In Israel, hot dogs in puff pastry are called Moshe B’Tayva, referencing Moshe in the little basket floating in the Nile river. This is good for an appetizer, but not for a dessert. Instead, I decided to make cream horns, also known as clothespin cookies, because you can use round clothespins as the mold instead of the usual metal tubes.
Why did Moshe’s mother put him in the Nile in a basket? According to Rashi, Pharoh’s astrologers predicted that someone would be born who would save the Jews, but that person would be brought down by water. So Pharoh commanded baby boys to be cast in the Nile. Moshe’s mother put him in the basket in the Nile so that Pharoh’s astrologers would think that he had already been cast into the river (Midrash Rabbah). As a result, the astrologers claimed that their predictions have come true, and Pharoh recalls his decree (Shemot Rabba 1:25; Sotah 12 b)
Did Pharoh’s daughter try to reach for the tayva, or did she send her maid to fetch it? There is a Midrash that she reached for the tayva, although it was out of reach, and her arm miraculously extended to be able to get it. The Kotzker Rebbe asks why she would extend her arm if she knew the tayva was beyond reach. Often, when a situation seems beyond our control, we resign ourselves to inactivity, the Kotzker Rebbe notes. “There is a profound lesson here for each and every one of us . . . . Pharaoh’s daughter heard a child’s cry and extended her arm. An unbridgeable distance lay between her and the basket containing the weeping infant, making her action seem utterly pointless. But because she did the maximum of which she was capable, she achieved the impossible. Because she extended her arm, G-d extended its reach, enabling her to save a life and raise the greatest human being ever to walk the face of the earth.”
Trust me when I tell you, these cookies are not beyond reach, or even that much of a stretch. They are really easy, even though they look hard.
Cream Horns, or Clothes Pin Cookies
Making the cream horn cookies is quite easy (provided that you have the forms). All you need is the following:
round wooden clothespins, wrapped in nonstick foil
puff pastry (get the 5″ squares)
a baking sheet lined with parchment
vanilla pudding mix
piping bag (or ziplock bag)
Roll out the puff pastry a bit thinner (to make it puff less aggressively in the oven, which could distort the shape). Cut the puff pastry in 3/4″ wide strips. If you roll out the 5″ squares to make them about 8″-10″, you should get about 6 strips per square. Wrap the strips around the forms wrapped in nonstick foil. The strips should be wrapped in a spiral, with some overlap. Keep the puff pastry strips around the center, away from the ends of the foil wrapped clothespins.
Put the puff pastry wrapped clothespins on a parchment lined baking sheet, about 1 1/2″ apart. Brush with water and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake at 375-400 degrees for 10-15 minutes, until light gold (I baked a bit on the long side). Let the puff pastry cool just enough that you can pull the puff pastry off the forms. Don’t let the puff pastry cool too much before attempting to get the pastry off the clothespins or they might shatter.
When the puff pastry is cool, and shortly before you serve them, fill the cookies with Rich’s Whip that is whipped with instant vanilla pudding mix, plus a little extra vanilla extract. A good ratio is one box of pudding mix to 2- 3 cups pareve cream. Use a piping bag or a ziplock bag with a tiny bit of the corner snipped off.
You can also drizzle with chocolate or dip the ends in chocolate. Here is what they look like dipped in chocolate (also the dough here is pastry and not puff, I think; scroll until you find the cheese horns).
Note: one package of 5″ puff pastry squares should give you enough dough for about 50-60 horns, much more than you will likely make. The horns don’t need that much filling either, maybe a Tbl. each. Chances are you will have leftover puff pastry and leftover whipped topping. The whipped topping makes excellent frosting for a cake:
The above cake is the rose cake, made famous by iambaker. You just need to pipe rosettes over a lightly frosted cake. Go here for the Wilton tutorial on making rosettes. And here is a YouTube video showing how to pipe shells and rosettes (small ones, using the #18 tip).