Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Kiflis~ A gift from Daddy

Kiflis (pronounced kee-flees) are a traditional Hungarian cookie pastry not only sweet to the taste, but, their meaning is very precious. I found this definition online while searching through recipes:

Kifli means "a kiss on the forehead followed by a soothing comforting hug."

Tomorrow is Daddy's memorial and funeral. We are preparing Kiflis today. We're going to put them in cello bags and attach a little note to them and give them to the guests at Daddy's memorial service as a gift from him.

Daddy had made Kiflis at Christmastime for many years, but we never realized the meaning behind them...all these years we thought they were just yummy cookies. Every time I make these special little treats, or even think about them, they will remind me of him. Perhaps it's time to start a new tradition...making them for Father's Day...Thank you, Daddy. I love you and miss you.

Kifli Recipe

1 pound ( or 2 cups ) cream cheese softened at room temperature
2 cups butter softened at room temperature
7 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
powdered sugar
2 cups filling: nut, lekvar (prune), or apricot
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
1) Cream butter and cream cheese till fluffy.
2) Stir together flour and salt and add it to the creamed mixture.
3) Cover; chill one hour
4) Divide dough into several pieces. Lightly dust rolling surface with powdered sugar, roll each portion approximately 1/8 inch thick (as you would a pie crust) and cut into 2 inch squares. Keep the remaining dough pieces in the refrigerator until you are ready to roll them out.
5) Place a dot (a little less than one teaspoon) of filling in the center of each square. If you use too much it will ooze out in the baking and make a mess. I usually do a test cookie and bake it to see if the amount of filling is correct.
6) Lift up two diagonal corners of the dough to center, pinching together to seal.
7) Place dough on un-greased cookie sheet. Bake till firm and slightly golden. (about 12-15 minutes).
8) Cool on wire racks. Sift powdered sugar over slightly warm pastries.
9) Store loosely covered in a cool dry place. (they freeze nicely...just make sure they are completely cooled before freezing )

Lecvar (prune) or apricot filling:
2 Cups dried prunes or apricots, chopped into fine bits (food processor or by hand)
Place chopped fruit in sauce pan and cover with water
Add 1/2 cup sugar (or to taste, prune may not even need sugar)
Bring to boil and simmer very low until a thick jam-like consistency
You may need to add water as it cooks. Keep a close eye on it. You'll want to cook it until it is a paste like consistancy.
If you choose to use store bought jam or preserves, cook it down to remove most of the moisture. If the filling isn't thick enough it will ooze out in the baking an make a big mess. Be sure to bake a test cookie to determine the amount of filling to add.
It sounds like a lot of work, but, they are so delicate and delicous.


  1. These look so yummy and I am definitely going to try them! mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

    I am praying for you and your family during this most difficult time.


  2. That is one of my favorite cookies! Oh yummy...this post is making me hungry.

    Praying for your family at this time!

  3. Such a sweet meaning to those cookies. What a wonderful idea to give them out at his memorial. Praying for you and your family!!

  4. What a wonderful name and such an incredible way for you to remember your dad.

  5. What a beautiful tribute to the memory of your Dad. I love the story behind these wonderful delights, and intend on giving them a try with my girls.

    May God keep you in perfect peace during this time.

    God Bless,

  6. What a wonderful way to honor your father, Button! Know you will be wrapped in our love and prayers tomorrow. --Linda (Rocky/Cat)

  7. My heart aches for you as you live this day.

    Prayers of comfort were just sid for you and your family.

  8. Button, is there any sugar in the pastry part of the cookie?

    Thank you for sharing this recipe for the Kifle. Now, your Daddy will be remembered fondly by bakers all over the planet every time they make kifle. I think it's a beautiful tribute, especially in light of the meaning of the word....Rita

  9. Thank you for all your prayers and words of comfort. They are helping me so much.

    Rita~ I sent you a convo. No sugar in the dough except the powdered sugar we sprinkle on the rolling surface and after they are baked. The filling is quite sweet. Some recipes do have sugar in the dough, though.

    God bless all of you for your caring hearts.

  10. Thanks for the recipe. Very similar to the "frozen doughs" I told you about. I don't have any idea why they call them "frozen" and not "refrigerated" but you know how crazy things get started in a family. Anyway, we normally make them with the nut or apricot filling. The traditional ones in my husband's family are made with lard but I make mine with shortening. We use yeast and no cream cheese. I noticed that some recipes use sour cream. Anyway, I have tried the cream cheese dough like yours and I like it. It is a much more delicate dough. I am going to try your recipe at Christmas. That's the only time we make these in our family...that makes them even more special.
    I think what you did with handing these out to visitors at the funeral was such a lovely thing to do. What a sweet family!
    Love and hugs, Vicki/Ellielee

  11. I will make these wonderful cookies and hope that they come out it would if baked in your home. I have never had these kind of cookies before. The story of you're childhood memories shared priceless moments of how they came to be,will always be remembered and shared with memory of why I am baking them and what they mean to me. A kiss on the "forehead and a comforting hug"...(a Special gift of Love) from a Special friend indeed.


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