Another genius idea from Carla Hall!
PUFF PASTRY ALMOND SNOWFLAKES
unsalted butter (for greasing)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon table salt
1/3 cup water
2 sticks unsalted butter (cold, cut into 1/2-inch cubes)
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (plus more for dusitng)
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 cup almond flour
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 stick unsalted butter
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 egg white
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar (to garnish)
Grease a shallow 9-inch pie pan and set aside.
For the Puff Pastry: In a small bowl, dissolve the sugar and salt in the water. Refrigerate until very cold, about 30 minutes. In the meantime, refrigerate the butter, flour, mixing bowl, and paddle.
In the chilled bowl, combine the cold butter and flour. With your hands, toss the butter in the flour until each cube is lightly coated.
With the chilled paddle, beat the flour-butter mixture on low speed to just break up butter, about 30 seconds. Add the water mixture all at once and raise the speed to medium-low. Beat just until the dough comes together in big chunks, then immediately turn off the mixer.
Remove the dough to a lightly floured surface and pat together to form a rectangular shape. Roll out the dough so it is about 12 inches in length and 6 inches wide. Fold the top third of the dough over the bottom third and the bottom third over the top third, like a letter. Rotate the folded dough so the seam is on your left side and it looks like a book. Roll it out again so it is 12-inches by 6-inches and repeat the folding process. Repeat this step one more time, then wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
For the Almond Paste: In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade attachment, combine the sugar, almond flour, salt, cardamom, and butter and pulse until thoroughly combined. Add the almond extract and egg white, processing until creamy and smooth. Remove to a medium bowl and set aside.
To Assemble: Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
Remove from the refrigerator to a lightly floured surface and roll out to 1/4-inch thickness. Using a 4-inch biscuit cutter, punch out 15 circles. Gather the excess dough and form into a rectangle. Roll out to 1/4-inch thickness and punch out 6 more rounds. Spread each round with about 2 teaspoons of almond paste. Shingle the rounds in groups of 3, layering each round horizontally on top of the previous, resulting in 7 groups of shingled dough rounds. Roll up the rounds from left to right creating rosettes. Repeat with remaining dough rounds and cut all of the formed rosettes in half widthwise, creating 15 rosettes total. Stand the rosettes up, cut side down in the pan, arranging them in a circular pattern and push them together. If there is a ring of space in the pan around the rosettes, that is okay. They will grow when they bake.
Place in the oven and bake until golden brown, about 12-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Remove the large snowflake from the pan and dust with powdered sugar and serve.
Tip: Get creative! Fill these snowflakes with your favorite filling, like a berry jam or chocolate and hazelnut spread!