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Hungarian Kifli

Hungarian Kifli

Hungarian Kifli

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Hungarian Kifli
4.3 rating based on 12,345 ratings
4.3/5 (16)
Course: Filled Cookies, Rolled CookiesCuisine: HungaryDifficulty: Medium

These are a Hungarian crescent made with a cottage cheese dough and a filling made with your choice of nuts. You may be surprised that there is no sugar in either the dough or the filling…this is not a typo. The cookie has no sweetness other than the granulated or powdered sugar that is is rolled in at the end. In some Hungarian households it is traditional to serve these with a bowl of powdered sugar on the side for dipping…this allows guests to tailor the amount of sweetness to their individual tastes.


  • For the dough:
  • 1 cup butter, softened

  • 1 cup cream style cottage cheese

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • For the filling:
  • 2 large egg whites, beaten

  • 2 cups finely chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans, or hazelnuts are popular)

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

  • For garnish and serving:
  • Granulated sugar (pictured) and/or powdered sugar (not pictured)


  • Make the dough:
  • In large bowl, beat together butter or margarine and cottage cheese til light and fluffy. Add flour until dough forms a ball. Divide dough into 3 equal portions. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm.
  • Make the filling:
  • Combine egg whites, nuts, water, and ground cinnamon. Mix well and set aside.
  • Assemble and bake Kifli:
  • Preheat oven to 375F (190 C) and grease cookie sheets. On a lightly floured surface, roll 1 portion of dough into a 10 inch circle. Spread circle with 1/3 of the filling to within approximately 1/2 inch of the edge. Cut circle into 24 pie shaped wedges (for larger cookies, make larger wedges). Beginning at outer edge roll up each wedge tightly. If desired, roll each cookie in granulated sugar (pictured). Place point side down on cookie sheet 1-1/2 inches apart. Bake 13-15 minutes or until golden (be sure to watch carefully as these cookies burn easily). Remove to rack to cool. Repeat process with each remaining portion of dough and filling.
  • Before serving:
  • If desired, liberally sprinkle cookies with powdered sugar (not pictured). In some Hungarian households it is traditional to serve these with the dish of powdered sugar for dipping, so each person can get the amount of sweetness desired, since this is the only form of sugar in the recipe.




Name & Location
(example: Sue in LA)

We have made them with ground white poppy seeds mixed with sugar a warm water to make a stiff paste. They are the BEST!
- Carol Closson in Stockholm, Sasktachewan Canada

Terrible recipe. It wasn't sweet enough and looked bad. The problem is the recipe for the filling - the second time I made it, I added a lot of brown and regular sugar to it and it still didn't come out tasting good. Kifli might be delicious but this recipe doesn't yield that result.
- Orcsabet in Gloucester

my grandmom also masterd these mouth melting kifflies of coures apricot , now i have been making these also for christmas hours of labor well worth it , 14 00 dollars per 24 , home made will always be better then the bakerys out there , , no they are not italian cookies like some people think , hungarian , all the way . enjoy .
-  gary in middletown ct.

I will make these cookies again, I tried out the recipe last x-mas with my granddaughter, what fun & yummy, I will try this season the creme cheese version.
- san antonio, tx

I make these with sour cream & apricot and nut fillings. Like several others I make little baskets. Then when baked, I sprinkle with powdered sugar. My grandmother from Hungary made these then I found my mother-in-law did too, thus both sides of family love them.
- Lorraine in Toledo, Ohio

this is a rec. that my grandmother and my mother used in the old county where they were born thank you
- A Baker

I love this recipe. I make it often. My Father is Hungarian, and his comment is that they are not the correct shape. These are too small to turn into crescents. Instead of 24 pieces per round, a more authentic proportion would be 12 or even, dare I say 8 per round! The taste cannot be beat! I always get thumbs up for taste from Hungarians.
- A Baker

This was good, but it was better rolled in powdered sugar since there is no sugar in the recipe.
- Nancy

I have make a variation of this recipe and consider this to be one of my favorite Christmas recipes. My recipe essentially doubles this, so there are lots of cookies for sharing. And I use sour cream. At one making I ran out of filling and used red current jelly for the rest. I love those, too. I cut the dough into 2" sqrs. Bring 2 opposite corners overlapping filling, then pinch to seal. Looks like a basket. Roll in powdered sugar after baking.
- Harriet Stay in Port Townsend, WA

As well as Harriet, I doubled this recipe using the cottage cheese (it whips up better with the butter). I use apricot preserves, which is what my great grandmother used to do. Also like Harriet, I make them into little baskets. Watch these carefully as they will burn easily. Enjoy.
- Brian Cunningham in Denver

This recipe is excellent. My first time making them with Cottage Cheese. I found the dough easy to work with. I chilled the dough for several hours. I used apricot preserves in some and raspberry in others. I also made the basket shape and dusted with sifted powdered sugar. Excellent. I will use this recipe again.
- MaryAnn P in Longwood, FL

This is one of the most delicious and easiest to prepare "cookie" people can taste. I recommend it to anyone who wants to fill his or her tummy with something special!
- Ildiko in Indiana-Hungary

I made the dough with sour cream. Was quite easy to make, but it seemed to lack some flavor. So I sprinkled them with powdered sugar for some sweetness. Then they were yummy.
- A Baker

This is a recipe that my hungarian family and I have made throughout the generations, its very Yummy!! Its never Christmas in our family without them however, we always add 1/2 cp of sugar and use cream cheese rather than cottage cheese and we put our favorite fruit butter fillingsuch as prune butter or apricot or whatever,it has to be sprinkled with powdered sugar.This recipe will be one of your new family traditions as ours.
- A Baker

My aunt taught me to make these cookies when I was in my teens. She rolls the cookies in granulated sugar prior to baking on greased pans or on parchment paper (easiest). With the sugar you have to take care not to burn the cookies and also need to remove them from pans before they stick. The parchment paper is a lifesaver. I make these cookies every Christmas, they are my favorite.
- Mary in Pinole, CA 
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