Clothespin Cookies

Also known as Mini Ladylocks, Clothespin Cookies are rich little pastry-style cookies that will make you work for the reward of enjoying them. It took about 24 hours, but it is worth the wait. This recipe yielded about 72 cookies!

I am told that this cookie is a favorite at the infamous cookie tables in northeast Ohio. Here’s the recipe, if you want to give them a try, I found this “authentic” recipe by Tracy McBurney at ‘Just a Pinch Recipe Club’, #justapinchrecipes.

4 c sifted all-purpose flour
1 lb oleo (margarine) / My Version: use 1 lb of butter – the cookies will have a lighter flakey pastry-like texture (Look at the photos below to see the difference.)
3 Tbsp sugar
4 egg yolks
1/2 pt sour cream

Marshmallow Cream Version

2 stick oleo softened (I went with real butter for this ingredient)
1 c Crisco
2 c sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/3 c warmed milk (I actually used just 1 cup)
1 jar(s) marshmallow creme, 8 oz.

Buttercream Version (My Version)
1-1/2 sticks butter – room temperature
3/4 cup shortening
2-1/4 tsp Vanilla extract
1-1/2 pounds (6 Cups) confectioner’s sugar (powdered sugar, 10x)
4-6 tablespoons very cold milk

Powdered Sugar for dusting.

Day 1

1. For the dough: Cut oleo into flour and sugar mixture. Add egg yolks and sour cream.

2. Mix well. ( I used an electric mixer.)

Add egg yolks and sour cream.

3. Shape into a long roll. Wrap in waxed paper and store in refrigerator overnight. (Don’t skip this part. It’s important!)

Day 2

4. Take a small portion of the dough at a time and roll out on a floured board, about 1/8 inch in thickness.

5. Cut into strips of an inch wide and about 4 inches long. (I cut the strips a bit longer.)

6. Wrap around a wooden clothespin. (Some people use wooden dowels, but I got a few packages of clothespins at the craft store. I have read accounts where cooks are still using the same clothespins their grandmas used. This makes the recipe extra fun!)

This is the all Margerine version of cookies.



Clothespins made using Butter.


Flaky Butter Texture

7. Bake on greased cookie sheet at 400 degrees for approx. 8 – 10 minutes or until lightly browned and not doughy. Keep your eye on the time, each oven is different. (It took about 14 minutes in my 400 degrees oven. You definitely do want to watch that first batch carefully, as you only want to see a very light browning.)

Then let these babies cool completely.

8. For the filling: In a large mixer, add oleo (or butter), Crisco, sugar, and vanilla.

Cream for 10 minutes.

(Do not skip this part! Set the timer…TEN minutes. It will save you the trouble of having to toss your first batch of frosting because it is a soupy mess…just sayin’ 😉)

…and…we’re still creaming…10 minutes…3-2-1

To that mixture add warm milk and marshmallow creme and whip until sugar dissolves. (You can also add food coloring for a festive flair.)

Chill the filling in the refrigerator at least 2 hours, it makes for easier filling. (Again…don’t skip this step. Perfection takes time…and patience!)

9. With a pastry bag fitted with the appropriate attachment, fill the cookie shell with the filling, (dust with powdered sugar), and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. (I used a cookie/frosting press and it worked great!)

10. For Buttercream Filling: Cream butter, shortening, vanilla and milk until smooth. Slowing add powdered sugar. Follow step 9. (We actually prefer the buttercream over the marshmallow fluff. And…it’s a LOT less work!)

And voila! Picture perfect and oh so yummy!

On a final note…save those clothespins! I soaked them lightly in soapy water, rinsed and dried them in a 200 degree oven for about an hour. This recipe is definitely a keeper. One that should be passed down to your children and grands, along with the precious inheritance of clothespins!

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