This recipe seems like it can't be right--there's no sugar in the dough! But like many heirlooms, it's cherished for a reason. Just follow the directions and you'll be rewarded with a pastry that is remarkably easy to make.
1 cup butter, divided
2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1 1/4 cups water, divided
3 large eggs, at room temperature*
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 (10-ounce) jar of jam, melted (we used seedless blackberry jam)
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 to 3 tablespoons milk
1/2 cup walnuts or almonds, chopped (optional)
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 350°. Cut 1/2 cup butter into 1 cup flour until crumbly; stir in 1/4 cup cold water. Form dough into a ball, and divide in half. On a greased baking sheet, pat each half into a 3- x 11-inch rectangle, spacing 4 inches apart.
Pour 1 cup water into a saucepan; bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Add 1/2 cup butter, stirring until butter melts completely. Add 1 cup flour, stirring vigorously until thick. Add eggs, 1 at a time, and beat well after each addition. Beat in almond extract. Drop mixture in heaping tablespoonfuls on top of each rectangle, covering top and sides.
Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until golden brown. Remove from oven, and immediately brush with jam. Stir together powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk to make a thin frosting. When puffs cool, drizzle with frosting. Sprinkle with chopped nuts, if desired.
I would give this recipe more stars except for the big mistake in step 2. It should say to return the saucepan to the stove and then add the flour and continue to stir. The flour mixture should then be stirred until it is very thick and the dough begins to separate from the sides of the saucepan. If you follow step 2 exactly as it is written, you will end up with a thin batter similar to a cake or pancake batter. Because of this mistake, I ended up with something very different than the accompanying photo.
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