Almond Cream Puff Pastry Braid

Almond Filled Puff Pastry Braid - Just like the Bear Claw, just much, much easier! by @Letthebakingbgn | LetTheBakingBeginBlog.com

 

Do you remember I posted a recipe for the Almond Filling and I said it was very versatile? Well, guess what? This beautiful thing right here is filled with that cream! A whole lot of it too! If you like Bear Claw Pastries, or the Almond Croissants eating this Almond Filled Pastry Braid will very much remind you of it. After all it’s got the same filling and almost the same dough.

Almond Filled Puff Pastry Braid - Just like the Bear Claw, just much, much easier! by @Letthebakingbgn | LetTheBakingBeginBlog.com

I didn’t have any sliced almonds on hand, otherwise I would definitely throw some on top of this braid. Also, if you have fresh or frozen berries lying around, go ahead and sprinkle them on the filling before braiding the puff pastry and it will make an already awesome braid, even more awesome. Promise.

Almond Filled Puff Pastry Braid - Just like the Bear Claw, just much, much easier! by @Letthebakingbgn | LetTheBakingBeginBlog.comAlso, I wanted to share some exciting news on the personal front 😀 If it is not something you care to read about just skip to the recipe below…Don’t worry, I won’t be offended 😉

As you may know, I’ve been going to school taking prerequisite classes to Nursing Program. Yeap, I want to be a nurse. In our area, nursing is a pretty hot career choice as it seems that every other person is either in school to be a nurse or applying to the program. With that being said, the acceptance into these nursing schools is very limited and some people end up applying several times (read years) before getting in. As advised by my career counselor only the ones with the best grades and extensive experience in the field or at least a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) license actually get in. So with no prior experience and no CNA license I applied to 3 different schools and 2 of them accepted me! I cried upon receiving both letters as even though I did my best grade-wise but not having any experience I was very nervous about whether I would get in or not.

Almond Filled Puff Pastry Braid - Just like the Bear Claw, just much, much easier! by @Letthebakingbgn | LetTheBakingBeginBlog.com
Unfortunately, I won’t be able to honor both schools with my presence in their program (ha!), so I had to deny one and accept the other! As of Winter 2016 I will be a proud nursing student on my way to become a pediatric nurse! Wish me luck folks, they say the road is tough and not all come out in one piece on the other end! If you are someone who survived, got out alive and have some advice on how to best make it through Nursing School, do share in the comment section. I need all the help I can get!
Now back to the Almond Cream Puff Pastry Braid!

 

Almond Cream Puff Pastry Braid

Yields: 2 small braids or 1 long one.

Ingredients:

2 sheets of Puff Pastry (Pepperidge Farm)

Almond Cream 

  • 125 g unsalted butter (about 1 stick and 1 Tbsp), room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 3/4 cups ground almonds (either store-bought, or ground using a food processor)
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp almond extract

Egg Wash

  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp water

2-3 Tbsp Granulated Sugar for Sprinkling

Glaze: 

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tsp milk

Instructions:

Make the filling:

Combine all ingredients together in a mixer and beat for about 2-3 minutes until light, fluffy and well combined.

Almond Filled Puff Pastry Braid - Just like the Bear Claw, just much, much easier! by @Letthebakingbgn | LetTheBakingBeginBlog.comAlmond Filled Puff Pastry Braid - Just like the Bear Claw, just much, much easier! by @Letthebakingbgn | LetTheBakingBeginBlog.com

 

For a neater way to pipe the filling fill a ziplock bag with the filling and seal it (or just use a spoon to transfer filling to the puff pastry sheet later). Set aside.

 

Almond Filled Puff Pastry Braid - Just like the Bear Claw, just much, much easier! by @Letthebakingbgn | LetTheBakingBeginBlog.comMake the Braid:

Thaw puff pastry sheets on the counter until you’re able to unfold them. If you wish to make one large braid, place 1 sheet on top of the other and roll it out on a well floured surface until 15 x 11 inches. If you want 2 smaller braids, roll each sheet to 12″x 12″.

For 1 large braid use all filling at once. If  making two smaller ones, split the filling between the two braids.

