HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >

Discussion

Kifla recipe, please?

  • 55
  • Share

Kifla is a Romanian holiday delicacy (at least for my family, which originally came to this country from northern Transylvania, close to the current-day Hungarian border), consisting of a sweet bread dough rolled with a walnut/sugar (I think brown sugar) filling. It is one of my childhood cravings, but unfortunately, my Romanian grandmother is no longer around to share her recipe (which anyway would have been something like "a handful of this, a pinch of that"). Does anyone by chance have a good kifla recipe?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
Posting Guidelines | FAQs | Feedback
Cancel
  1. My family is also from Transylvania - so we also ate kifli. What I remember, though, is something more like a pastry dough rather than bread dough. Anyway I'm going to suggest you do a google search for KIFLI (not kifla) and you'll find dozens of recipes. One of those will probably be what you remember. It seems that every village, every family, every cook had her own version of kifli. I suspect this is still true today. I visited that area last summer and it's still pretty unspoiled by globalism!

    6 Replies
    1. re: Nyleve

      Wow, I'd never heard of it referred to as kifli before! It sounds as though you are describing it perfectly! Thanks for the spelling tip; I'll try it. You're right about the unspoiled nature of the Transylvanian countryside; the only traffic jam I encountered on a trip a couple years back was caused by a flock of sheep! What part of the country is your family from?

      1. re: laurie

        My mother was from Oradea and my father was born in Medias Aurit, which is not far from Satumare, but he lived for many years in Cluj. What a place that is. We did a family roots trip last summer through those towns, plus another one, even more remote - Comlausa. The womens' Sunday dress outfits were unbelievable. The food - the mamaliga! - was fantastic.

        1. re: Nyleve

          I am headed to Cluj next week! Off the subject but I'd love any tips or suggestions for places to see and eat if you have any. I don't know what to expect! Thanks :)

          1. re: Kitzy

            I wish I'd kept better notes in Romania. Unlike my usual trips, this one was planned by another family member and I was just along for the ride, so to speak. In Cluj we stayed at a couple of different hotels - the first is better left unnamed; a relic of Socialist Moderne with surly and inept staff to boot. The second - the Opera Plaza - was much nicer and well located downtown. We did, however, have dinner in this really bizarre restaurant - Casa Acorana (sp?) (in the basement level of the Sora shopping mall, of all places) which was one of those folkloric places with musicians and stuff. The food was all very traditional Transylvanian - mamaliga, sausagey things, etc. It was an extremely fun evening - my usually grumpy uncle Jack ended up dancing to the gypsy music. There was wine but, of course, it wasn't fabulous.

            That's pretty much all my recommendations for Cluj.

            Oh one more thing - there's an interesting street market downtown (on Saturday, I think). Beautiful produce and very nice honey. I also came home with some handmade wooden spoons which I use all the time. Shouldn't be hard to find out where it's located - I can't remember street names right now.

      2. re: Nyleve

        Google "Beigli" and you should find what you are all searching for. The leavened, egg bread pastry ("Kalács") is pale yellow, breadish, slighty sweet and has a hard, shiny brown crust, right?

        "Kifli" are the smaller, white, crescent-shaped pastries with the texture of short bread and are also filled with walnut or poppy seed confection.

        Cheers.

        1. re: DockPotato

          Ohhhh, bingo, this sounds like it! I'll Google beigli and let you know. . . .

      3. Over Christmas, I made my neighbor's holiday recipe for kolache, which is what you describe: very rich pastry wrapped jelly-roll style around a ground walnut/sugar/egg white/vanilla filling. (Just did a search for kifli, and it's not the same, since kifli seems to be an individual pastry, and my neighbor's kolache is a loaf.) If you're interested, I'll post her recipe. She said it's a czech pastry, but perhaps a different name for the same item? I think kolache is a very broad term.

        It was quite delicious.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Leucadian

          I posted the recipe in the following thread, which was looking for the same pastry with a different name, orahnjaca, from Croatia. does this look familiar?

          Note that it has an unusual way of incorporating the butter, by hand kneading it after all the other ingredients have been combined, i.e. into the dough. This might be a concession to not having a mixer, but I've never seen it before. Has anyone else?

          http://www.chowhound.com/topics/482752

        2. Nyleve, my family is from the countryside outside of the Satu Mare, so our kin are pretty close! We spent one night in Cluj during our "roots" road trip and really enjoyed that college town. As for the Sunday finery, are you describing the Gypsies (I was fascinated to see that covered wagon encampments were still common!) or the folk dress of the Maramures region, which is a little north of what we're describing?

