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
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7 ratings

Prep Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 35 minutes

Yield: 96 Kifli

Kifli – Hungarian Cookies


  • 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


  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.


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

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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.


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.


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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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
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Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Total Time: 42 minutes


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


  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.

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Dec 082015

Here’s the traditional recipe for Cookie Press Christmas cookies. This is a classic, but you still need the recipe, so here it is in a convenient place.

Cookie Press Butter Cookies
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  • 3 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 ½ cups unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons water


  1. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the egg yolks, 2 tablespoons milk, flour, baking powder, salt and vanilla. Chill the dough.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C).
  3. Fill the cookie press and shape the cookies on an ungreased baking sheet. Brush the top of each cookie with the egg whites mixed with 2 tablespoons of the water.
  4. Decorate with colored sugar or candy sprinkles as desired.
  5. Bake at 400 degrees F (205 degrees C) until the cookies are golden brown on top, about 10 minutes. Don't overbake.

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Dec 092011

I grew up eating these cookies and I often received them in care packages when I was in college. Mom always had a fresh batch when we’d go to Ohio for a visit with the kids. They are as good and healthy now as they were then.

Grandma Karney’s Oatmeal Cookies
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Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes


  • ½ lb Margarine or butter
  • 1 c Sugar
  • 1 c Brown sugar
  • 2 Whole eggs
  • 1 c Chopped dates
  • ½ c Walnuts, pecans or almonds
  • 1 tsp Baking soda
  • 1 ½ c Flour
  • 3 ½ c Rolled oats (Quaker Oats)
  • 2 tsp Vanilla


  1. Mix the first seven ingredients first, then add the flour, oats and vanilla.
  2. Make logs about 10 inches long and 2 ½ inches in diameter. And wrap into wax paper and chill in the refrigerator for a couple of hours.
  3. Heat oven to 350°.
  4. Slice the logs into 3/8 in. slices and place on ungreased cookie sheet leaving about 1 inch between them.
  5. Bake for 12 – 20 minutes, checking regularly. Cool a bit before removing from the cookie sheet as they are fragile.

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