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I’m thrilled to present this dessert, that honors “THE REVENANT”… it’s “THE CLAWVENANT”! Bear Claw Danish Pastry!
To make a true Danish pastry, you’ve got to make the right dough. Puff pastry just won’t cut it. And it’s not difficult at all even though it takes some time – mostly refrigerator time. Well worth making it. As for the almond paste, I love almonds but never got into almond pastries – too sweet and kind of “off”. Spending the 5 minutes to make this paste and I am in love with this almond-y treat.
Here’s how to create it:
• 2/3 cup milk
• 2 tbsp sugar
• 1 packet (5/16 oz) instant yeast
• 2 cups flour
• ½ tsp salt
• 2 large eggs
• 1 cup unsalted butter, cold
• 1/2 cup raw almonds, sliced
The Almond Paste:
• 1-1/2 cups almond flour or almond meal
• 1-1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
• 1 tsp cinnamon
• 1-1/2 tsp almond extract
• 1 egg white
• 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
• 2 tbsp milk
• 1/2 tsp vanilla
1) Combine the milk, sugar, yeast, flour, salt, and one egg in a bowl and mix about five minutes until the dough is smooth and likely sticky. Cover the bowl and let it ferment for 30 minutes at room temperature, then put it in the refrigerator for at least two hours.
2) Make a “butter slab” rectangle by bashing cold butter until flattened.
3) Remove the dough and roll into a rectangle double the length of the butter slab. Place the butter slab over the dough at one end and fold the dough over it so the ends meet. Press the dough along the edges so the butter won’t escape. Turn it 90°.
4) Roll into a long rectangle. Fold it into an “envelope” – fold 1/3 dough up, then the top third of the dough over that. Turn it 90°, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes. Do this step twice more.
5) Make the almond paste while the dough is in the fridge. Combine almond paste ingredients into a bowl and mix until it forms a thick paste. Set aside.
6) Roll out the dough to about 1/4” thick. Cut into rectangles about 5” x 4”. Pinch off a piece of almond paste, roll it into a little log in your hands, and place across the top of a dough rectangle. Fold over, leaving about a 1/2” lip. Make a few cuts in the lip, to make the “toes”. Pinch the bear claw at the back to spread the toes. Repeat for all. Whisk the second egg and brush the tops of the pastry. Sprinkle with the almonds.
7) Bake at 375° for 15-20 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Let cool.
8) In a small bowl, combine the icing ingredients and mix well. Drizzle over the bear claws.
You won’t “bear” how good these are! The delicate balance of the almond flavor with the buttery flakiness of the pastry and the finish of sweet icing will have you “clawing” at them!