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.
- 4 to 4 ½ Cups Flour
- 2 Eggs
- 2 Sticks butter
- 1 Cup Sour Cream
- 1 lb. Ground Walnuts (Approx 4 cups)
- 1 1/2 Cup Sugar
- 2 tsp butter
- 1/3 Cup milk
- 3/4 tsp. vanilla
- For the dough, melt the butter and mix till dough forms a soft ball.
- Divide into 8 balls and refrigerate overnight, or at least a couple of hours.
- Let the dough warm up and soften a bit, then, one by one, roll each of the 8 balls into a 9 inch circle.
- Spread 1/8 of filling on the rplled out dough, leaving about 1/4" of the edge uncovered..
- Using serrated pastry cutter, cut each round into fourths and each of the fourths into thirds, pizza style.
- Roll each piece toward the center, crescent roll style and place on ungreased baking sheet.
- Brush with egg-white if desired.
- 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.
- Dust with powdered sugar before serving.
Kifli can also be filled with fruit butter or preserves. Apricot would be often used or Lekvar, a Hungarian prune butter.