Mexican Recipes

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)


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Remove from the refrigerator and roll into another rectangle 12 inches long. Fold over 3 times and refrigerate for 20 minutes more.
  4. Remove from the refrigerator and roll into a rectangle 12 inches long again. Fold over 3 times and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  5. Transfer dough to plastic wrap and chill dough for 8 hours or overnight. It can rest in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  6. When ready to make Little Ears, line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Heat oven to 425 degrees F.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Remove from freezer.
  10. 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.
  11. 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