- 1-1/2 cups cold butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 5 cups all-purpose flour, divided
- 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
- 1-1/4 cups half-and-half cream
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 large egg white
- 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1/2 cup almond paste, cubed
- 1 tablespoon water
- Coarse or granulated sugar
- Sliced almonds
- In a bowl, toss butter with 3 cups flour until well coated; refrigerate. In a large bowl, combine yeast and remaining flour.
- In a saucepan, heat cream, sugar and salt to 120°-130°. Add to yeast mixture with 1 egg. Beat until smooth. Stir in butter mixture just until moistened.
- Place dough onto a well-floured surface; roll into a 21x12-in. rectangle. Starting at a short side, fold dough in thirds, forming a 12x7-in. rectangle. Give dough a quarter turn; roll into a 21x12-in. rectangle. Fold into thirds, starting with a short side. Repeat, flouring surface as needed. (Do not chill dough between each rolling and folding.) Cover and chill for 4 to 24 hours or until firm.
- For filling, in a bowl, beat egg white until foamy. Gradually add confectioners' sugar and almond paste; beat until smooth. Cut dough in half widthwise. Roll each portion into a 12-in. square; cut each square into three 12x4-in. strips. Spread about 2 tablespoons filling down center of each strip. Fold long edges together over filling; seal edges and ends. Cut into three pieces.
- Place on parchment paper-lined baking sheets with folded edge facing away from you. With scissors, cut strips four times to within 1/2 in. of folded edge; separate slightly. Repeat with remaining dough and filling. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Lightly beat water and remaining egg; brush over dough. Sprinkle with sugar and almonds. Bake at 375° for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool. Yield: 1-1/2 dozen.
Reviews for Almond Bear Claws
"These are fantastic! They are worth the work and are a spectacular addition to any cookie tray."
"The directions are a little vague, particularly the beginning part where you take the butter and toss it with the flour, are you making it to pea sized crumbles or are you leaving the pieces whole?????"
"A lot of work but well worth it."
"I am not a good dough maker. I used puff store bough pastry. I rolled the thinner so that my dough could be an even cut. They came out beautiful and tasted so good."
"These are phenomenal! I love the fact that the rough laminated dough (cube the butter, mix it all up and roll it out with uneven chunks of butter throughout) is used, rather than the more time consuming layered method. They finished result is delicious and it takes much less time and fuss. The filling is delicious as well. The finished claws looked so beautiful! Oh, I cut four 3" strips from each 12" square instead of vice versa. I got more yield and a smaller portion that way!"
"Made these today and got rave reviews."
"These were delicious! They freeze beautifully if individually wrapped. At the end, sprinkle them with almonds first, then with sugar, otherwise the sugar grains prevent the almonds from sticking. If the finished product is not sweet enough for you, sprinkle the cooled baked bear claws with confectioner's sugar before eating. My married daughter just called me to tell me how delicious these were-I had given her one from the freezer, which she took her with her..."
"I will probably make these again. They were indeed delicious and quite pretty. However, another recipe, Danish Almond Puff (see Internet if not in TofH) has very similar flavors and is much easier."
"Apparently I can't bake. My turned out awful and nowhere near as pretty as the picture."