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Lady Locks


I love this cookie. I have wanted to try this recipe for some time but I found making the pastry dough and horns a little intimidating. This recipe belongs to one of my mother's friends, who was kind enough to teach us how to make them. It was actually much easier than I had anticipated.



For the dough:


  •     4-1/2 cups flour
  •     1 pound butter, softened
  •     1/2 pint sour cream
  •     1 cup buttermilk

For the filling:

  •     2 cups whole milk
  •     7 tablespoons flour
  •     2 cups shortening (crisco)
  •     2 cups sugar
  •     2 cups powdered sugar
  •     1 teaspoon vanilla
  •     1 cup marshmallow cream



Step 1: For the dough: Mix flour and butter as you would pie dough.  I used a pastry blender.  Softened or room temperature butter will incorporate better into the flour.

Step 2: Add sour cream and buttermilk. Mix until blended.  You may need to add a little more flour if dough is too sticky.  I added an additional 1/2 cup of flour.

Step 3: Divide dough into four parts.  Roll each part like a pie shell then fold all four corners to make a square wrap. 


Step 4: Wrap each square in wax paper and refrigerate overnight.  Next day, roll each square long about 24 inches long and 3 inches wide.  

Step 5: Cut into strips approximately 1/2 inch wide (perpendicular to the long length). Wrap strip around rod so that edges overlap slightly. 


Step 6: Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Slide horn molds quickly off of rods while still hot. 

Step 7: Let cool completely.

Step 8:  For the filling:  Add 2 cups of milk and flour to saucepan, bring to a boil and simmer over medium heat. Cook until thick and let cool completely.

Step 9: Beat 2 cups shortening and 2 cups sugar - add sugar a little at a time. Add two cups of powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1 cup marshmallow cream. 

Step 10: Add cooked milk/flour mixture and cream well.
My mother's friend, Mary Ann Malcolm.

 My Mother



How long are the rods & how long Are the strips of dough?Jaimewalker20@yahoo

Hi Jaime, My rods range from 3-1/2 inches to 4-1/2 inches long. the strips of dough are approximately 5 to 7 inches long.

Can you tell me approximately how many cookies you get from this recipe?

Hi Carolyn, Depending on the size that you make, I would estimate that this recipe makes somewhere between 8 and 10 dozen cookies.

This is an old time recipe that my mother passed down to me. When you roll out the dough, it needs to be super, super thin otherwise the cookies are gummy instead of flaky. After you roll onto the rods, I squeeze the rod in my hand to ensure that the loops stick together, otherwise it could have a tendency to puff up, separate and you'll have gaps. The icing should be a little stiff because the heat from your hands will warm up the decorating bag. My mother used to tint the icing for different occasions, but I like to keep it white and then dip the ends in colored sugar. This also makes sure that the icing stays put and doesn't drip on other cookies in the containers.

Thanks Kathy for the tips.

Is the flour plain or self rising ...

Hi, it's all purpose flour. I'll update the recipe to include that detail.

Can they be frozen and if so with filling or empty they fill when ready to use

Yes they can be frozen for up to 3 months (layered between wax paper in an air tight container). I've actually done both - frozen them with the filling and frozen the empty shells and then filled the shells when ready to use. I honestly didn't notice much difference between frozen filled or unfilled so I if you think you won't have time to fill when ready to use, then freeze them with the filling.

I have been making lady locks for many years, with a recipe almost exactly like this one. I've never used the marshmallow fluff and am going to try it. The crisco filling kind of leaves a funny taste, but it is crucial to this filling, so the fluff sounds like a great addition. I've used half butter and half crisco but that was a 'fail'. Making these for a wedding in next couple weeks so will let you know how the addition of fluff works out for me. Thank you, your mom and her friend!

Hi Debbie, I was able to buy high-ratio shortening (HRS) at a local cake shop to minimize the funny taste/mouthfeel that regular shortening gives to buttercream frosting. (Yes, buttercream should contain only butter, but here in the South where we lack slippery ski slopes, we have slippery buttercream frosting for summer weddings and add a bit of shortening to keep the frosting on the cake!) Since the Ladylocks filling is a time-honored recipe, it was likely made with shortening of days gone by which did not have the greasy funny taste of today's modified shortenings. It might be worth a try to make a test batch with HRS.

I just recently tried making lady locks for the first time. This was the 3rd filling I tried using and was by far the best.

Could Amaretta liquor be added to fluff filling along with vanilla or by itself?

I am between trying this and one other very similar recipe. The other doesn’t call for powdered sugar or marshmallow cream in the filling. Which seems like a huge difference in sweetness! And other recipe called for 1 lb salted butter for the dough and no buttermilk but 16 oz sour cream. I’m having a hard time choosing because it’s such a commitment to a time consuming recipe!

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