          Nyleve and Leucadian, I also checked out kifli on Google and, while it reminds me of cookies that my grandmother made, it isn't the kifla that I'm describing. Kifla as I know it is a sweet bread, somewhat similar to a coffee cake, except the walnut and sugar mixture is rolled into the dough (kind of like a jellyroll) then baked. These aren't individual servings, but loaves of bread about the size of a loaf bread you would buy at the grocery store. As a kid I would eat it for breakfast with a little butter or as a snack. Does this ring a bell?

          6 Replies
          1. re: laurie

            What you're describing sounds more like a babka type thing. We would often have babka for breakfast - even the chocolate kind! - warmed up slightly and served with butter. But our kifli probably comes closer to rugelach really - individual rolled pastries with a rich pastry dough, not yeast.

            We came upon the Sunday dress when we travelled up toward the Ukranian border - yes, north of Satu Mare. Had a wonderful lunch in Comlausa at the home of a family friend who still lives there. Gorgeous vegetarian cabbage rolls (made with rice and mushrooms), delicious local cheese, this delicious green bean dish (a little saucy and nicely overcooked), a veal stew of some sort, sliced meats and vegetables and - of course - homemade slivovitz which could just about singe your eyebrows off. It was an amazing experience to be eating the same food my parents would have had in a place near where they were born.

             
             
            1. re: Nyleve

              Oh, your photos are wonderful! I'm going to look up Comlausa; I'm betting it's in Maramures, which is close to the Ukranian border. And the description of your feast makes my mouth water. I have never seen a vegetarian version of Romanian stuffed cabbage (another important staple of my youth). Is the slivovitz similar to the pulinca (homemade plum liquor) that we were served in just about every home we visited?

              I'll Google babka and let you know if that fits the bill. . . .

              1. re: laurie

                You know what - I think it was actually palinka, not slivovitz. My memory is playing tricks on me. My father always kept a bottle of slivovitz in the cupboard - so that's what I remember. But the stuff we were served in Romania was palinka. You'd take a sip and, at first you would feel it burning as it went down your throat. But then it would disperse into your body - the extremities were first to go. Arms and legs. My cousin and I loved it because it reminded us of our hippie drug days.

                And yes, it was in Maramures. Absolutely.

                When my husband and I first got married, my dad used to offer him a shot of slivovitz most evenings before dinner. This was, for my husband, a bonding moment.

                1. re: Nyleve

                  Well, you are braver with the palinka than I was! A mere whiff of it made my eyelids do summersaults. . . .

                  1. re: laurie

                    Yeah, but once you get through the somersaults it's great.

            2. re: laurie

              Laurie - I come from Northern Romania (Bucovina), and in Romanian, for me 'chifla' means 'bread roll' (nothing fancy, btw). Chifle with a famer's cheese sweet filling are 'branzoaice'.

              What you describe, especially given its festive nature, sounds more like 'cozonac cu nuca' to me. In my family, we only make it with raisins, but the fillings can range from walnuts and honey to poppy seeds and jam, Here are some pictures - let me know if you need a recipe.

               
               
               
            3. Ok, I've researched both beigli and babka, and beigli (which is Hungarian) looks the closest to what I know as kifla. Which makes sense, since the villages where my grandparents were born are very close to the present-day Hungarian border (and were once under Austro-Hungarian rule), and the streets signs are still bilingual (Romanian and Hungarian) even to this day. Babka also looks similar, but not as close as beigli. Thanks to both of you for your help!

              1. Here's my family's recipe from Slovenia. Not sure if this comes close, but in any case, they're wonderful. Traditional Christmas cookie for us.

                Kifle

                2 cups flour
                1/4 tsp salt
                1 small cake yeast
                1/2 cup margarine
                2 egg yolks
                1/2 cup sour cream

                Sift flour and salt into mixing bowl. Crumble in yeast. Cut in margarine with pastry blender until mixture is crumbly. Add egg yolks and sour cream and mix well. Form into a ball and place on a lightly floured board. Knead until smooth, about 5 minutes. Divide dough into 3 parts. Wrap in waxed paper and chill for about 2 hours.

