flavors of the buttery croissant with the sweet, classic cookie? Is the brown butter in the cookie key?

ES: The croissant is perfect for this combination because it is so soft and buttery and holds its shape without drying out or overbaking. The Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie on its own is a great balance of sweet, salty and nuttiness due to the brown butter. Using a high-quality chocolate in the cookies adds depth and richness to the combo.  

CS: Could this idea be expanded to other cookie flavors? If so, what other cookies do you think would be successful?

ES: This could definitely be expanded to other cookie flavors. Our Butterscotch Pretzel Brown Butter Cookie is a seasonal offering that I think would be delicious baked in a croissant, but we will see where this trend goes! 

CS: Food mashups are becoming more popular. Do you think the idea is because people have difficulty choosing one treat or because people just want to have fun with food? 

ES: Food mashups have been quite popular since the beginning of the cronut. Mashups are fun and innovative – this one in particular is easy for professional bakers and bakers at home to execute, which I think adds to its popularity.  

CS: What other examples of food trends has Whole Foods adopted? Do you think that these items are drivers to get people in the store?  

ES: Our Culinary Development Team has done a great job staying on top of trends. Some seasonal items we’ve developed, like Mango Yuzu Chantilly Cake and Chocolate Cardamom Cookies with buckwheat, included trends affirmed by the Whole Foods Market Trends Council and were featured on our annual food trends reports.

Whole Foods is always looking to embrace and innovate flavor trends. The Brown Butter Cookie Croissant is another example. Ready to taste one for yourself?