A few weeks ago, Jordan and I went to Montgomery, Illinois to visit my sister and her family. While we were there, my sister talked about making bear claws. Since that conversation, my pregnant self has not been able to get bears claws off the brain! Jordan had, apparently, never had one because he didn't seem too excited about them (anyone who knows Jordan well knows he LOVES almond desserts and since bears claws are filled with almond, I thought he would have been more excited about my recent obsession). We went to Panera for lunch one day, and pregnant me was salivating over the bear claws all during lunch. Being the good husband that he is, Jordan went and got me one after I ate my lunch and was still talking about them. After he tasted it and realized how incredibly delicious they are, he decided to jump on the bear claw band wagon with me.
Having never made bear claws before, I knew this would be an adventure and I decided to go into it slowly. I researched out recipes online and found this blog and from there decided that I needed to get this book from the library so that I had all the instructions and pictures at my disposal. I got the book, gathered together the necessary ingredients and started on my way. One day, I decided to make them, but I didn't have enough time to do it all, so I made mock bear claws using puff pastry dough and the almond filling from the book. They were quite delicious, and further fed my determination to make the real deal. Since I already had the filling made (the recipe makes twice as much filling as one batch of dough) I just had to tackle the dough. I am not going to lie. It intimidated me. I am kind of scatter brained, and even more so when pregnant. I also have this problem of thinking that I know better than directions. That can really get me into trouble. So with a few deep breaths, I read through the directions a few times and got started. The road started a little bumpy for me. I think I may have measured the flour wrong, or it really just needed more than the recipe says, because my dough was more like soup after I added the called for amount. I knew that couldn't be right, so after talking to my dough for some time, trying to figure out what to do, I added a bit more flour until it at least came together. I was quite nervous at this point. I did not want to be disappointed in the finished product. I kept going, though, and followed the rest of the directions to a T. After, literally, hours in the kitchen, here are the finished product!
They turned out so good! The dough was super flaky and light and fluffy and yummy. The filling was just as good as the first time, and the apricot glaze on top added that little something extra that seals the deal. Mission accomplished. I am no longer intimidated by this sort of dough! I can now add bear claws to the menu of the bakery I hope to open someday!