                Filling:

                1 cup finely ground walnuts
                1/2 cup sugar
                1 tsp vanilla
                2 egg whites, stiffly beaten

                Heat oven to 375. Combine walnuts and sugar. Fold into beaten egg whites. Add vanilla and blend. Set aside. Sprinkle board with powdered sugar and roll each part of dough into a 9-inch circle. Cut each into 8 pie-shaped wedges. Fill the wide end of each wedge with a rounded teaspoon of filling and roll from wide end to point. Tuck point underneath. Place on lightly greased baking sheet and brush with melted butter. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until golden brown. Dust with powdered sugar.

                2 Replies
                1. re: chattahoochee

                  This sounds delicious, and very similar to some wonderful cookies we buy locally at a little produce market. I'm going to give this a try!

                  1. re: laurie

                    Laurie, your description of kifla sounds like Slovenian potica to me. I have family recipes for that wonderful bread as well, but have been too intimidated to try it. If you have success with beigli, please post the recipe.
                    My family came from an area of eastern Europe that was under Austrian rule at the time of their journey in the early 1900's. Courageous people with a wonderful talent for baking. Wish I had paid more attention as a child when grandma was demonstrating her art. That woman rarely left the kitchen unless she was in the garden tending the vegetables.
                    Hope you enjoy the kifle recipe!

                2. Laurie,

                  My husbands Step-Grandmother was from Romania & She and her Church (St. Micheal Romanian Byzantine Catholic Church in Aurora, IL) every year they make Kifla Bread at Easter & Christmas. It is a must in our household! I have three recipes for this bread in their church recipe book. Unfortunately his Grandmother has passed & I am not sure which recipe is the closest they used. Searching online myself, looks like some of the diff. bread variations are sweeter than others, and some make more of a paste with the nuts, but theirs used chopped walnuts, sugar & cinnamon, & some also add brown sugar, which is the way I make it. If you would like I can scan all three & you can see which works best for you. I am making this today so it was funny to see this posted as years ago I searched & didn't find anything on Kifla.

                  Diane

                  16 Replies
                  1. re: dlange

                    By all means, post all you have.

                    1. re: dlange

                      OMG, Diane, I'm from Aurora, and my father's side of the family belonged to St. Mike's!!!! My aunt until a few years back used to send me kifla made by the church ladies (she used to be part of the baking team). I would LOVE the recipes you have!! Bingo, you've hit a home run on this one! Thank you!!

                      1. re: laurie

                        My husband is from Aurora. His family didn't go to Saint Michael's but went to St; George. As a matter of fact, my mother-in-law still attends St. George's Church. Some of my husbands cousins still go there,too. I even have a couple of recipe books put out by St. Michael's. I make the kifla recipe and it is made with sour cream and has a walnut filling. I usually make it for Easter and Christmas. The women at St, George's used to make it every Christmas but they don't any more. I think the younger generation really isn't into it. My kifla recipe is almost exactly like the kifle recipe in a previous post. My husband and I make stuffed cabbage for Easter. I just had to reply when I saw you were from Aurora. I consider myself Romanian by marriage.

                        1. re: cambeth

                          Hah! That's great! I relate; I consider myself Colombian by marriage. . . .

                          You know, you reminded me that somewhere packed in a box I have a Xeroxed copy of an old St. Mike's cookbook. I'd totally forgotten about it until now; I haven't looked at it in years. I'm doing to dig for it and see if I can't find that kifla recipe. Thanks so much for the tip! And best regards to your husband.

                          1. re: laurie

                            The St Michael's cookbook that I have with all the romanian recipes in it is the 80th anniversary one. I make the recipe called the two hour nut roll. As a matter of fact, I am making kifla tomorrow. My grandson's preschool teacher is from Romania. He is the only student she has ever had here in Texas with romanian blood. We are making the kifla for her. I am teaching my daughter how to make it. I wonder if St. Michael's is going to put out a hundred year anniversary cookbook. I looked to see if they had a website like St, George and they don't. I will have to ask my mother-in-law about it next time we talk. If they do, I definitely want one!

                            1. re: cambeth

                              I'm going to ask some family about the next cookbook edition and let you know! The photocopied cookbook I have is at least 10 years old (probably much older) and is titled "Romanian American Cook Book" and published in Cleveland (like Aurora, a town with a large Romanian population) by the Unirea, FRCW, and Ladies Auxiliaries of the Romanian Catholic Parishes, U.S.A. There's a recipe in there for "nut rolls" which sounds like kifla. I'll try it pretty soon and report back. . . .

