The cretzel sounds like a punch line. Like one of the pastry narwhals spawned in imitation of the croissant-doughnut hybrid known (and trademarked) as the Cronut. These imitators have increasingly ridiculous names like duffin, piessant, and doughscuit.

This buttery union of croissant and pretzel dates back to the ’90s, but local baker Rachael Coyle made them a regular thing in March, after finding herself with some extra croissant dough and a supply of lye, which gives pretzels their chew and glossy brown exterior. They usually sell out in the first 90 minutes at her Saturday--morning Coyle’s Bakeshop popup at Book Larder. 

Unlike the many frankenpastries currently competing for BuzzFeed clicks, the cretzel actually shows off the best qualities of each of its forebears: precise layers of pastry inside, a crisp, golden brown exterior and a flavor that’s gloriously reminiscent of really good movie popcorn. Coyle acknowledges, “Making things out of croissant dough has become sort of a joke among bakers.” It’s all good, until we start seeing crookies, crownies, crannoli, or crugelah.