Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Kiflice, kifle, Walnut and vanilla cookies or Kiffel
To celebrate the holidays, my friend T. came over last Sunday afternoon and we baked these kiflice.

Ingredients (in USA/UK imperial measures and then in European):
half pound (1 cup) butter, soft = 225 or 230 grams butter
half cup sugar = 95 grams sugar
2 cups flower - sifted, all purpose = 200 grams flower
1 and 1/4 cups walnuts, well ground (mljevenih). Buy them that way or grind them in the blender or food processor. = 105 grams walnuts
1 teaspoon vanilla (liquid form of vanilla, .17oz) = 5 ml vanilla
confectioner's sugar (also called powdered sugar) for dusting

225 g puter / maslac
95 g secer
200 g brasno
105 g orah, mljevenih
5 ml vanilje

Tools: I used the lovely Bosch stand mixer you see in the photo, which my parents gave me as an early birthday present (December 23). A hand mixer will also work. Mixing with a wooden spoon would work as well. I guess you would need to use a wisk to cream the butter and sugar, in that case.

The Dough:
Mix the butter and sugar until creamy. Probably use middle speed. Add vanilla. Mix until well integrated. Add the flower, a spoon full at at time, on low speed. Mix until it forms a solid mass. Slowly add the ground walnuts. When the walnuts are all integrated, stop mixing. Take the dough out and make a ball out of it. Wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 3 hours, or put it in the freezer for about 2 hours. It is nice to prepare the dough and refrigerate it overnight. The dough needs to be a solid, hard mass.

The baking:
Heat the over to 350 Fahrenheit, which is about 175 c, for those of you in Zagreb, Osijek, Vienna, Graz ... Toronto, and Vancouver
Line a cookie baking sheet with parchment paper.
Pinch off some of the dough. Roll it between your hands, specifically palm-side of your knuckles, to make it into a tube shape. When it is ready, it should be about the length of your index finger, thinner than your pinky. Lay it on the parchment paper in the shape of a horse shoe.
Keep all of the kifle the same thickness and length so the batch bakes evenly. I hope the photos are instructive about the size and shape of kiflice.

Bake for about 10 or 15 mintues at 350f, 175c, until slightly brown on the top. My oven took 15 minutes. The ones in the photo are pretty good.
Take them out, let them cool off. When they are cool and you are ready to serve, dust them with the powdered sugar.

Store them in a tin can or in a plastic box - anything with a good seal - in the cupboard. They keep very well in the cupboard (no eggs in the dough). They freeze very well. Children enjoy making them because they role them with their hands and that is cool. It isn't very messy either, maybe put a plate under their hands to catch crumbs when they roll the cookies.

For your convenience, here is a kitchen conversion web site in which you can ask for the conversion of weights and measures of specific ingredients used in the kitchen (

And we ate a few, drank wine, then later some tea, and laughed quite a bit. Today, we had our first snowfall in Urbana. Very nice. The year will come to an end quite soon. The days are short, and cold, it is the time of lights, we can celebrate living through another year, and hope for what will come the next. Peace on Earth.

Merry Christmas, Sretan Bozic, i Sretna Nova Godina 2008.