Chocolate Peppermint Bear Claw Bread
If you have heard the word "Hygge" tossed around lately and are scratching your head wondering what it means, we've got you covered! "Hygge" is the Danish word for "cozy". When the winter holiday season is upon us and it gets colder outside we tend to cozy up and spend more time inside. Equally as important as keeping warm on the outside, you have to keep those insides warm too—like inside of your belly. It’s not about how fuzzy the sweater is or how warm that croissant is, it’s about how being in that sweater while eating that croissant makes you feel—that's hygge.
I grew up in a Danish home, where pastries were made for birthdays but also, when the stars aligned, on some very special Thursday mornings. Those random pastry parties are what created that cozy feeling that made me excited to take on the day. Hygge also means to take that be present in those cozy moments and appreciating them and recognizing them as your time to do with what you wish.
I told Michelle of Coffee and Champagne about this and decided to take my classic bear claw recipe to the next level and reinvent it for the upcoming holidays. So, below is my Chocolate Peppermint Bear Claw Bread. Remember to not only enjoy sitting down to take your first bite of it but make the whole baking process your "you time".
1. TO MAKE YOUR DANISH PASTRY DOUGH. combine water and yeast in a medium bowl. Set aside.
Combine milk, egg and salt and add to bowl.
In a large bowl, using pastry blender or fork, cut in butter until they become large pea-sized.
Pour the bowl of wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ones.
Fold until the dry ingredients become moistened.
Wrap your dough in plastic wrap and chill for 4 hours or overnight.
On a well floured surface, take out the dough and roll out to a ¼ inch thickness. Fold in half and then half again.
Roll your dough out to a ¼ inch thickness. Repeat this process three times, dusting with flour as needed.
Chill for a minimum of 1 hour or overnight.
2. TO MIX IN YOUR FILLING. in your stand mixer on high speed, combine your almond paste, egg whites, sugar, and almond slices until combined.
Divide your dough in half and refrigerate one of those halves while working with the other.
Roll out your dough half until it's a ¼ inch thick.
Spread half your filling onto the dough.
Sprinkle with chocolate chunks and peppermint chips.
Cut into squares that will fit inside of your pan.
Stack your squares on top of each other and place sideways into the loaf pan.
Repeat this process with your remaining dough, chocolate chunks, and peppermint chips.
3. TO MAKE YOUR CHOCOLATE PEPPERMINT BEAR CLAW BREAD. preheat your oven to 400°.
In your small mixing bowl, make your egg wash by using your fork to beat together your egg with 1 tbsp of milk.
Brush your egg wash over the top of your dough (this will get you that golden color at the end)
Bake until golden brown—about 20 minutes.
In your small mixing bowl, whisk together you confectioners sugar and heavy cream until smooth to make your icing.
Drizzle your icing over your bear claw bread
Sprinkle more chocolate chunks, peppermint chips, and almonds over your bear claw bread.