My friend Susan and I have planned to make these delicious Hungarian Kifli Cookies last year, initially, but we changed our plans last minute and went to Canada to celebrate our first white Christmas. This year, we were both so looking forward making them, just before Christmas and this time nothing stayed in our way!
This recipe is very special to my friend, Susan and her family. I feel so honored she has invited me to be part of this special day and allowing me to share this delicious recipe with you, too. You see, this recipe goes back a long way in time, passed from one generation to another, from her grandmother to her mother, from her mother to her and probably to her daughter, one day 🙂
I don’t know if you have ever tried Hungarian Kifli cookies, they are so rich, flaky and filled with ground walnuts or poppyseed mixture (in case you have a nut allergy) …ah! just melting in your mouth. I love everything about this recipe! The stories that go along with it, the old way of doing it…everything 🙂
We have used a nut grinder to get our ground walnuts. What is a nut grinder? A rotary hand-cranked device you clamp to the side of a table that does a perfect job of turning whole walnuts into a fine dry powder, if you don’t mind spending some hours doing this job 🙂 These grinders are so difficult to find these days….
In less than 2 hours you will have around 40 delicious Hungarian Kifli Cookies! They are a great DIY gifts and be sure you’ll be asked to make them again next year 🙂
Don’t get intimidated about the time, 1 hour is required just for the dough to stay in the fridge. Susan has told me that one of the most important part of this recipe is to keep flour to the minimum, so the dough will not get dry. That’s why she rolls her cookies in powdered sugar, not in flour 🙂
Hope you will enjoy this special recipe! I know for sure I am going to make Hungarian Kifli Cookies each year from now on!
- 2 packs cream cheese 1Lb
- 4 sticks 1 Lb unsalted butter
- 4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 2 bags 2Lbs ground walnuts (English walnuts)
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 4 tbsp hot milk
Place walnuts in a food processor and finely chop them. Set aside.
Combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of a large food processor or stand mixer and mix until smooth. Add vanilla essence and all purpose flour, 1 cup at the time. Pulse or mix until dough forms into a rough ball. Divide the dough into 2 rounds, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 400F/ 200C.
Heat milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until lukewarm.
Put ground walnuts into a large bowl and add 1 tbsp of butter, incorporating in the walnut mixture. Add powdered sugar and mix until combined. Add warm milk and mix for 3 minutes to combine everything and release the oil from ground walnuts. Set aside.
Remove one of the dough rounds from the refrigerator. Unwrap, cut in half and re-wrap one of the halves. The dough works great when it is cold. Sprinkle a work surface with plenty of powdered sugar.
Roll the portion of dough in powder sugar, adding more to the work surface if the dough begins to stick. Roll until the dough is 1/4 inch (1/2 cm) thick. Cut into 3 inch (7 cm) squares. Place about 1 tablespoon of the filling in the middle of each square. Roll them and place on a baking paper-lined tray. Bake them on the middle rack for 15-20 minutes,until golden.
When taking them out of the oven, roll in powder sugar and allow to cool for a while before adding another coat of powdered sugar.