                              1. re: cambeth

                                oh wow...my family to is from aurora and my granparents were some of the founding members of st michaels church family name is SOOS...WOULD LOVE TO HAVE THE KIFLA RECIPES also my mom speaks of a chicken soup that my great grandma use to make at holiday's very creamy bright yellow with little square noodles in it just like a creamy broth....is any of the st. michaels cookbooks still available or does anyone know how i can get one....contact debbie at debtom1992@sbcglobal.net....wow what a small world

                        2. re: dlange

                          This is so wonderful! I've googled Kifla occasionally for years looking for a recipe, ever since Elizabeth Ratz (who went to St.Michaels in Aurora) gave us several every year that my mom did her taxes for her. (that was back in the 70's.) I got loved it, and never could find a recipe that was quite what she made -- too sweet, too heavy, too many flavors in the filling, always something. If you'd post recipes that would be fabulous, and if you find out if St Mike's is going to put out a cookbook, I'd sure appreciate a head's-up. I moved away from Aurora years ago.

                          1. re: rabrab

                            I am originally from the Aurora area and my husband's family attended St. Michael's. I was so surprised to see a mention of Elizabeth Ratz. She was my husband's grandmother's (Mary Sunas) very good friend. I have the 1980 version of the church cookbook. It contains several Kifla/kifli recipes but none of them is credited to Mrs. Ratz. I also had the pleasure of knowing Margaret Matei a Romanian woman and St. Mike's parishioner who gave me a lot of secrets about authentic recipes though none of them for kifle. I had the pleasure of meeting Elizabeth when she was in the nursing home where I then worked. I would be happy to post the recipes that are in the cook book but am especially interested in obtaining another copy. A 100th year anniversary cook book would be fabulous too.
                            If anyone knew these Romanian women and what towns they came from I would love to hear from you.

                            1. re: rabrab

                              Mrs Ratz was a friend of our family in Aurora back in the 1960 -70'5. Every year at Christmas and Easter she would make Kifla bread for our family. My 4 siblings and my parents were overjoyed - and a little bit competative over who got the last piece of Kifla! I also have been looking for the recipe to her REAL Kifla for years and been frustrated in not finding it. My Hungarian descended wife just checked her Hungarian cookbook and could not find the recipe. It is so unreal to see Mrs Ratz's name on this website - it brings back the memories!!

                            2. re: dlange

                              Laurie and Diane,
                              I am also from Aurora. East High class of 70. I am in Georgia now looking to recreate my past. My daughter has go a pretty good handle on Kefla and we make stuffed cabbage every holiday season. What we are missing is the sausage that was sold at St. Georges every Christmas. DO either of you by chance have a recipe for Carnatz?

                              Don

                              1. re: _Merlin_

                                Hi All. I too am from Aurora. East High class of 76. Went to St George's growing up... I too am trying to recreate my Grandmothers (Elizabeth Silagi) kifla. I have the St Mikes cookbook, and while the kifla is close to what I remember something is missing. I can provide recipes from the cookbook if you want. Also have carnatz recipe. As a kid growing up I helped my Dad many hours making sausage and bacon after hogs were butchered at St George. Another recipe that I'm working on is placinta.... anyone remember it? Made from the weed lambsquarter and dill. I live in the PNW near Seattle.

                                Joe Silagi
                                jsilagi@gmail.com

                                1. re: jsilagi

                                  Hi Joe, my husband went to St George and graduated from East High in 1975. His name is Dave Mudry and his mom still lives on Pierce St. I always make her kifla and stuffed cabbage. She always has carnatz when Dave goes home for her birthday in November. He married this old Texas gal and has now lived in Texas for thirty years.

                                  1. re: cambeth

                                    I made kifla last weekend... turned out better than usual. I think the new mixer helped. Talked to my Ma yesterday... she and my brother were making stuff cabbage. Your husbands name is familiar. Slight correction... East High Class of '77 (not '76).

                                    Happy Holidays,

                                    -joe

                                    1. re: jsilagi

                                      Could I bug you guys for the kifla and stuffed cabbage recipes? I would love to try them and see if they are anything like my grandma's. BTW, I was born on the East Side but graduated from Oswego H.S. in '79. . . .

                                      1. re: laurie

                                        My family is also from Aurora and I just googled kifla and found this post. My grandmother's family also went to St. Michael's-have some old photos from the church. Going to try and make some kifla. I have my grandmother's recipe but it is not easy to recreate. Other nut rolls don't taste as sweet. Also used to eat cabbage rolls every holiday!

