Really, it's easy. Make sure to use room temperature eggs. You can bring eggs to room temperature quickly by placing the eggs on the stove top in a bowl while the oven preheats. This method is usually good enough to take the chill out of them. If not put the eggs into a bowl of warm water.
#1 Gather your ingredients
2 sticks unsalted butter (if using butter with salt, omit the salt...and please do not use margarine!!)
1/2 tsp. salt (divided)
2 cups all purpose flour (divided)
1/4 cup water
3 large eggs at room temperature
1 teaspoon almond extract
2/3 cups of jam (divided)
1/2 cup toasted nuts or coconut (divided)
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 teaspoons water
#2 Toast your nuts or coconut, I do this on the stove top in a dry skillet over medium heat and watch it closely, moving the coconut/nuts around in the pan to a nice toasty brown. You can bake it but, I like pan toasting mine.
#3 Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
#4 Line your bake sheet with parchment paper (I hit the pan with a little non stick spray just to hold the paper in place, not required)
#5 For the bottom "crust" layer you will need to cut one stick of butter into one cup of flour, and 1/4 teaspoon salt until it looks like coarse crumbs. Use your fingers, mixer, or fork to make it all crumbly. To make this job easier, you can slice the butter into tiny pieces before adding to the flour. Add 1/4 cup of water and mix until the dough comes together
#7 Divide this layer of dough in half. The goal is to spread each half of dough on the bake sheet into a 10"x3" layer. This is best accomplished by plopping even amounts of dough in a line and then spreading each dollop towards one another. You will need WET fingers to do this. Check out this photo for a helpful image of spreading the layers.
#9 Divide this layer of dough in half and spread each crust layer with half of this dough. This spreads a little easier and can be done with a rubber spatula. If you have trouble doing that, just use wet fingers again. You want to completely seal and cover the first layer.
#10 Bake in a preheated oven for 50-60 minutes or until deep golden brown. Mine took 50 minutes. Remove from pan to a wire rack.
#11 Immediately spread the pastries with jam or jelly or your choice. I happened to have a batch of summer strawberry and peach jam on hand. Sprinkle with coconut or your choice of toasted nuts. The puff will start to sink in as you apply the jam, that's by design, it's okay!
#12 Stir up the glaze. The powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and 4 teaspoons of water. Drizzle this over the pastries.
You see it's really easy and you end up with something like this.
This same dough could be used as a savory dish. I can see topping the warm pastries with a little white gravy, scrambled eggs, and cheese to make a perfect savory breakfast pastry. Or maybe a little mascarpone cheese and fresh fruit! See, just perfect!