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 132015
 

My grandmother certainly had no concept of Veganism in her day. But, times change and I have a number of friends who became Vegan this year, some of whom I have gifted at Christmas with nut roll and Kifli. I always like a challenge, so I decided to see if I could make both of these traditional Hungarian recipes in Vegan form. I made a batch of the cookies in Vegan form and my wife said they were better than what I made last year. So I made two batches of Vegan Kifli and two batches of Vegan nut roll. I had my oldest son taste both without telling him about the change and he though I really outdid myself this year. So, I was happy that the recipe worked and worked well.

I won’t publish the whole recipe here, just the Vegan substitutions and a few other notes. Refer to the original recipe for the technique, because it is the same for Vegan as the normal recipe.

Substitutions:

Use margarine or vegan butter in place of the butter, same amount.

I used the same egg replacement for the egg whites as the egg yolks. Mix two tablespoons of ground Chia and Flax seeds (I used Raw Organics “Real Cold Milled Organic Golden Flax Seed & Organic Chia Seed”) with 6 Tablespoons of hot water and let it sit for about five minutes until thickened. Make one batch for the dough and another for the filling.

The sour cream was a little more complicated. Start with a cup of raw cashews (Trader Joes has these at a good price) and cover with boiling water. Let soak for at least 30 minutes and then drain. Put them in a food processor with 1 Tablespoon of cider vinegar and 1 1/2 teaspoons of lemon juice and 1/8 teaspoon of salt. Blend to form a thick paste and then add water, 1 Tablespoon at a time and blend until the desired consistency is reached. You’ll need to add 3 to six Tablespoons.

Technique:

Everything else is the same. Remember to keep the dough on the soft side. If it is too dry, it will be hard to roll and the final nut roll will be dry.

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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 122015
 

I don’t think my mother knew what a Vegan was and I’m sure making Vegan cookies never crossed her mind, although she was very health conscious in her cooking in her later years. But, times change and I have a number of friends who became Vegan this year, some of whom I have gifted at Christmas with nut roll and Kifli. I always like a challenge, so I decided to see if I could make both of these traditional Hungarian recipes in Vegan form. I made a batch of the cookies in Vegan form and my wife said they were better than what I made last year. So I made two batches of Vegan Kifli and two batches of Vegan nut roll. I had my oldest son taste both without telling him about the change and he though I really outdid myself this year. So, I was happy that the recipe worked and worked well.

I won’t publish the whole Vegan Kifli recipe here, just the Vegan substitutions and a few other notes. Refer to the original recipe for the technique, because it is the same for Vegan as the normal recipe.

Substitutions:

Use margarine or vegan butter in place of the butter, same amount.

Use almond milk in place of the milk.

To replace the two eggs, mix two tablespoons of ground Chia and Flax seeds (I used Raw Organics “Real Cold Milled Organic Golden Flax Seed & Organic Chia Seed”) with 6 Tablespoons of hot water and let it sit for about five minutes until thickened.

The sour cream was a little more complicated. Start with a cup of raw cashews (Trader Joes has these at a good price) and cover with boiling water. Let soak for at least 30 minutes and then drain. Put them in a food processor with 1 Tablespoon of cider vinegar and 1 1/2 teaspoons of lemon juice and 1/8 teaspoon of salt. Blend to form a thick paste and then add water, 1 Tablespoon at a time and blend until the desired consistency is reached. You’ll need to add 3 to six Tablespoons.

Technique:

Everything else is the pretty much the same. Remember to keep the dough on the soft side. If it is too dry, it will be hard to roll. The only difference is that these cookies do not brown like the non-vegan recipe. So bake them for 20 minutes and adjust the baking time for your later batches if necessary. When I was baking multiple trays of cookies, I set the oven to convection cooking.

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Sep 102012
 

This is the only salad dressing that I ever knew when I was growing up. It’s especially good on cucumber salad, but I never ate cucumbers back then. As my mother said, “I didn’t know what I was missing.” It’s a simple recipe and I give you both the original version and my spiced up version.

Hungarian Sour Cream Salad Dressing

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 Tbsp. white vinegar
  • 2 tsp. sugar.
  • 1 tsp. paprika (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp. Lawry's Seasoned Salt (optional)

Instructions

  1. Mix the first three ingredients together. Add more vinegar if you like a thinner dressing. This is the traditional way my mother made it.
  2. For a little more zing, mix in the paprika and seasoned salt.
  3. Serve over lettuce salad, tomatoes or cucumber salad.
http://karneyfamilyrecipes.com/2012/09/10/hungarian-sour-cream-salad-dressing/

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