                            3. it's funny, i was reading your post and it immediately reminded me of a korean dish called hoddeok...basically a bready, pancake-y thing filled w/ brown sugar and walnuts...what a small world...:o)

                              http://mykoreankitchen.com/2007/01/29...

                              1. The recipes in the St. Mike's cookbook are from Emma Bonye, Margaret Matyas and Lillian Zizich. They are very similar to one another. They are all a yeast dough made with sour cream and have a walnut, sugar (white and/or brown) and cinnamon filling. It is a "log" if you will where the nut filling is rolled inside. There is a spiral effect when it is sliced. It is excellent toasted with butter. I have had another version of the filling which some of the ladies made using poppy seed.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: artizan

                                  Hi there...Margaret Matyas was my aunt (she passed away 5 May 2009)...and I remember eating her wonderful kifla/kifli when I was a kid. I would love to purchase a copy of the St Michael's Cookbook...does anyone know how I can get one? Aunt Margaret was a great cook. I loved going to her house to eat!

                                  1. re: hotfoot7

                                    I'm going to ask a relative for info about ordering the cookbook as well as kifla and other bread made by the church ladies around the holidays; stay tuned.

                                2. My mother is Serbian and this is her recipe for Kifli. This recipe doesn't use yeast.

                                  Dough:

                                  4 large egg yolks
                                  2 sticks of softened butter
                                  1 cup of sour cream
                                  4 cups of flour

                                  Mix dough ingredients together, form into walnut size balls and refrigerate overnight.

                                  Filling:

                                  4 egg whites
                                  2 to 2 1/2 cups of finely ground walnuts
                                  1 1/14 cups sugar
                                  1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon
                                  Juice of 1 lemon

                                  Mix filling ingredients together.

                                  Roll out dough balls to about a 6 inch circle. Spread filling on dough to about 1/4 inch from edges. Roll up like a jelly roll and bend to form a horseshoe shape. Bake at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes. If you run out of filling you can use any kind of jam for the rest of the cookies.

                                  My mother said that the word kifli means crescent (hence the shape). She said that the shape was taken from the crescent in the Turkish flag and was to remind them of their opression under the Ottoman empire.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Milanelija

                                    OH BRAVO! THis IS THE exact recipe i grew up with Serbian GG and Grandmas rolling and telling stories in Serbian as tiny hands made little walnut size dough balls. Thank You! Thank You for your post. We use a cup of hot milk in our filling of ground walnuts- no cin and no lemon juice. But who is to say what got lost in translation. Kefla!

                                  2. I wonder if you're confused about the name. In my family, Kifli are crescent-shaped almond cookies, rolled in sugar before baking. Are you perhaps thinking about Dios and Macos (don't know how to spell these names in Hungarian, sorry) -- one is a thin bread rolled around a poppy-seed filling; the other is a thin bread rolled around a walnut and something else filling. I think I have the recipes at home. Does that sound right?

                                    1. My grandmother was Polish, my grandfather was Hungarian, and my gramma made Kifly. The dough was cream cheese and flour. When you rolled the dough, use granulated sugar. One filling was pulverized walnuts with grated apple and sugar, the other was cooked prunes with grated sugar. My favorite. And I don't eat many sweets. I have the recipe if you want it. These are not a loaf. These are the crescent shaped cookies.

                                      1. Laurie - My grandmother was from Pesth and the recipe for Dios Kifli she gave my mother was this: Dough: 1/2 lb butter, 4 cup flour, 1 cake yeast, 3 egg yolks, 1 teasp baking powder, 1/2 teasp salt and 1/2 pint sour cream. Mix flour, baking powder and salt, cut in butter. In separate bowl put yeast and egg yolks in sour cream and mix til yeast dissolved. Mix yeast mixture into flour mixture til all dry ingredients incorporated. Divide into 3 or 4 balls and let dough rest in refrigerator at least 3 hours. Filling: 1 lb walnuts finely ground, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 3 egg whites, a little grated lemon rind. Mix together. When ready to make cookes, take a ball of dough out of the refrigerator and roll out until thin. Cut diamond shapes of dough and smear a thin layer of filling over the diamond shape. Roll cookie dough from diamond tip to tip leaving a little pointed tab sticking out. Bake at 350 til lightly browned on edges. Roll immediately in powdered sugar and let cool. Rolling the dough in sugar is a pain because the dough is sticky. Best bet is to roll it out on marble because it stays cool. Everybody and his brother wants me to make a batch and people are even offering me money for this its so good. They melt in your mouth! Enjoy.

