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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!)
I made these today, they turned out amazing!!! It was my first attempt at this type of cookie. Excellent recipe, thank you!!
Do you know how many days in advance the shells can be made? I have about 600 cookies to make for the weekend, but wanted to try and make the shells before then, preferably without freezing. Any suggestions would be helpful. Thank you!
You’re from St.Mary’s? My parents, and pretty much all of my family, was from St.Mary’s! I live in Emporium, my parents moved here in 1983.
My mom used to have an in home bakery/cake business from around 1982 until 2002. She made cakes for everyone in the area. Weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, graduation, you name it, she made it, lol .. I used to help her when she’d get real busy, which was quite often, lol .. During the holidays she would take orders for cake rolls and cookies. And the Cream Horns were one of the cookies she made. They are my favorite! I make them every Christmas. My moms recipe is different than yours. Hers was a ricotta cheese recipe. It’s just the cheese, flour, salt and butter. Chill them for an hour and roll them out, cut into strips and wrap around metal rollers. It sounds like a bland recipe but what pulls it together is the icing. My mom had a special recipe that she used for her cakes and would also use it for cookies. Making and eating them is pure nostalgia to me. They might not even actually be cream horns, they might be called something else, but they’ve always been cream horns to me.
I have a giant bowl of soupy buttery powdered sugary goop. NO WAY IT COULD BE PIPED INTO ANYTHING
Sorry to hear that Carole. The only think I can think is that you didn’t cook it until is was thick like the recipes notes.
Hello – how many cookies does this recipe make?
I’m not 100% sure, but I believe it’s around 3-4 dozen.
This isn’t the filling I grew up with in these cookies. This filling is way too thin.
This filling shouldn’t be “thin”. It’s not thin when I make it. Also, there are a couple different versions of cream horns. Perhaps your families’ recipe is different.
Michael, Back to say that we refrigerated these and the filling set up much better than when I filled them. Everyone liked them and they were a little chilled. I’ll use this recipe again but not add as much milk mixture as I am mixing.
I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed them! Thanks Nancy!
Does anyone have a recipe for a chocolate cream filling for these. Please don’t say just add cocoa. I am a beginner and need specifics. TIA
I have made these for yrs and everyone loves them. I got recipe from a women who made these and sold them. Except her recipe calls for 2 cups of crisco and u put 1/2 cup in at a time put in fridge for hr then do 1/2 cup 3 more times and chill . I want to say makes about 50 cookies depends on how big u make them I make mini ones.
Can you see the layers of flakiness or are the shells more solid?
They are not like a puff pastry in terms of flakiness. They are a crumbly cookie, but I wouldn’t say solid.
If you make a divinity candy filling, it is much better and lighter than the powdered sugar filling.
I love the filling as it is, but you’re welcome to make these however you’d like.
I keep making these and the dough just melts right off the top of the clothes pin and I can’t figure out why. Any ideas?
My family claims that the old recipes were developed when Crisco contained transfat. Now that it no longer has the trans fat, the old recipes don’t work well. I am trying to do some research and see what the adjustments might be
Does anyone know why my dough is cracking when they are baking? I’m following the recipe exactly and after about 3-5 mins in the over they start to crack on top. Please help!
What is the quantity of cookies this recipe yields?? Its’ been asked several times and never answered.
I’m sorry I do not know exactly. When I was making them I didn’t count. My guess is about 4 dozen.
I can’t seem to see how many this recipe yields. Does any one have an estimate?
I’m sorry I do not know exactly. When I was making them I didn’t count. My guess is about 4-5 dozen.
This makes no sense to me. One box puff pastry would yield 24.
This recipe doesn’t call for a box of puff pastry, so I’m not sure what you mean.
I’m also from Pittsburgh but have never made these! I’m excited to give them a try. Long love the cookie table!
If it weren’t for the fact that you’re using powdered sugar instead of granulated sugar in the cream filling, I’d say that’s Ermine Buttercream. It actually has about a dozen different names: magic frosting, heritage frosting, boiled milk frosting, cooked flour frosting, roux frosting, gravy frosting, etc. It used to be the frosting that was typically used on red velvet cake, but it’s been replaced by cream cheese frosting.
Personally, I’ve never really had it setup properly because most recipes call for too much sugar. The lower sugar German buttercream tends to work better.
I just want to know how many this recipe makes. Couldn’t find that info. Maybe mmissed it
I love these ant the cookies turned out perfect but My filling was sooooo thin I doubled the sugar to thicken, not much luck, now refrigerating with fingers crossed. Totally bummed I have a boatload of empty cookies … any suggestions?