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Any ladylocks makers in the Triangle?

I just eloped. My friends are throwing me and my husband a small party next month. They are indulging my need for the Western PA tradition of a cookie table.

Back home, they always have not only a cake but a table overflowing with cookies made by the aunts, grandmothers, cousins of both families. It's like funeral food; each woman brings her A-game and becomes known for her cookie table contribution.

Lady locks are a cookie table staple. I've never made them. They are twisted cylinders of puff pastry filled with cream. I'm trying to find someone, maybe a grandmother who migrated down here to be close to the grandchildren, who can teach me or at least offer advice.

Any help would be much appreciated!

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  1. I've never heard of a lady lock! Sounds good, though. Perhaps you could go to a decent bakery in town armed with a recipe or maybe some links, and they could work something up for you?

    I'm going to keep an eye on this thread. I love learning about something new.

    1. Wish I could help but I had to give you a congrats on your wedding (what, no firehall for the reception?) I love that you are "getting back to your roots" and having a cookie table - maybe a Pgh bakery can make the puff pastry part and freeze, then ship to you on dry ice? Probably too fragile. My aunt makes them for Christmas and she pre-makes the pastry, freezes them, and then fills them later. Oh, I need some now but sadly I don't live in the 'burgh anymore, either. They have them where I live but not the same. I think its the Pgh water that does it ;)

      1. No help on the cookies, but...
        Yee-haw! Congrats!

        1. I did a quick google on "ladylocks" because I've never heard of it... but it looks like it's the same thing as a "creme horn"?

          Is there a difference? If not, I know I've seen them in bakeries in Cary and surrounding areas.

          Congratulations on the wedding though!

          1. Hi,
            If you go to the Pittsburgh Tribune Review website you will find your recipe for lady locks. It's the only recipe that I have that I have that I need a clothes pin for. I'm not sure how to attach a link and I do apologize. I live in Southern California and no one out here has ever heard if them.
            I'm sure you will have a wonderful wedding and lady locks on your cookie table will make it even more perfect.

            7 Replies
            1. re: Delphine

              The Tribune's recipe is here:


              I have a recipe they published for strawberry cassata cake, another thing you can't get here. It's the real deal!

              1. re: romansperson

                Ooooh, love cassata cake. I did see some at Hayes Barton a few weeks ago. May have been a special order, because I've only seen it the one time, and I didn't try it, but it sure did look good.

                1. re: Suzy Q

                  Was it a strawberry cassata, with a custard and sliced strawberry filling and whipped cream icing? Because the only place I've ever seen it made that way is where I grew up. I'd love to be able to get it here - it's a two-day affair to make one.

                  1. re: romansperson

                    romansperson, not sure this is what you want but at ny bagel and deli on falls of neuse, they make a strawberry cake with whipped cream frosting, custard filling with sliced strawberries. i got one. it was good. you may want to check it out.

                    1. re: lawyerlady

                      Thanks for the tip - I'll call and ask them about it. The cake itself is just a regular white or yellow cake (not strawberry flavored) but I'd be happy to take anything that's close!

                      1. re: romansperson

                        yes yes it's a regular yellow cake with a vanilla custard with fresh cut strawberries in the custard and whipped cream frosting. sounds like what you may be looking for! it was very good.

                        1. re: lawyerlady

                          Yes, it IS very good, hence my search - I'll definitely give them a call!

              1. The Pittsburgh recipe looks promising. Let us know how it turns out! I haven't even HEARD that word in 25 years, but well remember them at our little neighborhood bakery in South Jersey. Sugar bombs!

                1. Here is a link to an NPR article about the cookie table tradition with a recipe for lady locks and others. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/st...

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: Soty

                    Oh my gosh! Thank you all --- or should I say yunz --- so much for all the advice. I'm going to make my first practice run this weekend. I'll report back. That Tribune-Review recipe looks promising. Maybe I can call the food editor for advice.

                    1. re: amweigl

                      What a blast from the past. My mom used to make lady locks. I was too young to appreciate them. She also made some Italian cookies in the shape of knots that used that tall skinny bottle of Galliano liquor.

                      Go Steelers,
                      Pittsburgh Yinzer

                      1. re: amweigl

                        I am curious how the ladylock making went. I am from Pittsburgh and am starting a bakery or coffee shop with ladylocks being my main focus. They are hard to make and hard to find good ones and I have been told numerous times that mine are the best. I have made 400 to 500 dozen in my kitchen for Christmas for the last three years and am now in a position to start going full tilt with commercial equipment. Let me know where you live and I can send you some to get your opinion of them.

                        1. re: ladylockman

                          Ladylockman - I'm curious if your business has started yet. I too am a former Pittsburger and cannot find a good lady lock to save my life here in Baltimore. Would love to find some yummy treats this way, even if they are mailed.

                    2. I found this at the Tribune review and it sounds like the real thing.

                      Reader has had Lady Locks recipe for two decades
                      ...Lady Locks 4 cups all-purpose flour, divided 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 cup plus
                      1 tablespoon granulated sugar, divided 1/2 cup (1 stick) margarine 1/2 cup ...

                      www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtr... - January 4, 2006

                      1. Funny this thread should come up again. I was just back in Cleveland a couple months ago and noticed the little bakery I go to to get my Italian bread fix also had ladylocks.