Wednesday, December 16, 2009


This time of year, I always make a favorite pastry cookie my Jewish Hungarian mother in law taught me many years ago. She hand wrote the recipe on a piece of scrap paper and I have treasured this recipe all these years. The cookie is a pastry dough made with cream cheese and butter and flour...that's it! And the filling is golden raisins, walnuts, egg white and lemon juice...and that's it, too!
So, why, you may wonder, did I go searching for another recipe to try when I have the perfect one already?! I'm not really sure. It may be to see if there was a better one out there. Wouldn't know til I tried..right? Well now I know, my family recipe's is still the best! Don't get me wrong, this one is very good but not the best.
Another thing I noticed in all the Kifli recipes I found is that none of them called for golden raisins in the filling, just walnuts.
There's another mother in law never gave these cookies a name. I truly don't know whether they're kifli, rugelach...or what!! So I just call mine Hungarian Nut Cookies. But I disgress. Back to this recipe for Kifli.
I did make a few changes to the original recipe and I'll note that as we go along.

First assemble the pastry dough ingredients. This recipe uses sour cream, butter, egg yolks and flour. ( Note the 2 egg yolks and 1 stck of butter! I halved the recipe.)

I put the sour cream, butter and egg yolks in a standing mixer and beat til combined. Then added the flour and stirred til incorporated.

It does get a bit thick and I transferred the dough to a bowl and worked it with my hands to combine better.

Here's where I took over and changed the directions to make it easier. As you can see from the photo below I made some of the dough into balls the size of walnuts, as the recipe says. But this seemed pointless.. and alot of work, so I just wrapped the other half in plastic wrap and refridgerated the dough overnight. ( Or for several hours).

For the filling you'll need egg whites, finely chopped walnuts,sugar,cinnamon and lemon juice.
My family recipe does not have sugar or cinnamon and does have chopped golden raisins.
This filling is very loose and liquidy, due to all the lemon juice called for in the recipe. It does, however, make it easier to spread onto the dough.

I couldn't resist adding some chopped golden raisins!! The tartness of the raisins cuts the sweetness of all the sugar in the filling and adds some extra texture.

Although I didn't show the photos of the balls I rolled out, suffice to say they were, as I suspected, alot of work and rolling out a single larger piece of dough proved to be much easier.
Even though the shape looks a little wierd, it works just fine using a pizza cutter! Spread the filling onto the dough and just cut triangle shapes. If you're using the chopped raisins ( and I highly reccommend it!), then put a few onto the bottom of the triangle and roll them up.
They should look like little crescents. Aren't they pretty!? And yes, some will roll out looking a little odd, but that's okay! One other recipe calls for brushing the tops with some egg yolk, which gives them a nice golden color. You could do that here, if you want.
Place them onto a baking sheet. You can use parchment to line your sheet if you want but it's not necessary. With all that butter in there, they really don't stick. Just be sure, while they're still warm (once they first come out of the oven), to take your spatula and loosen them a little because as they cool on the sheet the filling may kind of glue them to the sheet.

Once they come out of the oven and are still warm you can either dust them or roll them in confectioners sugar.
4 large egg yolks
2 sticks butter, softened
1 cup sour cream
4 cups flour
4 egg whites
2 -2 1/2 cups finely chopped walnuts
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Juice of one lemon
Add'l ingredient:
Confectioners sugar ( for sprinkling).
1. Put sour cream, egg yolks and butter in mixer and beat to combine.
2. With mixer on low speed, add the flour til just combined. ( You may need to finish combining with your hands.).
3. Form into walnut sized pieces ( I suggest forming into 2 discs) and wrap in plastic and refridgerate overnight or for several hours.
Make filling by mixing all ingredients together in medium bowl.
To make cookies:
1. Roll out balls ( or dough half) as thin as you can get it ( I roll out between waxed paper).
2. Spread filling onto dough ( Place a bit of the chopped raisins on , too, if using).
3. Roll up the dough to form crescents. ( or cut, using a pizza cutter, into triangle shapes and roll up.)
4. Place on baking sheets ( you can use parchment paper but not necessary.)
5. Bake 20 minutes @ 350. Or til golden.
6. Sprinkle or roll, while still warm, in confectioners sugar.

1 comment:

  1. I got a handwritten recipe dorm my mothers hungarian aunt a long time ago too. Hers used sour cream and she called them pogach



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