June 29, 2012

Dutch Letters - Flaky Pastry with Almond Filling (Quick and easy version!)

I finally made them!  Yesterday was a crazy baking and cooking day.  From homemade Mango Popsicles to Fish Taco's and Sauces and Zapple Pie to yes, even Dutch Letters.  I was a whirlwind of baking and it felt like 'the good ol' days' before we were thrust into the crazy world of promotions, relocation's, moving across the country and everything else we've gone through recently.

Yesterday I baked and cooked up a storm and did not turn on my oven once.  It's over a hundred degree's here and I would be nuts to use my oven and spike our electric bill even higher.  No, once again I am ever-so-thankful I invested in a solar oven.  I baked til my heart's content yesterday on the front stairs of my home.  Obviously you will probably bake these Dutch Letters in your oven, which is what I would expect - but if you have a Global Sun Oven® they can be baked with solar heat easily as well.

On to the recipe!  I previously posted a recipe for Dutch Letters here on An American Housewife, but yesterday I had Puff Pastry on hand leftover from the last time I made Cream Horns.  If you want a quick and easy version of Dutch Letters I can tell you it worked great, was fast and tastes just like the pastries you find in any bakery. 

I kind of made this up as I went along and the results were perfect.  Here is what I used;

Quick Dutch Letters

1 package Puff Pastry, thawed
8 oz. almond paste
1 egg, separated
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c packed brown sugar
1 t molasses
1 t vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, beat almond paste and 1 egg white on medium-high speed of a hand mixer until smooth. Add the sugars, molasses and vanilla and beat until smooth, 1-2 minutes; set filling aside. In a small bowl, whisk together remaining egg yolk with about 1/4 cup water.

Unroll dough to a lightly floured work surface. Roll dough lightly into a larger rectangle.  Cut rectangle into strips about 2 1/2 inches wide. Working with one strip at a time, put 1 heaping tbsp. filling lengthwise down the center of the strip, using your fingers to spread it to each end. Using a pastry brush, brush egg wash down one edge and then, beginning with the dry side, roll strip over filling and into a cigar shape or a rope. Transfer pastry rolls, seam side down, to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and form into an "S" shape; repeat with remaining dough, filling. and egg wash.

Heat oven to 375°. Brush each pastry with egg wash and sprinkle liberally with sugar. Bake, rotating baking sheets once halfway through cooking, until golden brown, 30-35 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let cool for 20 minutes before serving.

The almond filling - mixed and ready to go

I went a little heavy on the almond filling because I love it so much

Rolled up and ready to shape into an S

I used metallic silver sugar sprinkles but you can use regular sugar

Baking mine in a Solar Oven but of course most people use a regular oven

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