                                        1. Well, this post reappeared in a timely manner....just finished making my first batch of these cookies. I was hoping for something close to what my mother used to make (until she lost the recipe) every year. She used to call them Kolache and this recipe is for Kifli. Close, but not the same. And my mother's were much neater. Any tips for sealing the little buggers?

                                          4 cups flour
                                          1 lb. butter (yes, that's right - one pound)
                                          4 egg yolks
                                          8 oz. sour cream
                                          1 pkg yeast bloomed in a little hot water. (Oops, forgot to bloom it, but no harm done)

                                          Cream the butter and yolks and alternate adding the flour and sour cream. Then mix in the yeast. Knead 10 times and chill overnight.

                                          I halved the recipe and came out with about 3 dozen. Stuffed them with an apricot filling, 'cause that was my favorite as a child. I liked the way they puffed up, even if they did burst open. Still very good and not too sweet.

                                           
                                          1. This original Roumanian recipe will yield 2 kiflas. It's my mother Oly's who lived across from St. George Hall.
                                            Sweet dough:
                                            4.5-5 Cups flour
                                            1 stick butter melted
                                            3/4 C milk
                                            6 T sour cream
                                            2 eggs
                                            1 te salt
                                            1/2 C sugar
                                            2 yeast
                                            1/2 C warm 105 degree milk
                                            proof yeast in the
                                            warm milk with 1/2 C warm milk and punch and rerise dough after about 1 hour

                                            Filling = 1# crushed walnuts + 1 C sugar + 2 te cinnamon

                                            Roll out the 2 doughs in rectangles brush with more melted butter, then add filling to just inside the edges. Roll dough and seal edges- brush top with melted butter for nice glaze. Bake at 350 on middle rack about 40 min. or till golden brown

                                            1. Have a look in this week's LA Times food section, there is a recipe for a cookie (called keefleess)that sounds exactly like what you are looking for. I made the dough this evening and am looking forward to trying them tomorrow! http://www.latimes.com/features/food/...

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: colonelcrunch

                                                How did this recipe work out for you?

                                              2. Just realize my post of the recipe didnt go. That time of year again and a friend of the Moose is making some. The Romanian 2 hr nut roll recipe is : y
                                                2 small cakes yeast, 1/2 C lukewarm milk, 1/2 C plus 1 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp vanilla, 6 C flour, 2 sticks margarine, 3 eggs, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 pint sour cream. Filing: 1lb walnuts, 1C white sugar, 1/4 C brown sugar,1/2 tsp cinnamon. Mix yeast, milk. 1 tsp sugar and vanilla set aside. Mix flour, 1/2 C sugar and margarine together (mix as for pie) then add eggs, salt, and sour cream. To this mixture add yeast mixture,mix until dough is shiny. Divide into 4 balls. Roll out and add nut filing. Let stand in greased pan for 2 hours. Brush with peaten egg and bake at 350 for 35 - 40 mins. In the cookbook there are two other recipes one says easy Romanian nut roll - Kifla pretty similar less or more of things

                                                1. Kolacky - Kolache - Kolacki - Kolachi - Kolachy-Kolaczki - kołaczki, kolaci, kolache, kolacky, kolachky - Hungarian, Slovak, Polish (Sometimes called Polish Foldovers, kolaczki can be square, diamond)- Fillings run the gamut of apricot to raspberry to prune to nut to sweet cheese. Some truly untraditional flavors like pineapple, passion fruit, persimmon and quince are sneaking into the mix- I like the walnut mixture best! I like using a round water glass for cutting the dough. My girlfriend who is Italian, was passed down a recipe similar to the following - but refuses to give it up and will take it to her grave. I will put in ( x ) what I know she uses ((I am not sure what else she uses)) in place of what I found in this recipe:
                                                  Ingredients
                                                  8 cups flour ((she uses cake flour)) ---1/2 pound butter---1/2 pound shortning (Crisco) ((she uses Buttered flavored Crisco))---2 yeast cakes (2 individual ---packages granulated) ((she uses Flieischmans's)) --1/2 teas. salt---8 egg yokes------1 pint cream or canned milk (some recipes call for regular milk - what is the difference in the final product? (scalded (why scald the milk?) and cooled) --1 pound powdered sugar--
                                                  Why I don't know, is that some recipes I found call for 8 egg yokes, other recipes call for 8 egg whites - I read that using the egg whites makes a lighter/flaker cookie - I don't have an answer.
                                                  Three Optional Fillings:
                                                  Poppy Seed Filling
                                                  Walnut Filling ((1lb ground walnuts, 1/4 cup milk, 4 tbl melted butter, egg or honey, 1 cut conf. sugar))
                                                  Prune Butter Filling
                                                  Mix:
                                                  Mix flour, salt, yeast, butter, and shortening together until shortening and butter lumps are no larger than peas. Add the egg yokes and cream, mix until it makes a fine bread dough like ball. Refrigerate covered with wax paper overnight.

