Chocolate Peppermint Bear Claw Bread

YA. WHAT A CONCEPT.

Always feeling a little bit like Mindy Lahiri...I. love. bear claws.

They are my go-to at any bakery or coffee shop and I dream of the ways I can eat them every day - my sister and I even made a bear claw CAKE for my birthday!

This recipe is quite simple and you can totally make it your own. It is basically pastry dough + bear claw filling + chocolate and peppermint because that's what I'm always feeling around this time of the year. Skip the chocolate or peppermint and add cherries! THERE ARE NO RULES. Feel free to ask me questions on any variations you might come up with :)

 

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Makes 2, 6x3 inch loaves

 

For the Danish pastry:

¼ cup warm water

1 pkg. dry active yeast

½ cup whole milk

1 egg

1 teaspoon salt

2 2/3 cups flour

14 tablespoons cold butter (1 2/3 sticks), cut up

Combine water and yeast in a medium bowl. Set aside. Combine milk, egg and salt. Add to bowl. In a large bowl, using pastry blender or fork, cut in butter until they become large pea-sized.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry. Fold until the dry ingredients become moistened. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 4 hours or overnight.

On a well floured surface, take out the dough and roll out to a ¼ inch thickness. Fold in half and then half again. Roll out to a ¼ inch thickness. Repeat this process three times, dusting with flour as needed.

Chill again for 1 hour or overnight.

 

For the filling:

1, 8 oz. pkg. almond paste, cut into small pieces

2 egg whites

¼ cup sugar

¼ cup sliced almonds

 Combine in a large bowl and beat on high speed until combined.

 

1 cup (or more!) chocolate chunks

¾ cup (or more!) peppermint chips

Take out half the dough and refrigerate the other half while you’re working.

Roll out the dough until a ¼ inch thick. Spread half the filling onto the dough. Sprinkle with chocolate chunks and peppermint chips like they're damn confetti. Cut into squares that will fit your pan. Stack on top of each other and place side ways into the loaf pan so that there are alternating layers of filling and dough. Repeat with remaining dough and more chocolate chunks and peppermint chips. Brush with an egg wash (1 egg + 1 tablespoon milk) for extra golden edges. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. If desired, sprinkle with more chocolate chunks, peppermint chips, almonds, and icing (½ cup powdered sugar + ¼ cup heavy cream, whisk until smooth).

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