Dec 132015
 
Helen Kun Karney, Circa 1925

Helen Kun Karney
circa 1925

My paternal Grandmother, Helen Kun Karney, immigrated to the United States at the tender age of 16, in 1901. She married my grandfather, Steven Karney in 1904; they both came from the same town in Hungary, Battyan.  Dios (‘dee-oshe) or Nut Roll is a Hungarian Christmas tradition, and I’ll never know if she carried a hand-written recipe with her on the boat from Europe, or if she created it from memory, but the recipe remains over 100 years later.

Grandma Karney’s recipe was passed on to me through my mother who used it to make the nut roll I remember so well. Although, I’m sure I watched my mother make it (and probably licked the bowl that contained the sugar and walnut filling,) I had never prepared it on my own until recently. I still use the same Wearever #918 aluminum pan that my mother used, and it perfectly holds the four rolls that that this timeless recipe makes.  I recently purchased a second pan on Ebay. They haven’t been made in a long time, but if you can find one on Ebay, it will last for many generations. Nutroll freezes well, so while you are at it, make a couple of batches.

Mom’s Nut Roll (Dios)

Mom’s Nut Roll (Dios)

Ingredients

    Dough
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter or margarine
  • 2 pkg. dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 4 to 5 cups of flour
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • Filling
  • 2 lb. ground walnuts
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 scant cup of sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Instructions

  1. Make a leaven of 1/4 cup of warm water, 1 tsp. sugar and the yeast. Set aside.
  2. Melt the butter and mix with the sour cream, sugar, 2 cups of flour and finally the egg yolks.
  3. The mixture should be cool or only slightly warm. Now you can add the yeast mixture and knead in the rest of the flour until the mixture is about the consistency of soft bread dough.
  4. Knead until smooth. If the dough has a layered look and won't hold together, knead in a little water until the dough is smooth and cohesive.
  5. Divide into 4 parts and refrigerate covered overnight.
  6. Mix together walnuts, egg whites, sugar and vanilla to make filling.
  7. Roll out each piece of dough into a rectangle the length of your pan.
  8. Spread with 1/4 of the walnut filling.
  9. Roll up jelly roll style.
  10. Butter the baking pan lightly.
  11. Put the 4 rolls in a baking pan and let rise in a warm place, covered, for 2 hours.
  12. Bake at 350F for about 45 minutes.
  13. Cool and slice.

Notes

If you have trouble rolling out the dough or if it tears, your dough is too dry.It's better to err on the side of too soft, rather than too dry.

I use Ceresota all-purpose flour in my recipe. Other flours may have more or less moisture, so adjust the amount for a soft, but not sticky dough.

I usually cut the rolls in half crosswise, wrap them in foil and refrigerate until needed. Then I slice the larger piece into 1/2 in slices for serving. It dries out less than if you pre-slice the whole thing.

For freezing, wrap in foil and then seal in air-tight freezer bag.

http://karneyfamilyrecipes.com/2015/12/13/moms-nut-roll-dios/

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Dec 122015
 

Kifli is another Hungarian Christmas tradition that I remember well, and they were always my favorite of the Christmas cookies.  Growing up, we called them Kiffles, which is the anglicized version of Kifli.

I had never made them until long after my mother was gone, and reclaiming the recipe was not easy as my mother had about 10 different recipes from my aunts and other relatives. She had one labeled “My own special recipe”, that had graham cracker crumbs in at and some other things not in the other recipes, and I’m sure were not in the Kifli that I remember.

After a few years of experimentation with the different recipes and many failures, I finally settled on this one which produces Kifli closest to what I recall, and adjusted the recipe slightly in December 2014.

Kifli – Hungarian Cookies

Prep Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 35 minutes

Yield: 96 Kifli

Kifli – Hungarian Cookies

Ingredients

    Dough
  • 4 to 4 ½ Cups Flour
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 Sticks butter
  • 1 Cup Sour Cream
  • Filling
  • 1 lb. Ground Walnuts (Approx 4 cups)
  • 1 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 2 tsp butter
  • 1/3 Cup milk
  • 3/4 tsp. vanilla

Instructions

  1. For the dough, melt the butter and mix till dough forms a soft ball.
  2. Divide into 8 balls and refrigerate overnight, or at least a couple of hours.
  3. Let the dough warm up and soften a bit, then, one by one, roll each of the 8 balls into a 9 inch circle.
  4. Spread 1/8 of filling on the rplled out dough, leaving about 1/4" of the edge uncovered..
  5. Using serrated pastry cutter, cut each round into fourths and each of the fourths into thirds, pizza style.
  6. Roll each piece toward the center, crescent roll style and place on ungreased baking sheet.
  7. Brush with egg-white if desired.
  8. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes or until the Kifli just start to lightly brown. The secret is to not overbake. If the filling is oozing out and turning dark brown or burning, you are baking too long.
  9. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.

