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These Cream Horns (Lady Locks) are a must-have cookie recipe for my family. The flaky crust and creamy filling make them irresistible!
It’s Christmas Cookie Week on IBC. Just kidding! But it is Christmas Cookie Day. I’m sharing my recipe for Cream Horn Cookies (a.k.a. Lady Locks). Plus, some of my blogger friends (a.k.a. #ChristmasCookieSquad) are joining in for a cookie swap! Everyone is linked at the bottom of this post so you can continue on with this cookie adventure.
You’re also in for a surprise today because I’m sharing my free printable Christmas recipe cards! Say what!? We’ll get to that in a minute.
Side note: I recently shared a full post with all my BEST Christmas cookie recipes. You can find that HERE if you need a little more Christmas cookie inspiration.
Cream Horn Cookies (Lady Locks):
Back to the cookies. . . Depending on where you live in the United States, you might be wondering what Cream Horns /Lady Locks are. I grew up knowing them as “Cream Horns,” and for years they have been a Christmas staple on my Dad’s side of the family.
I assume my grandma was the one who started making them (I don’t know for sure as she passed when I was quite young.) However, for as long as I can remember, they’ve been made by my Great Aunt Maggie.
Also, I recently made a version of these cream horns for fall: Pumpkin Spice Cream Horns! You can find that recipe HERE.
I did a little research and found out that Cream Horn Cookies are more commonly known as Lady Locks and are a tradition here in Pittsburgh. It’s customary here (and in St. Marys where I grew up) to have a cookie table at your wedding.This is literally a long table full of trays of homemade cookies. Apparently, Lady Locks are a staple on the cookie table.
I have never made them before, so I was super excited to give them a try and share them with you.
How to make Creams Horns (Lady Locks):
To make them, you’ll need a mold to form the horn around. My Aunt Maggie uses a clothespin wrapped in foil, so that’s what I did. You just wrap a piece of foil around a clothespin. It’s as simple as that. However, if you’re feeling fancy, you can certainly use a store-bought mold.
The filling is similar to a buttercream icing, but it also incorporates a milk-and-flour paste which felt very old-fashioned to me. Of course, you can fill these horns with whatever filling you like best.
The result is a flaky cookie horn filled with a sweet, creamy filling. What’s not to love? I think these cream horns might be my dad’s and brother’s favorite cookie. I do love them but nothing will top my Cream Wafer Cookies!
Now, just in case you need a place to write down this recipe for Cream Horns (or any others you come across this holiday season), you’re going to need some cute recipe cards.
Thankfully, I have you covered with my free printable Christmas recipe card!
As you probably know, I’ve been sharing a recipe card each season for the past two years. This year, I decided to add two more cards to the bunch including one for Halloween and this Christmas recipe card.
I think they turned out beautifully. Don’t you? You can crab the FREE DOWNLOAD in this post HERE.
If you liked these Cream Horns, you’ll love these recipes too:
- Pumpkins Spice Cream Horns
- Soft Peanut Butter Cookies
- Cream Wafer Cookies – my personal favorite!
- Brown Sugar Pecan Cookies
- Buckeye Brownie Cookies
- Sugar Cookies with Cotton Candy Frosting
Cream Horn Cookies (Lady Locks) Recipe:
Cream Horns (Lady Locks)
- 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening (Crisco)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 cup cold water
- 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- Clothespins wrapped in foil or lady lock molds
- 2 cups milk
- 1/3 cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup vegetable shortening (Crisco)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
- Additional confectioners’ sugar for garnish
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together the butter, vegetable shortening, and sugar for about 4 minutes or until light and fluffy. Then mix in the egg yolks. Finally, mix in the flour and water until combined. Chill dough for at least 2 hours or overnight.
- Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F.
- Sprinkle your work surface with flour. Roll out 1/4 of the dough at a time until it’s about 1/8-inch thick. Cut into strips that are 1/2-inch wide and 10 inches long. Then wind the strips around the foil-wrapped clothespins (or lady lock molds.) Bake on a cookie sheet for about 15 minutes or until the horns are just barely starting to brown.
- Remove the horns from the oven. Allow them to cool for about 2 minutes; then carefully remove them from the clothespins. (Don’t let the horns cool completely on the molds or the horns will crumble easily. The horns will also crack more if they are overbaked.) Let the horns finish cooling.
- In the meantime, prepare the filling. In a saucepan, heat the milk and flour over medium-high heat while constantly whisking. Cook 8-10 minutes until thick. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter, vegetable shortening, and salt 5-6 minutes or until fluffy. Slowly mix in the powdered sugar, one cup at a time. Then mix in the milk and flour paste and vanilla. Beat until combined and fluffy.
- Put the filling in a piping bag and then fill each horn. Before serving, sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar. Store refrigerated in an airtight container.
