6 large butter croissants
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
Zest of 2 lemons, divided
Juice of 1 lemon
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar, divided
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/4 tsp lemon extract
Sliced fresh strawberries (about 2 cups)
Strawberry Sauce Ingredients:
1 pint fresh strawberries, washed stemmed and chopped
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Sweetened Whipped Cream:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
Slice the croissants in half lengthwise. Set aside.
Combine cream cheese, zest of 1 lemons, strained juice of 1 lemon, and 3/4 cup powdered sugar in a medium mixing bowl. Mix with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
Spread lemon cream cheese mixture over bottom of croissants and then replace the tops, pressing down to flatten. Cut into halves (or even fourths, if necessary) and arrange the pieces evenly in 13×9 inch pan lighty sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.
Whisk together milk, eggs, lemon extract, zest from second lemon, and remaining 1/2 cup of powdered sugar. Pour evenly over croissants and cover with aluminum foil. Refrigerate 8-10 hours.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake covered for 30 minutes and then remove foil and bake another 20-30 minutes or until the croissants are golden brown and the liquid absorbed. Remove from oven and allow to stand 5-10 minutes. Cut into squares and top individual servings with sliced strawberries. Strawberry Sauce, and Sweetened Whipped Cream, if desired.
Strawberry Sauce: Place strawberries and sugar in a large, heavy saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Crush softened berries with the back of a spoon or a potato master or, for a smoother sauce, blend using a standard or immersion blender.
Whipped Cream: Using a hand-held electric mixer, beat cream and sugar on medium-high speed until soft peaks form.