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Lady Locks

The cookie crust of lady locks is flaky and holds a heavenly cream. When I was a child, I loved sucking the cream out first, then enjoying the flavorful crust.

Makes about 4 dozen


3 cups all-purpose flour

2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature

½ cup warmed, not hot, milk

1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 .06-unce yeast cake or ¼-ounce yeast packet

1 tablespoon sugar


1 cup milk

½ teaspoon salt, or to taste

5 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 cup sugar

1 cup solid shortening

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For Cookies

Preheat oven to 350.

Wrap wooden clothespins (the straight, simple ones – no metal or hinges) or dowels with aluminum foil.

Blend flour and butter by hand or in electric mixer until it gets crumbly, like pie dough. Add remaining ingredients and mix at low speed.

Roll the dough to ¼ inch-thick on a floured board and cut into half-inch strips. Wrap loosely around aluminum-foil covered clothespins or dowels. Let rise for 30 minutes.

Bake for 15 minutes, or until dough looks firm and has slightly darkened in color. Remove from oven, let cool enough so that you don't burn yourself when removing the lady locks carefully from dowels or clothespins.

While cookies are baking, make the cream filling.

Combine the milk, salt and flour in a saucepan and cook until thick, stirring constantly until mixture sticks to your spoon—about the consistency of pudding.

Cool the mixture, then one at a time, slowly stir in the sugar, shortening and vanilla. The cream should be smooth and airy.

Fill cookies with the cream by using a pastry bag, pastry tube or a plastic bag with one corner cut off.

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