Before you click away, be sure to check out the rest of the #CookieSwapSquad for more festive and tasty cookie recipes:
Nordic Gingerbread Cookies – The Faux Martha
Oatmeal Lace Cookies – Julie Blanner
Orange Gumdrop Bars – Freutcake
The Best Peanut Butter Blossoms – The Sweetest Occasion
Cream Horns – Inspired by Charm (You are here!)
Hi, MICHAEL. Thanks for the recipe!. Can be filling done without shortening, by only using butter? I don’t want to feed my family hydrogenated stuff.
I’m not sure. I haven’t tried it with only butter.
Could you please tell me how many cookies this recipe makes?
Success! Thank you so much for the recipe. It will be my go-to moving forward. It’s the easiest dough I have tried so far and the results are pretty much the same. I think I might not add all the milk/flour “paste” moving forward, to the filling, but that’s a matter of personal preference. These cookies made a lot of people VERY happy at the Christmas Eve gathering. Thanks again!
I just made them but my filling is too soft. What did I do wrong? Can I add anything to make it thiskcer?
These are so delicious!! I’m so excited I finally got to make them. Thank you for sharing your family recipe!!
These are delicious but they don’t stay together! They separate at each ring even though I overlapped them. I’m hoping freezing them with the cream will hold them together!
Hmmm. Maybe there was too much flour on the dough when you rolled them? Or they weren’t rolled tight enough? That’s happen to me a couple times with one or two, but not the whole batch. The filling will help to hold everything together too.
I’m getting ready to make these for the first and I’m super excited! I have a question though. Do they HAVE to be stored in a refrigerator? I’ve never heard of these being kept cold before. Is that standard? I’ve only ever enjoyed them at room temperature. I don’t think I’d particularly care for them cold. Thoughts? Advice?
My family has always kept them refrigerated. I suppose I’m not sure if that’s preference or necessity. However, you could store them in the refrigerator and take them out an hour before serving to they are room temp to eat.
I have been making these for years and I use fields cut about 4inches long that way they are easier to take off rods.I always deal the end with water and make sure the goes on top of the last wrap of the cookie, it’s saved you from getting tails.Never let them cool completely on the rods, they will break. My filling recipe is the same only I only use granulated sugar and let it best until you don’t taste sugar crystals,about 7 to 10 min. I add marshmallow fluff and never never use Crisco it has no transfers any more the cheap shortening have just a little this is very very important the filling will not get thick of you use Crisco!
i have made lady locks for years i am 80 yeard old i finnaly bought the rods but liek useing the clothes pins better.i see where some people put foil on the pins i have never done that i just wrap the dough around the pin and when they are baked wiat a minute or so and they slip right off
Cream horns! I’m from Steubenville, OH–40 miles west of Pittsburgh, but I think this tradition goes up and down the Ohio Valley. Thanks for the recipe–these were always a favorite of mine so I can’t wait to make them.
Your lady locks are beautiful!! Trying my mother in laws recipe for first time and she made delicious lady locks. How many do you get out of this recipe?
I make these every year and now use frozen puff pastry. I used to make my own dough and , yes, had to roll, spread Crisco and fold 3 different times to create the flaky layers. Also, I freeze mine filled, but they must be in a cardboard box, or they will come out soggy. Use wax paper between the layers.
Maureen, what size dowel rod, diameter j mb ean?
Approximately how many clothes pin should I prepare? Would be helpful to know. We love these things!
So none of the buttering and folding of dough to make the lamination that is the hallmark of cream Horns? Of course i am a Pennsylvanian!
I’m not sure what you mean? This is my grandmas / great aunts recipe. I’m just making and sharing what I know. I assume that there may be several ways to make cream horns. 🙂
Hi Michael. I’m making these tomorrow. How many cookies will I get out I don’t this recipe? Because the Hubs will eat them all! Lol.
I adore this recipe! Thank you so much for sharing. Perfection!
We have this in UK but they are a cake not a biscuit, (american cookie). They are called Cream Horns the same but are probably slightly larger and more cone shaped with the narrow end closed. Always were my favourite cake when I was a child.
Just ran across this post. The local bakery where I grew up always had these in the case. I will have to give them a try.
I grew up in Bethel Park, Pa. My mom made these every year and now my sis and I carry on the tradition using the same round clothespins my mom used. We make them for special occasions. Thank you for great memories! It is nice to hear similar comments from so many in the Pittsburgh area! Happy New Year!
I make these all the time. I’ve found that using a wooden dowel works even better. I just got a few from the hardware store and had them cut them to the size of a cookie sheet. You can fit like 4 on the dowel and there’s no breaking. I’ve had the same dowels for like 15 years now.
These look wonderful, wish I had came across this recipe before Christmas but will be on the to do list next year. Just wondering it you grease the molds before adding dough or if any trouble getting the cookies off the molds. Love your site!
Try using wooden dowels from the hardare store. Just have them cut the dowels to the size of the cookie sheet. I think I greased them the first time and I haven’t since. They never stick.
I can’t wait to try these! I’ve made cream horns for years but have been looking for a different filling. These look awesome!