Score the sheet/s along the narrower end into about 1 inch strips (do not cut through). Now visually divide the dough into thirds along the wider end. Snip the end of the filled ziplock bag and squeeze the filling into the middle third, or use a spoon to spoon the filling onto the puff pastry.

Almond Filled Puff Pastry Braid - Just like the Bear Claw, just much, much easier! by @Letthebakingbgn | LetTheBakingBeginBlog.com

This one is the 16″ x 12″ inches braid that uses 1 whole recipe of the Almond Cream Filling.

Using a knife cut the unfilled ends along the scored lines, now braid the puff pastry by alternating overlapping strips from right, then left sides until you reach to the end. Press the ends of the braid so the filling does not come out.
Whisk the egg and water together. Brush the braid with the eggwash. Sprinkle with sugar and bake in a preheated to 400F oven for 30-35 minutes or until golden in color and puffed up in the middle. If the pastry starts getting too dark before it’s puffed up and golden everywhere, place a sheet of foil on top and continue baking until completely baked through.

Almond Filled Puff Pastry Braid - Just like the Bear Claw, just much, much easier! by @Letthebakingbgn | LetTheBakingBeginBlog.com

This picture is of the 12″x 12″ sheet, which is filled with only 1/2 the Almond Cream Filling recipe. If using this size, you will get 2 puff pastry braids.

While the puff pastry braid is baking, make the glaze.

To make the glaze combine the powdered sugar, almond extract and just half the milk. Whisk. Add more milk if too thick until  the glaze is thick but pourable.

Almond Filled Puff Pastry Braid - Just like the Bear Claw, just much, much easier! by @Letthebakingbgn | LetTheBakingBeginBlog.com

Once the puff pastry braid is baked through, remove from the oven and let cool. If some of the filling oozed out, simply break it away for a better presentation.

Almond Filled Puff Pastry Braid - Just like the Bear Claw, just much, much easier! by @Letthebakingbgn | LetTheBakingBeginBlog.com

 

Cool the braid on a cooling rack. Snip off the of the end of the ziplock bag with the glaze and drizzle the top in a zig-zag motion.

Almond Filled Puff Pastry Braid - Just like the Bear Claw, just much, much easier! by @Letthebakingbgn | LetTheBakingBeginBlog.com

Do you see the absolutely amazing crust that the sugar and eggwash form? It’s crunch is what my dreams are made of!

 

Almond Cream Puff Pastry Braid

5.0 from 2 reviews
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 2 small braids or 1 long braids

Ingredients

  • 2 sheets of Puff Pastry (Pepperidge Farm)

Almond Cream

  • 125 g unsalted butter (about 1 stick and 1 Tbsp), room temperature
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • ¾ cups ground almonds
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extrac
  • 1 tsp almond extract

Egg Wash

  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 2-3 Tbsp Granulated Sugar for Sprinkling

Glaze:

  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tsp milk

Instructions

Make the filling:

  1. Combine all ingredients together in a mixer and beat for about 2-3 minutes until light, fluffy and well combined.
  2. Fill a ziplock bag with the filling and seal it. Set aside.

Make the Braid:

  1. Thaw puff pastry sheets on the counter until you're able to unfold them. If you wish to make one large braid, place 1 sheet on top of the other and roll it out on a well floured surface until 16 x 12 inches. If you want 2 smaller braids, roll each sheet to 12"x12".
  2. For 1 large braid use all filling at once. If making two smaller ones, split the filling between the two braids.
  3. Score the sheet/s along the narrower end into about 1 inch strips. Now visually divide the dough into thirds along the wider end. Snip the end of the filled ziplock bag and squeeze the filling into the middle third.
  4. Using a knife cut the unfilled ends along the scored lines, now braid the puff pastry by alternating overlapping strips from right, then left sides until you reach to the end. Press the ends of the braid so the filling does not come out.
  5. Whisk the egg and water together. Brush the braid with the egg wash. Sprinkle with sugar and bake in a preheated to 400F oven for 30-35 minutes or until golden in color and puffed up in the middle. If the pastry starts getting too dark before it's puffed up and golden everywhere, place a sheet of foil on top and continue baking until completely baked through.

