Pam’s Bear Claws
I wouldn’t be the fully-stuffed geek if I didn’t occasionally show my geeky side, right? The hubby and I are suffering from serious Archer withdrawal whilst working on our Archer cosplays, so I decided to make Pam’s favourite snack: BEAR CLAW!
A bear claw is a sweet, yeast-raised pastry, similar to a Danish. A bear claw is usually filled with almond paste, and sometimes raisins, and often shaped in a semicircle with slices along the curved edge, or rectangular with partial slices along one side. As the dough rises, the sections separate, evoking the shape of a bear’s toes.
- 500 g all purpose flour (plus more for dusting)
- 375 g unsalted butter, very cold
- 14 g active dry yeast
- 120 ml warm water
- 125 ml heavy cream
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- 50 g sugar
- 1 egg white
- 200 g almond paste
- 75 g icing sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 100 g icing sugar
- 2 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp whole milk
Add flour to the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Cut butter into 0.5 cm slices and add to the flour. Process until the mixture until the butter is about the size of kidney beans.
In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Let stand 5 minutes. Stir in the cream or milk, salt, eggs and sugar. Turn the flour-butter mixture into the liquid ingredients and with a rubber spatula mix until the dry ingredients are just moistened. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 4 hours, or overnight or up to 4 days.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Dust dough with flour. Pound dough with rolling pin and roll out to make a 40×100 cm piece. Fold into thirds making three layers. Turn dough a quarter turn and roll out again. Fold again into thirds. Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Prepare the filling while you wait for the dough to chill.
In a small bowl, beat all the ingredients with an electric mixer until very smooth. Place in the refrigerator until ready to use.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the chilled pastry (while folded) out to make a rectangle. Cut into 5x10cm strips.
Remove filling from refrigerator and spread 1 tablespoon of filling on each strip. Brush the edges with whisked egg, fold it, press down the edges and cut 3-5 slits for “toes”.
Place pieces on the prepared baking sheets, curving them slightly. Allow them to rise in a warm place for 20 minutes until puffy.
Preheat oven to 200°C. Brush with the beaten egg and place a sliced almond on each bear “toe”. Sprinkle with large crystal sugar. Bake 5-8 minutes for small pastries, 10-12 minutes for larger pastries.
Let cool slightly on wire racks.
Mix all the ingredients for the icing and drizzle it over your slightly warm bear claws.
Happy (Geeky) Baking!