Thursday, May 14, 2020

CHOCOLATE BEAR CLAW: Guest Post by Camille Minichino

CAMILLE MINICHINO: 
CHOCOLATE BEAR CLAW

Charlie Cooke is the owner of the Bear Claw Diner in the new series, the Alaska Diner Mysteries by Elizabeth Logan. Her biggest crime in the first book, Mousse and Murder, is trying to change the old bear claw recipe to include chocolate. This and the ensuing argument with her head chef is enough to make her a suspect when he’s found murdered. I wish you better luck! Elizabeth Logan is the fifth pen name of Camille Minichino over the course of more than two dozen books. All names and titles can be found at www.minichino.com.

Chocolate Bear Claw Recipe – Camille Minichino
(The pastry dough is the most time-consuming part of the recipe. For a quicker fix, use ready made pastry dough such as refrigerated crescent dough sheets.)

From scratch:

Pastry Ingredients:
    1-1/2 cups cold butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
    5 cups all-purpose flour
    1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
    1-1/4 cups half-and-half 
    1/4 cup sugar
    1/4 tsp salt
  1 egg

Pastry Directions:
1. Mix butter with 3 cups of flour until well coated.
2. Combine yeast and remaining 2 cups flour.
3. In a saucepan, heat half-and-half, sugar, and salt. Add to yeast mixture. Beat until smooth.
4. Stir in butter mixture just until moistened.
5. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle about 8 inches wide and 1/4 inch thick. 
6. Cut dough in half lengthwise to make two 4-inch wide strips.  Refrigerate.
Filling Ingredients:
  2/3 cup almond paste
  1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
    1 tsp ground cinnamon
    1/4 tsp salt
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    2  egg whites

Filling Directions:
1. Break the almond paste into pieces and place almond paste, chocolate, cinnamon, salt and vanilla in a large bowl and beat until mixture is crumbly.
2. Add egg whites and beat until mixture is smooth. 
Combining Directions:
    1 egg
    Almond slices
1. Use a spatula to spread the filling on each half of the dough. Roll dough over filling and cut each roll into equal size sections, usually 8 pieces total.
2. Place pastries seam-side down on a baking sheet. Make 4 cuts on one side of each pastry, extending at least 1inch into the pastry to create "fingers." Curve the pastry into a slight arch to separate the fingers. Cover tray loosely with plastic wrap and let rise for 2 hours, or until doubled in size.
3. Preheat oven to 400 ℉. Beat whole egg in a small bowl and brush each pastry with egg. Place one almond half or sliced almond onto each finger to form a claw.
4. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow bear claws to cool on a wire rack before serving.

1 comment:

Camille Minichino said...

Camille and all her pen names say Thank You, Janet for helping me share this recipe. I'd love to hear from readers and bakers who take this on!