While the puff pastry braid is baking, make the glaze.

  1. To make the glaze combine the powdered sugar, almond extract and just half the milk. Whisk. Add more milk if too thick until the glaze is thick but pourable.
  2. Once the puff pastry braid is baked through, remove from the oven and let cool. If some of the filling oozed out, simply break it away for a better presentation.
  3. Cool the braid on a cooling rack. Snip off the of the end of the ziplock bag with the glaze and drizzle the top in a zig-zag motion.

Bon Appetit & Happy Pinning

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Almond Filled Puff Pastry Braid - Just like the Bear Claw, just much, much easier! by @Letthebakingbgn | LetTheBakingBeginBlog.com

 

 

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Comments

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  • Congratulations on your acceptance to nursing program!!!

    · Reply
  • Lana

    Hello, do you use raw ground almonds or roasted ones? Thank you.

    · Reply
  • Agnes

    CONGRATS !!!!! I’M SURE YOU’LL BE A GREAT NURSE.:) and this almond braid is a most!!!! I’ll be baking this as soon as possible. Thanks for the recipe. GBY:)

    · Reply
    • Thank you Agnes! I am really looking forward to this next chapter in my student life!
      let me know how you like it once you try it 😉

      · Reply
  • vikalinkafood

    Oh I had tears in my eyes reading this. I am so proud of you, Marina! How incredible is this, you are one hot commodity! You know already that school is hard and challenging but it is also rewarding and what you get in the end is worth all the hard work not only because you get your degree but because of what it does to your character in the process. I am so excited for you!!! Also, that pastry braid is to die for! You are good at too many things. 🙂

    · Reply
  • I’m so happy for you friend and knew you’d get it. Just please don’t disappear from the Blog, we’d miss ya terribly… 🙂 :). I might just have to fly down for graduation;)

    · Reply
  • Congrats girl! That is so exciting! Mama, wife, and a student – that’s a handful but I know you will do great! I have a feeling you’re a hard head and will do just fine 🙂

    · Reply
  • susan

    I made this using another recipe, and the filling was not as firm as yours appears. I used a hand mixer (what i have) so i wondered if i “over-processed” the mixture. I also had the butter “softened” and maybe that was a factor. as a result of those issues, I lost a lot of the filling compared to yours. Any thoughts on what went wrong? BTW, it was tasty, and i did break off the excess but i see how dense your filling was when done. I had less than half that amount in mine… Thanks in advance for your feedback.

    · Reply
  • indian_boY

    These were great! In case anyone was wondering the technical term for this recipe is ‘bear claw’. Bears in the 1800’s were notorious for leaving bear footprints in the dirt near the infamous chef’s house, Pierre Le’Claw. he was outside his house frolicking with batch of pastry dough one sunny afternoon as was his normal custom when he slipped and dropped the dough right into a bear print. As he looked up and saw the mess he had created he realized the beauty that shown through the dirt. From there he created the ‘bear claw’ pastry! Over the years though people have become lazy and rather than pronounce two words they have began calling this delicious pastry the braid. Please, take some time as you make this pastry to honor this its creator by correctly calling it a ‘bear claw’! Enjoy!!

    · Reply
    • Thank you for such extensive insight into the name of this pastry! In my understanding the traditional dough for it was meant to be that of the danish. Since my dough was not that of the danish, and the shape wasn’t traditional to the bear claw, I decided to call it by it’s descriptive name. Not that it affected the taste 😉

      · Reply
  • Alena

    I made this today and it’s absolutely delicious! I’m a sucker for almond cream and this was so amazing! Thank you for a great recipe! Also I noticed a little correction for you, in the glaze, you put 1/2 cup of granulated sugar instead of powdered sugar 😉

    · Reply
    • Haha, yeah, no glaze with granulated sugar, thanks for the catch! I’m glad you enjoyed this recipe! – it’s one of my favorites!

      · Reply
  • Sonia

    Hiya, this really does look so yummy! i will be making this tomorrow hopefully. But i wanted to ask when you are done baking, does the filling have a cake kind of texture??

    · Reply

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