                                                  Dust counter with powdered sugar (dusing your table/counter with flour will just add more flour to your dough, making the cookie tougher) and roll a 1/4 of the dough (Keep the rest in the refridgerater) until very thin (you can almost see the counter through the dough). Cut into 3 inch diamond shapes (( I like using a water glass - placing the filling in the center, folding left over right - meeting in the middle over the filling, place it on cookie tray, give a little tug down to form a crescent. Brush lightly with egg mixture for browning purposes only. Put desired filling on one point of the diamond, roll to the other point (like cresent rolls), place on cookie sheet with tail under to keep from unrolling while baking.

                                                  Bake at 325 degrees for about 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. When cooled, dust with powdered sugar. These can be put in an air-tight container for a week or frozen -I put them in small zip lock bags, then in an air tight container.

                                                  Fillings
                                                  Poppy Seed: Use enough of the left over egg white to mix in with poppy seeds to make a thick paste.

                                                  Prune Butter: Pit dried prunes, place in pot on stove with just enough water to cover them. Simmer until prunes are soft. Puree in a blender, mix in a little powdered sugar to taste.

                                                  Now if anyone has any suggestions, comments, or answers to some of my questions, I would really like to hear back from you.

                                                  1. There are tons of these recipes, if you spend all day searching, which I did.
                                                    Does anyone know what is the difference in using 8 egg yolks, vs. 8 egg whites? or evaporated milk, vs. regular milk, or cream and how it responds in the dough or outcome of the cookie.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: Diamonds07407

                                                      Kiflis pg. 130 of the Romanian American cookbook.
                                                      Published by Fantana Darurilor of Cleveland, Ohio

                                                      2 cakes yeast
                                                      2 cups lukewarm milk
                                                      1/4# vegetable shortening (1/2 cup)
                                                      1/4# butter
                                                      6 cups all-purpose flour
                                                      1/2 cup sugar
                                                      1 tsp salt
                                                      6 egg yolks, beaten
                                                      1/2 pint sour cream
                                                      Grated rind of 1 lemon
                                                      juice of 1/2 lemon

                                                      Dissolve yeast in lukewarm milk.
                                                      Cut vegetable shortening and butter into combined dry ingredients as for pie dough.
                                                      Add beaten egg yolks, sour cream, lemon rind, lemon juice, and dissolved yeast.
                                                      Mix well.
                                                      Shape into ball and divide into 4 parts.
                                                      Roll each piece on floured board to rectangle and spread with lekvar (prune butter), prepared poppy seed filling (maybe canned), or your own nut filling.
                                                      Rollup like a jelly roll.
                                                      Place in greased baking pan.
                                                      Let rise, covered, or until doubled and bake at #350F for 45 min, or until done.

                                                      Nut filling (from Yugoslavian coffee cake receipe that I like.)
                                                      [This is good for filling 2 kifla's.]

                                                      2.5 cups finely chopped walnuts
                                                      1 cup packed brown sugar
                                                      1/3 cup margarine or butter, softened
                                                      1 egg
                                                      2 tsp ground cinnamon

                                                      Mix all ingredients.

                                                    2. Hi, Laurie: It looks like you've gotten plenty of good recipes for kifla—or chifla, chifle—and if you don't know, St. Michael's Romanian Byzantine Church in Aurora, IL still bakes (and ships!) them at Christmas and Easter every year.

                                                      You can contact Claudia Meyer at: st.michael.church@live.com for an Easter schedule or check the church website at: http://www.stmichaelromanianchurch.org for updates.

                                                      I ordered several for myself and my kids and they are as I remembered them as a kid. They are shipped fresh and freeze well—and keep for weeks once thawed.

                                                      Good luck, Will