Dining Chicago

Sweet of the Week: Kouign-amann at Bad Wolf Coffee

A good rule of thumb is however verboten something is to Dr. Atkins, the more insanely delicious it will be. Case in point, the ridiculous kouign-amann at Bad Wolf Coffee. This is something that literally translates as "cake butter," seeing as kouign is the Breton word for cake and amann for butter. Traditionally made by baking bread dough with layers of butter and sugar, the pastry is like a croissant on steroids. Eat your heart out, cronuts. No wonder a place that has mastered the art of the kouign-amann would make it their signature item. Such is the case at Bad Wolf Coffee, the nondescript coffee shop with a powerhouse pastry program.


Kouign-amann
(Kouign-amann at Bad Wolf Coffee)


The kouign-amann at Bad Wolf Coffee is something to behold. Unlike most kouign-amanns that are baked in specific molds, these ones are more free-form, allowing them to caramelize in a distinct way and making each bite taste different and feel different. It's like embarking on an adventure paved with butter. It's less flaky and messy than a croissant or most other puff pastry, because it contains less layers in the dough, but the kouign-amass sports rich, butter-slicked layers that moisten and absord all of that sugar and all of that butter. My favorite bites were the ones around the exterior on the bottom, where the sugar sort of melted off the sides a bit and made for brittle-like caramel shards. A cup of coffee at Bad Wolf and a kouign-amann makes for the most craveable one-two punch since doughnuts first met coffee.

Neighborhoods: Lakeview

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