I love pastries as much as the next person, but sometimes they are just too big! While petting my furry friend Martin, I had an idea for a fun treat. Cat Paws! Cat Paws are a miniature version of a Bear Claw and are the perfect size to satisfy a sweet craving. Although they are smaller than a Bear Claw, the flavor is just as big! Puff pastry makes them a lot lighter and more delicate than a traditional claw and the almond filling and sugar coating make these little paws simply irresistible!
1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
Step 1: Prepare the Puff Pastry
Lightly coat your work surface with cinnamon-sugar. If you do not have cinnamon-sugar you can easily make a batch! Simply mix 1/4 cup of sugar with 1tbs cinnamon.
Unfold your pastry and gently roll each side into the sugar. You don't want to actually flatten it out anymore, you just want to get the sugar crystals to stick.
Cut the pastry into three strips by simply cutting right along the fold lines.
Step 2: Fill the Pastry
Crumble the almond paste into a bowl. Make the pieces as small as possible for even flavor distribution. You want to have about 1/2 cup of crumbles.
Sprinkle 1/3 of the crumbles over a puff pastry strip and gently roll the crumbles into the dough. Fold the dough over lengthwise and press down to seal it up.
Repeat with the remaining dough and almond crumbles.
Feel free to substitute almond filling from a can for the almond paste. I find it a lot easier to spread that then to work with the crumbles. It also tastes pretty darn good too!
Step 3: Form the Paws
Cut each strip into 6 pieces. You will have 18 little pastries all together.
Form the toes by making 4 cuts that are 1/3 of the way up the pastry. Make sure to cut the side that was folded over, and not any of the sides that you pressed to seal.
Using a small sharp knife poke a small hole in each toe. Carefully stuff a sunflower seed into each hole. These are the little cat nails!
Gently squeeze the back of the foot together and mold it into a rounded shape.
Step 4: Bake and Enjoy!
Place the pastries on a greased cookie sheet. Sprinkle each paw with more sugar and bake them in a 400 degree F oven for 10 minutes or until they puff and begin to brown.