Notes

Kifli can also be filled with fruit butter or preserves. Apricot would be often used or Lekvar, a Hungarian prune butter.

http://karneyfamilyrecipes.com/2015/12/12/387/

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Dec 112015
 

This is an easy recipe, I came up with it after having something similar at the Tapas Restaurant, La Tasca. It is best if you make it a day ahead so the flavors get to blend. This is one of the things I always make for Christmas Eve. And I usually make enough that we have it as a side dish for Christmas brunch.

Bruschetta

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 Large red onions.
  • 2 28 oz. cans diced or whole roma tomatoes, drained and slightly rinsed. You can use the equivalent amount of very ripe fresh Roma tomatoes. Avoid supermarket tomatoes.
  • 1/3 c Olive oil
  • 1/3 c Balsamic vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp fresh bbasil
  • 2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning.
  • 1 tsp. granulated garlic
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Dice the onions and tomatoes if using whole ones, and mix with the basil.
  2. Whisk together the olive oil and balsamic vinegar and pour over the vegetables.
  3. Serve on sliced fresh Italian bread or Crostini. It's even better if you brush the bread with garlic and olive oil and grill it or stick it under the broiler for a few minutes

Notes

I revised the recipe recently to use canned tomatoes, because the tomatoes available in stores, especially in the winter, are usually hard and tasteless, The only way I would use fresh tomatoes is if they were very ripe and from my own garden or a good farmer's market.

http://karneyfamilyrecipes.com/2015/12/11/bruschetta/

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Dec 112015
 

This award winning recipe (My oldest son, Jared, won first prize in an appetizer contest with it)  comes from my Aunt Ellie, my mother’s younger sister. Aunt Ellie loved to entertain and we always looked forward to these cheddar slices around holiday time. Where she got this recipe, I’ll never know, but since it involves bacon and bread, it may have it’s roots in a traditional Hungarian recipe. This has been a traditional Christmas Eve treat for our family and we usually make enough to last all the way through the holiday season and into the winter, as it freezes very well.

Ellie's Cheddar Slices

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Yield: 24 Servings

Serving Size: 1/2 Piece of Toast

Ingredients

  • ½ lbs Sharp cheddar cheese (shredded or ground)
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ tsp Powdered mustard
  • 2 Whole eggs (beaten)
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 4 Slices raw bacon
  • 12 White bread slices

Instructions

  1. Mix the first 5 ingredients in a food processor until smooth.
  2. Spread on the bread slices. (This is a little easier if you use frozen or semi-frozen bread.)
  3. Dice the bacon finely and sprinkle on top.
  4. Toast in a 375° oven for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

Notes

For freezing, don't bake them. Put them on a cookie sheet in the freezer until they are hard. Then separate unbaked pieces with wax-paper and wrap well with tinfoil. To toast, place frozen pieces on cookie sheet and toast in a 375° oven until golden brown. (25 – 30 min.)

http://karneyfamilyrecipes.com/2015/12/11/14/

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Dec 092015
 

Crescent Christmas CookiesThis is a traditional recipe that Natalie got from her mother. They are butter cookies, but unique in that the dough is a yeast dough and they have less sugar than typical butter cookies.

Natalie has been making them since we were first married, and Christmas wouldn’t quite be Christmas without them.

Natalie’s Crescent Christmas Cookies

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Total Time: 32 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. cold butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cake of compressed yeast
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • chocolate sprinkles

Instructions

  1. In a mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy.
  2. Separate the eggs and reserve the whites.
  3. Crumble the yeast into the egg yolks and add to the butter/sugar mix.
  4. With the mixer still running, gradually beat in the flour.
  5. Take about a 1 Tbsp. ball of dough and roll between your hands until elongated to about 2 1/2 inches.
  6. Dip about 3/4 in. of the ends of the dough in egg whites and then chocolate sprintkles.
  7. Bend into crescents and place on ungreased cookie sheet.
  8. Bake for 10-12 minutes at 375 degrees.
http://karneyfamilyrecipes.com/2015/12/09/natalies-christmas-cookies/

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