25 Days of Cookies, day 21

“Finally!” That was Dear Husband’s exclamation when he saw Day 21’s cookie, Ladylocks. Around this house this cookie is the best special occasion cookie of all and the standard for being the perfect Ladylock cookie is my Aunt Lois’ Ladylock recipe. I have only made her recipe once or twice since receiving it and have not gotten close to having cookies as good as Aunt Lois’. So for this cookie baking day I did some research among Ladylock recipes.

One thing I was searching for was a recipe that doesn’t use margarine and what is used instead. Lois’ dough recipe is margarine, sour cream and butter. I have not purchased or used margarine for a lot of years and one of the secrets shared by my Aunt is that not all margarines are the same in content and can greatly affect the outcome of the cookie.

After perusing around the internet, I came upon this site;

http://mindybakes.com/2012/12/29/pittsburgh-cookie-table-andor-holiday-cookie-table-ladylocks/

Ladylocks-copied from the above web page

“Now generally I am anti-shortening, but after trying the recipe with all butter I can say the pastry is better when it is a mixture of both butter & shortening.”

  • 3 1/2 cups Flour
  • 8oz Butter, cold & cubed
  • 10 Tbsp Shortening, cold & cubed
  • 1/4 cup Sugar
  • pinch Salt
  • 3/4 cup Cold Water
  • 2 Egg Yolks
  • 1 Tbsp Vanilla

“I used the food processor, pulsing half of the flour & sugar with the cold cubed butter until it was the texture of coarse meal, repeated with the other half of the dry ingredients & cold shortening then combined the 2 mixtures in a big bowl. If you dont have a food processor cut the cold, cubed fat into the dry ingredients with a pastry cutter or forks until there are no large chunks of fat & everything is incorporated.”

“Mix together the water, egg yolk & vanilla. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients to pour the liquid into. Fold together with a rubber spatula until it comes together and forms a dough, about 12-15 turns. Form together to make a dough ball, divide into thirds and form each into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.” 

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At this point I refrigerated the dough and pulled it out the next morning. Dear Husband got a little disturbed when he heard that I was not using Aunt Lois’ recipe, and requested that I make sure to use her filling. So, first I followed “Mindy Bakes” rolling out advice:

“Baking Molds”

“I used round peg style clothespins covered in aluminum foil & sprayed with non-stick spray. The foil wrap job doesn’t need to be neat, I discovered after the first time I painstakingly wrapped some of them. It is more important to leave a piece that you can use to remove the mold easily. On this particular clothespin style the rounded top was a smidge wider so that was where we made the ‘handle’.”

“There are also stainless baking molds available in any number of sizes that I am sure are really very quite nice, but they are also quite expensive, especially compared to the cost of the clothespins. Being able to have so many, 50 or so, meant I could keep a pretty steady flow of these in & out of the oven making it a much faster project. I had a new tray ready to go in when one came out.”

“While the dough chills get your molds prepped – be that foil wrapping the clothespins or finding the molds. I bake these on parchment lined sheet trays, so get a couple of those set up, too.”

Making the Ladylock Shells

“I roll this dough in a 50/50 mix of flour & sugar mixed together. Get the oven turned on to 350 & have your prepped molds & pans ready.”

“Sprinkle your work surface liberally and start rolling. When you are done you want a piece of dough, roughly the shape of a rectangle, that can be trimmed to a rectangle that is 12″ wide and 1/8″ thick. On my first roll I get a 12″x14″ rectangle and they get bigger from there because I roll the scraps into each new disk of dough. If that seems like it might be too much dough to work with throw the scraps back in the fridge as you go, remold them into a disk when you have them all & roll out, same as the others.”

“Once you hit the width focus on the thickness, and thereby the length. You will be trimming off the outer edges, which tend to be thicker, but the dough should be uniformly thin, as close to 1/8″ as you can get and even.”

“Once you have it rolled to the right shape use the pizza wheel to square up the dough to a 12″ width and get ready to cut 1″ wide strips in the dough. I use my rolling pin, like in the pics above, as a guide, running the wheel up against the pin and rolling the pin in even 1″ increments across the dough. Toss any odd end pieces in the scrap pile.”

“Time to wrap the dough around your molds – if you haven’t sprayed them down yet please do so now. The dough must overlap as you are rolling it on to the molds, same us you would, say, a bandage. Wrap the dough once around the bottom of the pin then spiral upward.”

“Lay the shell on a parchment lined tray. Space them evenly apart, you can fit about 15 per half sheet tray. As they get done move them into the heated oven for 20 minutes. They shells are done when the pastry looks dry and and baked through. They may take on a little bit of color, but hardly any ideally.”

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I had good luck with this recipe for the cookie shell. They all turned out fairly equal in size and shape. They were also tender and flaky. The biggest difference for my family was that this shell has sugar in it and you can taste the sweetness. It isn’t a bad thing, it just, “isn’t Aunt Lois’.”

For the filling I did indeed take Dear Husband’s suggestion and use Aunt Lois’ filling recipe:

Ladylocks Filling

1 c Milk

2 1/2 TBS Flour

Cook to a paste. Cool

Beat together with above:

1 c Shortening(part oleo-I used Crisco, part butter)

Add to that:

1 c Powdered Sugar

1 c Sugar

Add:

1 tsp Vanilla

Beat well and add:

6 Heaping TBS Marshmallow Creme

Whip and fill shells using pastry bag.

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These cookies do take a little extra work. As I made my one little batch, I thought about my wonderful, sweet Aunt Lois and the hundreds and hundreds of these cookies she made over her lifetime, they were gifts for people at Christmas, Easter and weddings. The people that had the privilege of indulging in even one of her Ladylocks  were blessed by her perfect cookie and the love she baked into each one.

 

2 thoughts on “25 Days of Cookies, day 21

  1. Last night and today was ladylock day here too. But I must admit I cheat – I use frozen puff pastry for my shell; easy and I love it! My filling is a little different too- probably a little less sweet; I don’t use any marshmallow cream. I had Greg make me molds they are just oak dowels cut so I can wrap a ladylock on each side. I seasoned them in the oven with oil. – they work awesome! Happy Christmas Eve!

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