Erma Gassensmith was my son's fifth grade teacher. She got the recipe from watching her mother and measuring all the ingredients as her mother made the kieflies. Her mother immigrated from Hungary. "The trick to making beautiful, tender kieflies is to handle the dough as little, and as gently, as possible. Bake the kieflies as soon as you have filled a batch so that the dough does not become warm and limp. If you feel dough has become a bit warm after filling a cookie sheet, refrigerate for 15 minutes before baking." Erma Gassensmith.
My Private Note
Units: US | Metric
- 3 cups unsifted flour
- 1/2 cup sour cream (plus 2 tablespoons)
- 8 medium egg yolks
- small lemon, rind of, grated (yellow part only)
- 1/2 tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 lb butter (or 1/4 lb butter + 1/4 lb margarine where you don't use all the margarine)
- 1Mix flour and butter until mixture is like cornmeal.
- 2Beat together sour cream, egg yolks, lemon rind and sugar, add to flour mixture.
- 3Knead the dough until smooth and elastic. Dough will have a satiny appearance and all the dough will come off your hands. Knead at least 20 minutes. The longer you work the dough the flakier the finished product will be. Do not cheat on kneading time.
- 4Pinch off pieces of dough no larger than a walnut and form into balls. Place balls side by side in a cake pan. Separate layers with wax paper. This should make about 85 balls.
- 5Cover tightly with aluminum foil and refrigerate overnight. (Dough balls may be frozen for up to 6 months. Freezing seems to make the dough even more tender when baked. Thaw in refrigerator overnight, not at room temperature.)
- 6Remove 1 dozen balls from the refrigerator at a time. If dough is too warm or too cold it is difficult to roll out. Roll each ball into a 4" circle. Circles will be tissue paper thin. Use as little flour as possible to keep dough from sticking to pastry board. It is best to make a mixture of 6 tablespoons flour and 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar for sprinkling the board.
- 7Lay rolled out circles of pastry on a large tray just barely overlapping so they will not stick together. Use waxed paper between layers. When a dozen balls have been rolled, refrigerate the tray so dough does not become too soft. If this happens kieflies will not be attractive.
- 8It is easier to assemble if you roll out about 36 balls, fill and bake. All the balls may be rolled at one time, but keep pastry circles refrigerated until ready to fill. Work with only as many circles as will it an one cookie sheet at a time.
- 9To assemble kieflies, place a semi-heaping tablespoon of filling across the middle of each circle, but not quite to the edge. Fold 1/3 of the dough over filling, overlapping about half way; fold the remaining 1/3 of the dough so it overlaps the first 1/3. Use a gentle hand when overlapping the filling so that when it bakes the filling will have room to expand. Shape the rolls into crescents, using thumbs and fingers. When forming the crescents the edges might curl up slightly. Do not try to smooth out the dough. To do so would not allow the dough to expand and become flaky.
- 10Always place filled kieflies on a cool, ungreased cookie sheet. Bake no more than 1 sheet at a time. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, reduce heat to 375 degrees and bake 10 to 12 minutes or only until lightly browned.
- 11While kieflies are still warm generously coat with confectioners' sugar by sprinkling it through a small sieve or shaker.
- 12Filling; Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar and lemon juice. Use a spatula to fold in ground nuts until thoroughly blended. If filling seems a bit "weepy" add about 3 crushed graham crackers.
- 13NOTE Kieflies will keep up to a week if kept in a cool spot. DO NOT cover tightly.
- 14These kieflies freeze beautifully. They will thaw at room temperature (uncovered) in about 3 hours. Freshen with confectioners' sugar when ready to serve.
You Might Also Like...View All Hand-Formed Cookies Recipes
Nutritional Facts for Kiflies
Serving Size: 1 (2046 g)
Servings Per Recipe: 1
- Amount Per Serving
- % Daily Value
- Calories 100.5
- Calories from Fat 57
- Total Fat 6.3 g
- Saturated Fat 2.0 g
- Cholesterol 24.1 mg
- Sodium 22.2 mg
- Total Carbohydrate 9.7 g
- Dietary Fiber 0.5 g
- Sugars 5.4 g
- Protein 1.9 g
The following items or measurements are not included:
lemons, rind of