Walnut Kifli. Photo: Shani Sanders
Walnut Kifli. Photo: Shani Sanders
Recipe

Crispy Walnut Kifli

Crescent shaped cookies with a cream cheese dough and nut filling inspired by Hungarian cuisine. An easy to prepare addition to mishloach manot

The Hungarian kifli is considered the distant cousin of rugelach. These cookies are made with a yeasted dough that is shaped into crescents, filled with poppy seed and included in the Hungarian mishloach manot. And just like what happened to Rugelach after they crossed the sea and arrived in the USA, Kifli also has a patented version without yeast, made from a crispy dough whose secret ingredient is cream cheese, of course. To enhance their fun crunch, I matched this dough with a sweet nut filling.

Ingredients for Kifli - Walnut Crescents

For the dough:

  • 2½ cups (350 grams) flour
  • 1 cup less 2 heaping tablespoons (100 grams) confectioner's sugar
  • one pinch Salt
  • 5.3 oz (150 grams) butter cold, cut into cubes
  • 7 oz (200 grams) cream cheese
  • 1 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the walnut filling:

  • 7 oz (200 grams) walnuts
  • 1/3 cup (65 grams) Sugar
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions

  • 1. Heat the oven to medium heat of (355F/180C) degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  

  • 2. Put flour, confectioner's sugar, salt and butter in a bowl and rub with both hands until you get a crumbly mixture. Add cream cheese, egg yolk and vanilla extract to the bowl and mix until just uniform; avoid over-kneading, which may alter the texture of the cookies. Keep the dough in the fridge until the filling is ready. You can prepare the dough in the same way in short pulses in a food processor or in a mixer with a guitar hook.

  • 3. Prepare the filling: grind the nuts and sugar in a blender or food processor and transfer to a bowl. Add the egg white and cinnamon and mix until you get a soft paste.

  • 4. Divide the dough into 5 equal parts weighing between 165-170 grams each.  

  • 5. On a floured surface, roll out a portion of dough into a thin circular sheet. Using a knife or a pizza cutter, divide the sheet of dough into 8 triangles (like slicing a pizza).

  • 6. Place a teaspoon of the filling at the wide end of each triangle of dough and roll it, towards the narrow end, into a crescent shape. Roll out and fill all the dough in the same way and arrange the crescents in the prepared baking sheets.    

  • 7. Bake for 20 minutes, until lightly golden. Cool, sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve.

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