Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Flaky Almond Pastries

Happy Valentine's Day! If you're looking for a specifically-Valentine's-Day dessert, I posted a recipe for an adorable Valentine's Cake last week.

This week, though, I've got a recipe that would be good for a bunch of different holidays!

My mom created this dessert (like so many on my blog), but they're kinda like giant Dutch letters. Mmm!

This is a different variation of the same pastry!

Eggs (to be separated):
  • 3  large eggs
Almond Filling:
  • 1 (8-ounce) container almond paste
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
Egg Wash:
  • 1 T water
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 cups cold  butter, diced
  • 1/2  cup shortening, chilled
  • 1 cup ice-cold water
  • 1/2 cup coarse sugar, such as sparkling sanding sugar or raw sugar
  • 1 cup powder sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 cup water or milk
  1. Separate egg yolks from whites. Set aside two egg whites for almond filling, one egg white for egg wash and one egg yolk for dough; reserve remaining two egg yolks for another use. 
  2. For the almond filling, combine almond paste, two egg whites, granulated sugar, brown sugar, vanilla and cinnamon in a medium mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on medium-high until smooth. 
  3. Spoon into a piping bag or large plastic baggy. Set aside.
  4. For egg wash, whisk together one egg white and 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl. Set aside.
  5. In a large bowl, stir together flour and salt; cut in butter and shortening until mixture is crumbly.
  6. Whisk together 1 cup ice-cold water and egg yolk; drizzle into bowl, tossing with a fork until combined. 
  7. Gather into a ball, kneading gently until it holds together.
  8. *Divide the dough into two balls, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  9. *On a lightly floured surface, roll one portion of dough into a 9×13-inch rectangle. Fold up two short edges of rectangle so they meet in the middle and fold dough like a book. Rotate dough 90°; repeat the rolling and folding technique. Refrigerate 20 minutes. Repeat.
  10. *Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease baking sheets or use parchment paper
  11. *Snip the corner off of the plastic bag or pipe half of the filling down the middle and fold dough over. form dough into a oval and seal edges brush with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.
  12. *Bake for 45-55 minutes until golden brown.
  13. *Repeat steps 9 - 12.
  14. While the pastries are cooling, mix glaze ingredients until smooth. 
  15. After the pastries are cool, drizzle the glaze over the top. 
*Note: this recipe can be easily adapted during steps 8 - 13. If you want larger or smaller pastries, divide the dough and filling accordingly. Bake until cooked through.

For a smaller pastry, roll a fourth of the dough into a thin, long rectangle. Spread 1/4 of the filling down the middle. Fold dough over, and form into oval. Seal the edges, brush with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 35-45 minutes.

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