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Lady Locks {A Pittsburgh Wedding Cookie Table Staple}

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[intro]Lady Locks is the showpiece of a Pittsburgh cookie table at weddings. This is a flaky cookie with a sweet, creamy filling that you will love at first bite. You also know Lady Locks as a cream horns recipe. In Pittsburgh, the cream horn is a Lady Lock and it is Pittsburgh cookies. Serves 24[/intro]


Lady Locks title


Pittsburgh Cookies For A Wedding

It is no secret that I am proud of my birthplace, Pittsburgh. I may live in Cleveland, but Pittsburgh is my home. One Pittsburgh tradition I found out is exclusive to Pittsburgh is a cookie table at a wedding.


Lady Locks closeup of ladylocks on a plate

Lady Locks is the showpiece of a Pittsburgh cookie table at weddings.



Wedding Cookie Table

What is a wedding cookie table? A cookie table is when people bring homemade cookies to the wedding. Then those wedding cookies are put on a table. As guests wait for the bride and groom to make their entrance, you munch on these homemade Pittsburgh wedding cookies and drink a drink a cocktail.


I always thought this was standard for weddings until I moved to Cleveland.


Lady Locks overhead view

Lady Locks are a labor of love, but they are so amazingly good!


I do know these wedding cookie tables are becoming popular across the USA. In fact, there were 2 articles wrote about the cookie table tradition. One was in the NY Times the other in the National Post.


Cookies For A Wedding

I am writing up a post for Parade’s Community table for the wedding cookie table. In my quest for links, I discovered no one had the one cookie that is a must at a wedding cookie table, the Lady Lock.



Lady Locks or Cream Horns Recipe

Every wedding has to have this homemade goodie. Lady locks are also called cream horns or clothespin cookies. Why? Instead of metal cones to make the shells you use foil around old fashion wooden clothespins.


It works well, thus giving the name clothespin cookies. The cream horns come because it does look like a horn filled with a creamy filling. If you are searching for cream horn recipes, lady locks recipe or clothespin cookie recipes, it the same.


Lady Locks wide view on the plate on table

Lady Locks are addicting because the flaky shells and the sweet creamy filling they have

Pittsburgh Cookies

These Pittsburgh cookies are a labor of love. A cream horn recipe does take a little bit of work but they are worth it. That why the grandmothers seem to make these for the wedding cookie tables.


Clothespin Cookies

It is the love they have for the couple to make this wonderful, flaky cookie. When I married, my neighbor growing up made the lady locks or clothespin cookies on my cookie table. I asked for the clothespin cookies recipe because I was in love with them, she gave it to me.


Cooking Tip:

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”] T [/dropcap]o measure dry ingredients: Use the spoon-and-sweep method. Spoon the flour or other dry ingredient into a measuring cup, filling it generously above the rim of the cup. Then, run the back of a knife over the edge to sweep the excess back into the container.  – Source: FoodNetwork


Cookies With Filling

The lady lock or cream horn filling recipe is what makes these cookies. The creamy filling is what makes the clothespin cookie so addicting. It is best to invest in stainless steel cream horn molds also to make these as well.


My Cookie Table

My next marriage, if I have one, I will for sure have a cookie table. Even if I am still here in Cleveland, I will have this wedding cookie gtable tradition. You can take the girl out of Pittsburgh, but can not take the Pittsburgh out the girl.


Of course my lady locks will be the showpiece of the wedding cookies. Cookies with filling what is not to love about that? Trust me you love this cream horn recipe.

Check out these recipes from Seduction In The Kitchen:


Lady Locks Full view of the cookies on a plate on the table

Lady Locks are not only the showstopper cookie on a cookie table at Pittsburgh Weddings, but they are good any time of the year.


Reccomended Recipes From Other Food Bloggers:


  • How about this BANANA BREAD COBBLER from Grace and Good Eats to satisy your sweet tooth.
  • Maybe you want the ultimate combo, peanut butter, and chocolate, so this CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER CAKE from Pint Size Baker is perfect!
  • Something a little sweet so you want? Well, this DOUBLE CHOCOLATE MOUSSE SHOOTERS from Cooking On The Front Burner is just right.



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Yield: 24 cookies

Lady Locks Recipe

Lady Locks

Lady Locks are the show piece of a Pittsburgh cookie table at weddings is this flaky cookie with a sweet, creamy filling. A recipe from Seduction in the Kitchen.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes


Pastry Shells:

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour divided
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar divided
  • 1/2 cup margarine (1 stick)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar


  • 2 cups milk
  • 4 teaspoons heaping all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup margarine at room temperature, 2 sticks
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • Dash salt


  1. Sift together 3 1⁄2 cups flour, the baking powder and 1 tablespoon granulated sugar. Add the margarine, shortening and butter and cut in as for pie crust. Set aside.
  2. In a bowl, combine the egg yolks, evaporated milk, vanilla and yeast. Add to the flour mixture and mix well. Chill overnight.
  3. Heat the oven to 325 degrees.
  4. Working with small pieces of dough at a time, roll out on a board sprinkled with a mixture of 1⁄2 cup flour, 1⁄2 cup granulated sugar and the confectioners' sugar.
  5. Roll thinly, then cut into strips approximately 1⁄2-inch wide. Wrap on old-fashioned wooden clothespins that have been covered with foil and lightly greased, or use metal baking rods according to manufacturer's directions.
  6. Place on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 10 to 15 minutes. Carefully remove the shells from the pins immediately. Let cool, then fill the shells with the filling, using a pastry bag.
  7. Combine the milk and flour. Cook over low heat until thick. Cool completely.
  8. Beat the flour mixture, using an electric mixer. Add the margarine, vegetable shortening, sugar, vanilla and salt. Beat at high speed until light and fluffy.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 375Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 26mgSodium: 73mgCarbohydrates: 40gFiber: 1gSugar: 23gProtein: 4g

Did you make this recipe?

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Deanna Samaan
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Thursday 31st of March 2022

Thanks for your recipe and Pittsburgh lore. I just found your site and have to look around some. I used to think everyone had cookie tables too! I set one up for Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas when all the kids are here for supper. I try to include everything on it but the fries! Keep up these great traditions where ever you are (even CLEVELAND!). Thanks again.


Sunday 20th of December 2020

Cream horns are very time consuming, but oh so worth it!!!


Monday 14th of September 2020

How long did you beat it? It will usually separate at first but keep beating and it will come together. I would use whole milk

Deanna Samaan

Thursday 17th of September 2020

I come to find it depends where I am at, here in Florida with humidity I swear I am beating much longer then I did in Pittsburgh. I never timed it but I say I usually beat it for a long time I say 15 minutes


Wednesday 25th of December 2019

My filling is too grainy after beating in stand mixer for almost 10 minutes. Why won’t the sugar incorporate? Do I need to mix longer?


Thursday 26th of December 2019

It could be from not getting the milk hot enough, I get the milk to almost scalding before I do the flour, it helps melt the sugar better


Wednesday 11th of December 2019

Can you freeze filled ladylocks without the shell getting soft once thawed?


Wednesday 11th of December 2019

My aunt used to do this and she used to say the secret was to double line the box with saran wrap.

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