Lady Locks (Clothespin Cookies)
Ingredients
Directions
cookies
2 c
all-purpose flour
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½ tsp
salt
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1 c
unsalted butter, softened
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½ c
sour cream, drained of excess moisture
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½ tsp
vanilla extract
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c
white granulated sugar
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buttercream
¼ c
vegetable shortening
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¼ c
unsalted butter, softened
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c
confectioner's sugar
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2 tsp
vanilla extract
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a splash of whole milk, if consistency is too dry
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Lady Locks (Clothespin Cookies)

These Italian cream-filled cookies, also known as Clothespin Cookies or Cream Horns, are a staple of Pittsburgh cookie exchanges and wedding cookie tables. They’re best eaten fresh, so if you make them for a wedding, be sure to fill them with cream within a day or so of the event.

10-12 cookies

For the Cookies
  1. Sift together flour and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, vigorously whisk together remaining ingredients, which should have no clumps and be slightly yellow when mixed correctly.
  3. Create a well in the center of your dry ingredients and add your butter mixture.
  4. With clean hands, dump dough out onto a floured work surface and knead for 5-8 minutes until gluten has worked up and the dough is springy.
  5. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
  6. While waiting for the dough, you will need to prepare the item you’re wrapping your dough around. While historically it has been old-fashioned round clothespins, you can also use a dowel rod, as I did (mine was 5/8" wide and cut at 9" long). For either option, wrap in aluminum foil.
  7. When dough is ready, preheat oven to 400°F and prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper or a Silpat.
  8. Halve dough into two manageable pieces.
  9. Roll out one half to be 9" x 16", cutting off any excess dough to square off the edges.
  10. Now, cut 1.5" strips from this lengthwise so that you have 6 strips.
  11. Wrap each strip around your dowel/clothespin, overlapping on the turn about a half-inch and pinching the end to secure.
  12. Repeat with remaining 5.
  13. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until edges are golden and crisp (less bake time for clothespins, as they will be slightly smaller).
  14. Allow to cool slightly and gently remove cookies from dowel/clothespin.
  15. Repeat with second half of dough.
  16. Allow all cookies to cool completely. While cookies are cooling, make your buttercream.
For the Buttercream
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together shortening and butter until well blended.
  2. With mixer on low, add confectioner’s sugar a little at a time, until fully mixed in.
  3. Add vanilla and milk, if needed.
  4. Turn mixer up to high and beat until you get peaks and ripples.
For Assembly
  1. When all cookies have cooled, transfer buttercream to a pastry bag fitted with an icing tip.
  2. Take one cookie at a time and fill completely with icing.
  3. Repeat with remaining cookies and dust with confectioner’s sugar.
  4. These do not freeze as well, and I recommend making not more than 2 days in advance for best results.

Brett Braley

Brett F. Braley is the writer, baker, and photographer behind FigandBleu.com (@figandbleu). His work centers on traditional American desserts, combined with new flavors or techniques.

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