Christmas Puff

This may be the only recipe in which you get to use an electric beater in a pan you've just taken off the burner. "I kept thinking 'This is weird, this can't work,' but it does, and it is not difficult," Hope Barron assures cooks. Indeed, it's simply a question of spreading a "crust" layer with your hands, smoothing a "rising" layer over it, baking and then frosting it. "It is so yummy," Hope adds -- and she's right again.

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup flour
2 Tablespoons water
1/2 cup butter
1 cup water
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup flour
3 eggs

Heat oven to 350° F.
Cut 1/2 cup butter into 1 cup flour. Sprinkle 2 Tablespoons water over the butter and flour. Mix well. Round into a ball. Divide in half.
On a greased baking sheet, pat each half into a long strip 3x12" in size about 3" apart.

In a medium sauce pan, heat 1/2 cup butter and 1 cup water to a rolling boil. Remove from heat and quickly stir in almond extract and 1 cup flour. Stir vigorously over low heat until the mixture forms a ball, takes about 1 minute. Remove from heat. Beat in eggs all at once until smooth and glossy. Take half of mixture and spread evenly over the strip on the baking sheet. Repeat with other half of egg mixture.
Bake about 60 minutes or until top is crisp and brown. Cool. Top with frosting. Sprinkle with red and green sprinkles.

Frosting Recipe

5 1/3 Tablespoons butter, soft
3 Tablespoons milk or half and half
1 teaspoon almond extract
3 cups powdered sugar

Mix until creamy.

Hope Barron


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