Bear Claw Rolls

In West Texas where I grew up there was a donut shop that did really great bear claws. Bear claws are donuts with a spice mixture in the center cut to look like the paw of a bear. These donuts had some clove in the center and were frosted with a maple glaze. I wanted something like them but that I did not have to fry so I have used a basic sweet roll recipe and catered it to my needs. A lot of steps and some waiting time but this is not a hard recipe and sure to be a crowd pleaser. You will need for the dough:

3 to 3 ½ cups of flour

1/3 cup of sugar

1 teaspoon salt

2 packages of regular or quick active dry yeast (4 ½ teaspoons)

1 cup very warm milk (120° to 130° if you want to drag out a thermometer)

¼ cup butter (melt it into the milk)

1 large egg

Place flour, sugar, salt, and yeast into the bowl. Stir a little then add your milk, butter, and the egg. Mix this until it is all incorporated then place a towel over it and leave it for 10 minutes. I do this to make sure that the yeast is active since it is better to find out now. If you have small bubbles forming and the mixture has risen slightly then go ahead and add another cup of flour. Once your dough starts to leave the sides of the bowl you have enough flour and can place the dough on a floured counter and knead it for 5 minutes. Just push it away from you then fold it over and push it away again. You should have a nice smooth ball at the end. Butter a bowl and place the dough in it, turning so that the top of the dough is buttered. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm place for 1 hour and 30 minutes. I just placed mine in the oven, not turned on of course, and once it is doubled in size pull it out. While you wait fix the filling:

½ cup granulated sugar

½ cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon of cinnamon

¼ teaspoon of cloves

½ teaspoon of nutmeg

Mix all these together and have 2 tablespoons of melted butter on hand too. Once your dough has risen punch it down and then roll it out in a large rectangle. Spread the rectangle of dough with butter and then sprinkle on the filling. Starting at one short end roll the dough up and secure the end.

Slice your dough carefully and place on a greased sheet pan. I made really big rolls and got 8 out of my dough but you could slice them smaller and get 16. I start by slicing the dough in half to make sure I get evenly-sized rolls. Cover the rolls with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.

When they are doubled in size preheat the oven to 350° and bake them for 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool and then you can frost them with:

3 cups of powdered sugar

½ cup of maple syrup

4 tablespoons of milk

This will probably be too much glaze so don’t go crazy these are fairly sweet all on their own. Now you can eat!

For a copy of this recipe and many more you can purchase my book for Kindle and soon in paperback!

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Aunt Cindy in Texas says:

    Yum! Wish I had some for breakfast!

  2. Melissa says:

    OK, I ain’t cooking these, because if I learned how, I would be the size of a house. But you should come to Austin and make them for me. Just once:)

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