Last year when I was asked to participate in the Fellenger Cookie Exchange I was excited . One question that my friend Steph asked was if I knew how to make Clothespin Cookies. I told her that I had never made them but I inherited a recipe from my mother-in-law and I know that everyone loved hers.
The recipe called for making your own puff pastry. Hours of carefully rolling out dough and layering it with fat, then letting chill, then rolling it out, then layering it with more fat. Last year I decided to use the recipe and delicately babied the dough for quite a few hours. It was night time by the time the dough was ready to roll out and make cookies. When the timer on my oven beeped to let me know that these cookies that I had cared for all day were ready I went to the oven door. When I opened the door there were piles and puddles of what looked like something one of our dogs leaves on the carpet when they eat grass from outside.
I was so upset and made our old roommate Rachel drive me to the grocery store. I went in and bought frozen puff pastry and attempted to make the cookies, not sure if it would work or not. Well it did work, beautifully. By the time I was done with all of my cookies it was close to 4:00AM and I was exhausted. We had to be up to Cleveland early the next day so I only got a few hours of sleep before we had to leave the house. We were in Cleveland all day and had to drive back down in a blizzard. We made it to the cookie exchange with my clothespin cookies and two other types to trade, I was so traumatized by the clothespin disaster that I really can not recall what the other two types of cookies I decided to take were.
Anyway, this year I decided to live by the philosophy that life is too short to make your own puff pastry and decided to make the clothespin cookies from frozen puff pastry. It works so beautifully and cuts hours off of the baking process. Clothespin cookies are called Clothespin cookies because they were originally strips of dough wrapped around a wooden clothespin, they were then baked and filled with cream when cooled. After the cookies were filled they are then rolled in powdered sugar.
Have a look at my clothespin cookies this year....
I think that every family has recipes that look like this. Every time I get these recipes out I get a bit emotional because they belonged to Brian's mother Carol. We lost Carol a few years ago to cancer, and her husband (Brian's dad) Ronnie gave me Carol's recipes and a lot of her baking equipment. I was quite honored that I was chosen to receive these belongings.
While going through my own cookbook I asked Brian if it was weird that some of my recipes have bits of ingredients stuck to them. I then told him that one day one of our children will get to inherit my cookbook and maybe they will feel the feeling that I get when I pull out Carol's old recipes and smile when I see that they are stained and worn from years of use. I hope so...
Here are Carol's original molds, they are hollow aluminum. There are even clothespins that she used to make cookies!
Again, trust me, under the life is too short category pre-made frozen puff pastry will save you a world of headache!
The dough is rolled out very thin, about 2 feet long and 6 inches high. I rolled it out to maybe about 1/8th of an inch thick...
The dough is then cut into 1/2 inch strips.
The strips are then rolled around the molds and placed on an un-greased baking sheet.
Here are our little beasts wondering if they are going to be getting any clothespin cookies. The answer is NO!
After about 9 minutes in a 450˚F oven the cookies are ready to come out.
I got about 90 cookies from 1 box of puff pastry.
I was going to fill them this evening, but we do not have any evaporated milk for the filling. I am just going to let them cool and then freeze them until I get the energy/motivation/time to fill them. I will blog about that later.
VIVA LA PRE-MADE PUFF PASTRY!!!
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