Sunday, May 9, 2010

Almond Butterhorns

Happy Mother's Day to me!!! Mark made these for my special day and oh. my. goodness. they are AMAZING!! Read the instructions completely before planning because it requires some work the night before you want to make them. But, do make them because they are to die for.

Makes 12
Dough:
½ c warm water
4 tsp (2 pcks) quick-rise yeast
2 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
½ c brown sugar, firmly packed
1 ½ c milk
¾ c (1.5 cubes) butter, melted
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
1 ½ tsp salt
5 c unbleached flour
1 c whole wheat flour

Filling:
1 c brown sugar, firmly packed
1 c almonds
¼ c butter melted

Glaze
1 cup confectioner's sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/8 brown sugar almond mix

Blend the water and yeast in a mixer bowl fitted with a dough hook (I use a food processer). Add the eggs and egg yolk, brown sugar, milk, butter, vanilla and salt. Mix until combined, then add the flours. Mix until the flour disappears – just a few turns of the hook- and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Sprinkle a handful of flour over the dough and mix until the dough starts to form a ball. The dough will be very soft. Scrape into an oiled bowl about 3x size of ball of dough. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
The next morning, line 3 cookie sheets with baking parchment or grease lightly. In a food processor fitted with a steel knife blade, chop the brown sugar and almonds together until almond pieces are the size of peas. Reserve 3/8 cup filling for the glaze and set the rest aside.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and turn onto a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle the top with a little flour and shape into a rectangle with your hands. Now roll out the dough into a rectangle approximately 12x24 inches and ¼-1/2” thick. Check the underside of the dough frequently to prevent sticking.
Position the dough with the short sides at the top and bottom and brush the entire surface with the ¼ cup melted butter. Distribute the almond filling over the lower 2/3 of the buttered dough, covering all the way to the edges and pressing gently into the dough to hold in place. Fold the top (uncovered) portion of the dough to cover ½ the almond filling. Fold over once more to cover all the filling.
Now roll out the dough to about ¾” thickness, keeping the rectangular shape but with the long sides at the top and bottom. Use a pizza cutter or sharp knife to cut the dough into 12 even strips along the short dimension.
Take up a strip of dough, one end in each hand, and twist 3-4 times in opposite directions. Now gather both ends in one hand, maintaining the twist, and loop the middle of the dangling strip up over the ends. Place the butterhorns on one of the prepared cookie sheets. Repeat. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until puffy and 50% larger. This may take 5 minutes or longer. Plan to put the first pan in the oven early so the others don’t over-rise.
Before the pastries finish rising, preheat oven to 350 degrees with the rack in the center position. One pan at a time, bake the butterhorns for 10 minutes, rotate the pan, and bake for another 5 minutes or until tops are barely brown and bottoms golden. Don’t over-bake – they’re much better moist.
While the butterhorns bake, combine the glaze ingredients in a small saucepan. Heat on medium-low until just warm, stirring constantly. Dribble the glaze onto the butterhorns as they come out of the oven. Let cool before serving.

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