This is my take on Dominique Ansel's Cronut™ pastry. He says it is not just a fried puff pastry and my guess is that his is probably a bit tastier than mine. That said, you have to go to NYC and stand in line early in the morning to get one of his.
Regrettably, I did not take photos of the process, but this isn't rocket science nor is it major culinary art. Should be easy enough to follow from my written description.
1 Pkg Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry
Grape Seed oil (for frying)
Powdered Sugar (or donut glaze, fillings, etc.)
Electric Fryer (preferred over skillet, but that will work too)
Round cutters (I use rings from an Ateco 5357 11 Piece Plain Round Cutter Set)
Step 1: Prepare Puff Pastry
The puff pastry comes frozen with two folded sheets of pastry per box. One sheet of pastry makes 2-4 donuts depending on the cutter used.
Each sheet must be pulled out of the freezer and taken out of the envelope it is in to defrost. Do not unfold a sheet until it is soft or it will crack.
Once it is soft enough to unfold, lay it out and decide how you want to fold it. If you refold it the way it was originally folded, then it will make three donuts like the one in the photo. You can also combine two whole sheets and make larger donuts, be creative.
Refold the dough using beaten egg yolk to glue the folded sheets together. THIS IS A CRITICAL STEP!
If you do not glue the sheets together with egg yolk they will delaminate in the fryer. The more layers you use, the "higher" the donut will rise. The photo shows one with three sheet layers.
Let the dough rest a bit before proceeding.
Step 2: Heat the Oil
Start your fryer and heat the oil to 360º F to 375º F. Depending on how fast your fryer heats, you may want to do this after you pull the pastry out (see step 2).
Step 3: Cut the Donuts, Fry Them and Eat!
Using a circle cutter, cut a round disk out of your prepared puff pastry. Then cut a hole in the disk. This latter step is required because otherwise the donut will not cook completely and give you the desired crispy layers that you seek.
I fry the holes first and then dust them with powdered sugar.
Fry the donuts and pull out when lightly brown and crisp.
Dust with powdered sugar or glaze. The puff pastry is not that sweet, so like Dominique, you may want to fill yours with creme or jelly or some other sweet filling. Alternately, you could do a savory fill and use these as n appetizer.