Bear Claws

Bear Claws

Originating in the United States in the mid-1920s, these flaky puff pastries get their name from the oversized claw-like shape. As the dough rises, the sections separate, creating the “claws,” which conceal a homemade, almond flour-based marzipan filling.

Bear Claws
Makes 12
  • 4 cups (500 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2½ cups (568 grams) cold high-quality unsalted butter,* cubed
  • 2 teaspoons (6 grams) kosher salt
  • ¾ cup (180 grams) cold water
  • 1 large egg (50 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon (5 grams) whole milk
  • Marzipan Filling (recipe follows)
  • ½ cup (57 grams) sliced almonds
  • 2 tablespoons (24 grams) turbinado sugar
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat flour, butter, and salt at low speed just until butter is coated with flour, about 30 seconds. With mixer running, add ¾ cup (180 grams) cold water in a slow, steady stream just until dough comes together, about 1 minute (there will still be large pieces of butter). Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into an 18x11-inch rectangle. Fold dough into thirds, like a letter. Rotate dough 90 degrees, and fold into thirds again. Wrap dough in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  3. Divide dough in half. On a lightly floured surface, roll half of dough into a 15x11-inch rectangle. Trim edges of dough. Cut dough in half lengthwise; cut each half into 3 (5½x5-inch) rectangles. Repeat with remaining dough.
  4. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together egg and milk. Fill a pastry bag with Marzipan Filling, and pipe into center of each rectangle. Brush edges with egg mixture, and fold dough over filling, pressing sealed edges to seal. Trim edges with a pizza wheel to further seal. Using a sharp knife, make 4 cuts on sealed edge of dough, being careful not to cut through to filling. Transfer to prepared pans, gently curving to spread out cuts. Freeze for 10 minutes. Brush tops of dough with egg mixture, and sprinkle with almonds and coarse sugar.
  6. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving. Bear Claws can be prepared days in advance and frozen until ready to bake.
*We used Plugrá.

Marzipan Filling
Makes about 1½ cups
  • 2 cups (240 grams) confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 cups (192 grams) almond flour (see Pro Tip)
  • 2½ tablespoons (35 grams) unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons (30 grams) amaretto
  • 1 large egg white (30 grams)
  • 1½ teaspoons (6 grams) almond extract
  1. In the work bowl of a food processor, place confectioners’ sugar and almond flour; process until combined. Add butter, amaretto, egg white, and almond extract; process until mixture comes together. (Mixture will be softer than a typical marzipan.) Use immediately.



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