Little Ears (Orejitas)
A traditional Mexican pastry, Orejitas are made from puff pastry dough.
Yield: 24; about 3 pounds puff pastry dough
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups (4 sticks) butter, ice cold
- 1 teaspoon Mexican lime juice
- 1 cup ice water
- Confectioners' sugar (for rolling)
- In an electric mixer bowl, mix flour and salt. Cut the cold butter into small cubes and drop into the flour. Mix on slow speed for about 4 to 5 minutes. Continue beating, and mix in lime juice and ice water until they have been absorbed by the flour, 1 minute only. Dough will be a rough mass. Chill puff pastry dough in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
- Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface. With palms of your hands ,push it into a rough rectangle. Brush with flour. With a rolling pin roll into a 12-inch rectangle, 1/2 inch thick. Fold the rectangle over 3 times, then refrigerate for 20 minutes.
- Remove from the refrigerator and roll into another rectangle 12 inches long. Fold over 3 times and refrigerate for 20 minutes more.
- Remove from the refrigerator and roll into a rectangle 12 inches long again. Fold over 3 times and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
- Transfer dough to plastic wrap and chill dough for 8 hours or overnight. It can rest in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- When ready to make Little Ears, line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Heat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Using a rolling pin, roll the Puff Pastry dough over 1/2 cup confectioners sugar until it forms a 12-inch square, 1/8-inch thick. With a sharp knife, trim edges. Place in the freezer for 5 minutes.
- Remove from the freezer and brush both sides of the dough with confectioners' sugar. Bring the 2 ends of the dough toward the center and fold lengthwise. Now fold again lengthwise toward the center to make a 4-layer dough 12 inches wide. Brush both sides of the dough with more confectioners' sugar. Place in the freezer again for 5 minutes.
- Remove from freezer.
- With a sharp knife, cut pastry into thin strips 1/4 x 3 1/2 inches, then close each pastry strip to form a butterfly shape or ears. Lay them on prepared cookie sheets in staggered rows, about 2 inches apart. Return to the freezer for 5 minutes.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden. Transfer Little Ears to a wire rack to cool. They will be sticky, so do not place one on top of the other. Serve immediately or the same day.
Photo credit: carinita_la_mas_bonita / CC BY