These bear claw pastries are not only delicious, but they are real "show-stoppers". The dough mixes very easily (no kneading) and the filling for the pastry is equally as easy. The only frustrating part is that there are a lot of steps. The steps are not hard to do, and you can spread the process out over a couple days if you want. I hope you try this recipe. It makes 12 good size pastries and they freeze well.

1 1/2 cups COLD butter (cut into TINY cubes)

5 cups flour (divided)
1  pkg instant yeast
1 1/4 cups evaporated milk (or half & half)
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg - well beaten

Cut the COLD butter into tiny cubes, then add it to (3) cups flour and  pulse it in your food processor, 2 or 3 SHORT times. 
Set this flour-butter mixture in the refrigerator for now.

In your stand mixer, mix (2) cups of the reserved flour and 1 tablespoon yeast.

Warm the milk a little (I call it baby bottle warm) and add the sugar and egg to it. Stir well, then add it to the flour-yeast in your stand mixer bowl. Mix well. 

Add the cold flour-butter mixture to the stand mixer bowl and mix well.

Lightly flower your counter and turn the dough out onto it. Pat or roll the dough into a 12" x 20" rectangle.

Fold into thirds, lightly flour and roll out again to a 12" x 20" rectangle (a 2nd time).

Fold into thirds, (a 3rd time)...wrap it in plastic wrap and chill it at least 4 hours or up to three days.


1/2 cup butter (room temperature)
1 + 1/3 cups unsifted powdered sugar
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
8 ounces (1 cup) almond paste (pinched into pieces)

1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 egg whites
3/4 cup finely chopped almonds (use food processor)

Beat softened butter and powdered sugar until smooth. Add 2/3 cup flour and almond paste. Beat with electric mixer until evenly mixed; add lemon zest and two egg whites. Beat until smooth. Stir in ¾ cup finely chopped almonds. Cover with plastic wrap and chill until firm (this filling keeps well in the fridge for 1 to 3 days which is nice because that means you don't HAVE to make all of the pastries at once).


Take your dough out of the fridge, cut it in half and let it sit at room temperature for about 1/2 hour (not necessary, but it helps). 

Roll each half out on lightly floured counter to 14" square. Cut each square into 6 equal pieces. Place a heaping tablespoon of the chilled almond filling onto the middle of each square. Fold over and pinch edges, then very gently press on the filling to even it out a little, re-pinch edges.

Using kitchen scissors, cut 4 slices into folded side of the pastry and spread them out just a little.

Sorry, I'm NOT an artist 

Brush folded and cut pastry with well beaten egg white + 1 teaspoon water, then sprinkle with a little sugar. Place on parchment lined cookie sheet and cover lightly with plastic wrap and let raise for 1 1/2 hours.

Bake at 375° for 15-17 minutes or till light golden brown. Remove to a rack to cool, then frost and sprinkle with sliced/toasted almonds.

NOTE: I hope I have not scared you away from this recipe. It really is no harder than a piecrust.

2 tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk (more if you need it)
Mix well


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