Saturday, January 30, 2016

Perfect Elephant Ear Pastry Cookies (to die for!)

In yesterday's blog post I included a photo of these amazing Elephant Ear cookies that I made during last weekend's snowstorm. I promised you the recipe, so here it is. It's funny how I've gotten into the habit of grabbing my phone to snap photos while I bake and cook. "Wait! don't eat that yet! I have to take a picture of it first!" is something that my daughters are getting used to hearing. Hehe. 

Before you start:

*I highly recommend baking these cookies on parchment paper covered cookie sheets. It eliminates a lot of the mess and once you take them out of the oven they just slide right off of the parchment paper!*This is a yeast dough that you will need to refrigerate for two hours before you bake the cookies.*One last word of advice. If there are more than two or three people in your household, you may want to double this recipe. These cookies are just THAT good! 

Here's what you will need:

1 package active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees F)
2 1/4 cups flour
2 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup milk, scalded and then cooled to lukewarm temperature (scalded means heated to just below boiling when tiny bubbles begin to appear around the edge of the milk)
1 egg yolk
2 Tablespoons of butter, melted
1 1/2 cups of sugar
2 Tablespoons cinnamon
(Optional - 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans)


Heat the 1/4 cup of water in a glass measuring cup. Dissolve the package of active dry yeast in the water, mix well until the yeast is dissolved, and then set aside for five minutes to allow the yeast to activate.

In a mixer combine these ingredients:

2 1/4 cups flour
2 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
Mix until you have the consistency of course crumbs.

In a glass measuring cup, mix together the lukewarm scalded milk and egg yolk. Then add the yeast and water mixture to the milk and egg yolk and mix well. 

Now add the milk/egg yolk and yeast/water mixture to your flour mixture and mix well until all ingredients are combined and you have a soft dough. If the dough is too sticky you can add one or two tablespoons of flour, but the dough should be soft and not stiff. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours. 

Roll the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Shape into a 20x10 inch rectangle.

Brush the top of the dough with two tablespoons of melted butter

Mix together the 1 1/2 cups of sugar and 2 tablespoons of cinnamon. Sprinkle about a half cup of the cinnamon sugar mixture onto the dough. 

Starting at the long end of the dough, roll the dough into a long log shape. Pinch the edges closed but do not seal the edges tightly.

Place the roll onto a cutting board and slice into one-inch slices. I slice about 18-20 rounds from my dough.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Sprinkle some of the remaining cinnamon sugar mixture onto a piece of waxed paper and place a slice on top. 

Roll the slice with your rolling pin until it is a long oblong shape. I usually roll mine once or twice and then flip it over and roll it once more on the reverse side. 

Carefully place the rolled slice onto a parchment paper covered cookie sheet. Repeat this process with the remaining rolls of dough. Sprinkle the tops with additional cinnamon sugar if desired.(Note: If you are adding chopped walnuts or pecans to your cookies, now is the time to do so. Sprinkle the nuts on top of the cookies and gently press them into the dough with your fingers.)

Bake the cookies in a 400 degree F oven for 10-12 minutes until they are light golden brown and the cinnamon sugar melts. Remove from oven and slide the parchment from the cookie sheet and allow them to cool on a tabletop or on wire cooling racks.

Yum :) Enjoy!

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I hope you enjoy these amazing cookies. If you try this recipe, be sure to stop back and leave a comment and let me know how you like them! 

Enjoy your weekend! 

- Laura

Images and recipe copyright Laura Beth Love. For personal use only. 
Not for commercial use without express permissions.


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