These flaky Danish pastries are a time-consuming project, but they're a perfect way to show people how much you love them! I like serving them at special brunches. The puff pastry dough and almond filling can be made ahead of time, and the pastries can be frozen before baking.

Recipe Summary

prep:
2 hrs
cook:
25 mins
total:
2 hrs 25 mins
Servings:
24
Yield:
24 pastries
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Ingredients

24
Original recipe yields 24 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • In a large bowl, beat almond paste with an electric mixer to break it apart. Add the almonds, sugar, and salt; continue to mix until the almond paste is no longer lumpy. Stir in the butter, egg whites, almond extract and amaretto liqueur on high speed until its as fluffy as you can get it. Set aside.

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  • Using half of the dough at a time, roll it out on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle that is about 8 inches wide and 1/4 inch thick. Trim the edges of the dough. Cut the dough in half lengthwise to make two 4 inch wide strips.

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

  • Fill a pastry bag halfway with the almond filling and pipe a stripe of filling down the center of each strip. Whisk together the egg and water. Brush onto one edge of each strip. Fold each strip over the filling and press gently to seal it. Brush each piece with egg wash and sprinkle sliced almonds over the top. Cut into 3 to 4 inch pieces, then cut 1/2 inch slits into the sealed edge to make the ''claws''. Place the bear claws at least two inches apart on baking sheets. Refrigerate and repeat with the second half of the dough.

  • Bake in the preheated oven until almonds are toasted and pastry is golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool and dust with confectioners' sugar right before serving.

Editor's Note:

Get the recipe for Blitz Puff Pastry.

For more tips, read the article about Breakfast Pastries.

Cook's Note:

This recipe makes enough filling for about six dozen bear claws. You can cut the recipe down, but I like to make a big batch because 1) it keeps indefinitely in the freezer 2) it's harder to make in small quantities (it's more difficult to grind almonds in a food processor in small amounts), and 3) the filling is delicious in coffee cakes and other baked goods.

Nutrition Facts

419 calories; protein 10.3g 21% DV; carbohydrates 36.3g 12% DV; fat 26.4g 41% DV; cholesterol 10.3mg 3% DV; sodium 156.8mg 6% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (30)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
02/26/2009
Loved this recipe. I used frozen puff pastry(where you find the frozen pie pastry) It comes in sheets already rolled out, which makes it fast and easy. After baking, I brushed a glaze made with icing sugar/milk and almond flavoring right over the sliced almonds. It was just what they needed for sweetness. My coworkers were calling me at home for the recipe weeks after! An impressive EASY treat. 5+++ stars. Read More
(125)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
07/21/2013
I prefer to make a recipe exactly as written the first time. This was probably the most difficult expensive snack I have ever made. The almond paste would not break down but jumped through the mixer blades in huge clumps. I decided to go ahead to the next step hoping the ground almonds and sugar would help to break down the paste. Wrong. I finally dug in with my hands and crumbled it manually. When it came time to spread using the pastry bag I didn't have the strength to do more than a couple so I enlist hubby. Even he had to take a break. On the last dozen I finally grabbed a handful and manually rolled the almond filling and finished them off that way. Today I had one and I guarantee that for all the work and cost I won't be making these again. They weren't good enough to overcome the hours spent making them. Read More
(7)
36 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 28
  • 4 star values: 6
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
02/26/2009
Loved this recipe. I used frozen puff pastry(where you find the frozen pie pastry) It comes in sheets already rolled out, which makes it fast and easy. After baking, I brushed a glaze made with icing sugar/milk and almond flavoring right over the sliced almonds. It was just what they needed for sweetness. My coworkers were calling me at home for the recipe weeks after! An impressive EASY treat. 5+++ stars. Read More
(125)
Rating: 4 stars
02/16/2010
I definitely recommend making your own puff pastry for this one. I used a recipe I found on Google called "Quick Puff Pastry." After I ran out of my homemade dough I used up some store bought pastry I had in the freezer and those claws didn't come out nearly as beautiful or delicious. The other thing I would change next time is adding more egg and sugar to the filling. I found it too think and not quite sweet enough. But still OH SO GOOD! Read More
(65)
Rating: 4 stars
07/21/2008
Pretty good... I would recommend NOT putting sliced almonds on top because they burn in the oven. A sugary glaze would be a million times better. Really good with coffee. They don't keep really well though. Next time I'd half the recipe. Read More
(60)
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Rating: 5 stars
06/01/2009
My rating is mostly for the filling of these almond wonders! I love how the almond flavor is intensified with the Amaretto and almond flavoring. I used my mouli to grind the almonds--the fine grate for half and the medium grate for the rest. It turned out perfect. I made these as directed and I would agree that the almonds on top burned. I may next time just skip the egg wash on the top and go with a very light powdered sugar/water drizzle. These are time intensive but what a feeling of satisfaction at the spectacular end product! Read More
(32)
Rating: 5 stars
02/08/2008
Very time consumning but the end result is wonderful once u have time on your hands try it. Read More
(26)
Rating: 5 stars
06/01/2010
these were great! i made them preety small so i got about 32 bear claws. thanks for the recipe it wasreally easy to follow Read More
(24)
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Rating: 4 stars
12/23/2012
Made it with two filling recipes one from this recipe one from a pignoli recipe. People like the filling from this recipe better because it has better almond flavor. However it is more labor intensive. My little coffee grinder and I worked very hard to get that 2 3/4 Cups of ground almond out. To avoid burning almonds slices on the top I used a pan toasting those slices. After the bear claws are done I put on the sugar icing and toasted almond slices on each claw and return them to the oven for less than a minute. Read More
(22)
Rating: 5 stars
03/09/2010
The filling was superb. That is all I needed to use in another recipe. Read More
(20)
Rating: 5 stars
08/31/2011
These were delicious! I made the blitz puff pastry and it got 10 bear claws (I may have rolled the dough too thick). The filling makes enough to fill at least another batch of puff pastry. I made it a few days in advance and kept it in the refrigerator but it lost its flavor. Next time I will make the filling right before baking the pastries. It was also very pasty so I will leave out one egg white next time I make the filling. The bear claws definitely need the egg wash to come out shiny. I put sliced almonds on top before baking and only one really browned. Read More
(18)
Rating: 3 stars
07/21/2013
I prefer to make a recipe exactly as written the first time. This was probably the most difficult expensive snack I have ever made. The almond paste would not break down but jumped through the mixer blades in huge clumps. I decided to go ahead to the next step hoping the ground almonds and sugar would help to break down the paste. Wrong. I finally dug in with my hands and crumbled it manually. When it came time to spread using the pastry bag I didn't have the strength to do more than a couple so I enlist hubby. Even he had to take a break. On the last dozen I finally grabbed a handful and manually rolled the almond filling and finished them off that way. Today I had one and I guarantee that for all the work and cost I won't be making these again. They weren't good enough to overcome the hours spent making them. Read More
(7)