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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!)
How many cookies does this recipe make?
I’m sorry I do not know exactly. When I was making them I didn’t count. My guess is about 4-5 dozen.
Thank you for sharing the recipe. My family loved them! I filled mine with cream cheese/whipped cream filling because I wanted the filling to be light. They are delicious!
So excited to try this recipe, growing up we called these clothespin cookies. Could not find my moms recipe!
Can the dough be made and frozen ahead of time? Or is it best to only refrigerate the dough before using?
I wouldn’t freeze the dough.
Originally from Pittsburgh, now in Akron, OH. Baking Lady Locks for Christmas with my mom was a holiday tradition. Such a well loved cookie that my father cut aluminum pipes to ease the baking process. He thought he’d get them more often! Baking these each holiday is like having my folks pull up a chair in my kitchen. Thanks for reminding me of all the memories tied to baking.
Just wondering when you eat these, are they Melt in your mouth Delicious?
Hi there! Going to try to make these for my sister in laws wedding in Pittsburgh! 🙂 wondering if you can tell me how many this recipe makes?
Is the flour all purpose or self rising?
Made the dough to the “T” and went to bake they feel completely apart I would suggest using puff pastry because these are hard and a complete disaster,…. Another Pinterest stumble upon that’s a load of hockey. Didn’t make filling because the cookie was a waste and yes I efrigerated them, for 24hrs.
Laura, I’m so sorry this recipe didn’t work out for you. However, this is the recipe me and my family have been using for years. It’s not “a load of hockey” at all. However, they definitely are a tricky cookie to make and do require lots of patience and a little practice.
Thanks for sharing your feedback. Merry Christmas.
I came to this page for guidance on spiraling the dough onto the dowel rods I just bought this week for my first attempt at ladylocks and was shocked to see that you were from St. Marys, PA! I was born and raised in Pittsburgh, and my parents are from St. Marys. I mentioned it to my mom because my cousin Bobby’s last name was Wurm, and she actually knew your dad through the marriage of one of her sisters. Small world! Wish me luck—lady locks have always intimidated me!
the dough is very soft it rolls right off the dial?? what can i do to get them to stay on dial rods??
Does anyone know about how many this makes? Trying to plan batches.
This was my first time making them. I got about four dozen. I used 24 clothespins and just reused them. Hint… make your tinfoil a little longer and twist the ends so you can grab one end and pull them out the other end.
I made these for the first time, when you get it right they are really good, but make sure you roll on the thin side, my first ones were too big and doughy, the thinner, the better crisp on the outside. Also I used half vanilla/half almond in my cream filling with an extra pinch of salt, the original recipe was a bit bland for my taste… a lot of work but very good and the clothes pin wrap idea worked great!
This brings back so many wonderful memories. I grew up in Pittsburgh, the 4th generation from my grandparents and great grandparents who immigrated from
Poland and Germany. I’ll never forget the first time I saw my mother make these. I would hand her the foil wrapped clothespins to use. I’m ashamed to admit, with all I bake, that I have not made these myself….yet! I saved your recipe, which is better written out than others I have.
Thanks for the memory and directions to make them myself.
We LOVED these delicious cream horns! We’re making them again for Christmas.
One change: we did not add the flour and water to the filling. The filling was sooo yummy without it that we decided not to add the flour and water mixture.
Hi:) Im dying to try this out. So, to make the cream horn cookies i don’t have to fold and laminate? I just refrigerate the dough for 2 or more hrs and start shaping? No need to fold the dough or anything? Hope you help me out. Thanks
Nope. No need to fold. Enjoy!!
I just made these for a friends birthday . Love the flavor of the filling ,however I noticed that after adding the milk flour mixture to the butter shortening I got clear almost tapioca like globs . I was able to filter out most thru a colander . But what did I do wrong ? Grew up in Aliquippa, Pa all time favorite cookie
Thank you for sharing your delicious recipe. These cream horns are a lot of fun to make and they are always a big hit! 🙂
I am a cookie monster, also from the Pittsburgh area. Forget the food and head straight for the cookie table. I have been trying to reproduce Barkus Bakerys’ ladylocks since it closed quite a few years ago. Your crust is delicious and so much easier. However; I always use Swiss buttercream for the filling (not so sweet and creamy smooth). I adjust the sweetness by the amount of the powdered sugar dusting. Oh… and don’t forget to dip the ends in real chocolate jimmies. Mmmmmm
Great tip! I’ve never had them with Swiss buttercream, I’ll have to try that!!
Question. Is the amount of butter in the recipe for the cream horns 2 cups of butter plus 4 more sticks or just 2 cups of butter
2 cups total. I added in some parentheses. Sorry for the confusion.
How many does this make? I have someone special in mind to make these for