Clothespin Cookies

Clothespin Cookies
Easter, Christmas, weddings, birthdays, or any day that ends in Y. These little delightful cookies are mother daughter tradition of love for all things celebration related in our house. In fact, I had to get permission to share the recipe, as this one is deeply rooted with mom and I. They get a bad rep for being a time suck, but I assure you, they are worth that first bite of fluffy, creamy, delicate awesomeness. We have it down to a two person make/bake science, but these can definitely be done solo too. (Though, then there is no one to judgmentally gawk at watch how many you sample in the making process.)Clothespin Cookies

I know them as clothespins, but some regions call them lady locks or cream horns. And before you call us clothespin frauds, we did actually use clothes pins to make them once upon time. Since then, we’ve wised up and found wooden rods are far easier, and can be found pretty much anywhere you can find baking supplies. Make sure to season rods with just a little flour (not butter!) in your oven for a first time use. Also, you can cut your time in half and purchase pastry dough ahead of time from a bakery. Just follow the cut, bake, and fill steps after.

Clothespin CookiesClothespin Cookies

Fill those little cuties with any of your favorite frostings, but I prefer our super light mallow like filling. It’s hardly sweet, which is good because these beauts get a dusting of powdered sugar on their final step for a just sweet enough finish.

Clothespin Cookies

Clothespin CookiesLastly, color your frosting to match any occasion if you need to be festive, or leave them white. Believe me, it will not effect their deliciousness. They also pair perfectly with a cup o’ joe, cold glass of milk, cappuccino, wine, motor name it. Equal parts pretty and delicious and they freeze like a dream.

If you don’t eat them all first.

Whether you call them clothespins, lady locks, cream horns, they are always greeted with a big giant YUM in this house. Make them for your next celebration…or for just a day that ends in Y.





1.0 from 1 reviews
Clothespin Cookie dough
Recipe type: cookie
Serves: 3-4 dozen
  • 3½ cups flour
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • ½ c. Crisco
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1½ cups warm water
  1. Mix first four ingredients like a pie dough.
  2. Add in your egg/water mixture and mix into a soft dough.
  3. Chill 1-2 hours. Don't skip this step!
  4. Divide dough in half and roll out thin.
  5. Add a thin layer of crisco to the rolled dough. Fold over, add another layer, and once more.
  6. Chill 30 minutes.
  7. Preheat oven 350ºF.
  8. Roll dough out to about ⅛in. thick. It will appear cracked as you roll.
  9. Cut dough into 1in x 5in. strips. You can eyeball this and be just fine. The wider or longer your strips, the longer or larger your cookie.
  10. Roll on to your rods overlapping as you go. Secure the end with a dab of water.
  11. Place on parchment lined cookie sheets.
  12. Bake 12-15 minutes, or until tops are just slightly golden. Cookies will bake faster as your rods heat after the first batch.
  13. Let sit a few minutes so you don't burn your hands off, then slide off the rods.
  14. Once cooled, fill with frosting by pastry bag or ziplock.
  15. Dust with powdered sugar.
  16. Store in airtight container in refrigerator or freeze.

1.0 from 1 reviews
Clothespin Cookie Frosting
Recipe type: frosting
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup crisco
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • (2) 16oz. marshmallow fluffs
  • Optional powdered sugar to taste
  1. Cream together butter and crisco in standing or handheld mixer.
  2. Add vanilla. Mix.
  3. Add marshmallow and mix on medium until light and fluffy.
  4. Sprinkle in a pinch of powdered sugar to taste, or leave it out depending on sweetness.

Clothespin Cookies
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11 Responses to Clothespin Cookies

  1. Melinda Baker says:

    What is the oven temp for baking the shells?

    • prettyplainjanes says:

      Hello Melinda! Thank you for catching that! I asked Lisa and it is 350ºF. I will update recipe. 🙂 xo, brandy j

  2. Amy says:

    I know these as ‘horns’. My dad made dowel rods for my mom and I to recreate this neighbor’s favorite Christmas cookie…thanks for sharing

    • prettyplainjanes says:

      I love hearing everyone’s traditions and versions of this treat! Thank you for sharing! xo, brandy j

  3. C. Becker says:

    I believe you have to much liquid in this recipe. 1 1/2 c water plus 2 egg yolks in 3 1/2 c. Flour …makes almost a batter. I checked other recipes that only call for 1/2 c water. Oops!

    • prettyplainjanes says:

      Hello Cynthia!

      Thank you for your message! I checked with Lisa and she said 1 1/2c water so the recipe is correct! Maybe the other ones have less flour. Enjoy your season! 🙂 xo, brandy j

  4. Kathy says:

    I never give up but this dough was not at all like any clothspin cookie I have had. They were not flaky at all. I tried three tray and pitched them all. Not wrth filling.

  5. Sherry Ross says:

    I made these and followed the recipe exactly and the water made it like a thick batter and very sticky. I added more flour to get to a dough consistency to be able to roll out. I applied the Crisco and folded as instructed but they turned out terrible. I checked other recipes with the same amount of flour and none of them added that much water.

  6. Jody Dimit says:

    My grandmother and mom used to make these. They are both gone now and I think I will try to make them. What do you roll the dough on. I think my mom used clothes pins but if I remembered she greased them first and baked them (to season them I guess). Your thoughts?

  7. Sharon Schroeter says:

    I used Crisco for years & the last pie crust I made was not too good. I looked on the can & now Crisco is made with soybean oil. Is this what you use?

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