It’s official, I am my husband’s wife.
While in Bethlehem visiting for Easter, I had the good fortune of spending an afternoon with my mother and sister-in-law. On select holidays these industrious ladies get together continuing the time-honored tradition of baking kiffles. Last Christmas after informing our families that we’d be doing strictly homemade gifts (liquor infusions-tangerine bourbon, anyone?) V, my MIL, decided to do a kiffle care package. They arrived in Detroit wrapped in pristine holiday finery, packed so respectfully. We tore into them like wolves. It was obscene.
Snakes goes berserk with the mere mention of that 6-letter word. Buttery little pastry rounds are thoughtfully rolled to encase the jammy filling. Topped off with a sprinkling of course sugar crystals, these babies are very close to perfection. Traditional kiffle fillings are lekvar (prune), walnut, and (our absolute favorite) apricot. One recipe makes over 100 cookies but they ship and store quite successfully. Prior to becoming a part of this family, I’d never even heard of them. Such a sheltered life. Tragic, really.
We three ladies formed an efficient assembly line of rolling, jamming, pinching and sprinkling. I really can’t imagine doing these all on my own. Although, now that I know how to make them, I’m planning to send a batch with Snakes to the FSI for his birthday in July. When I told him, he first rolled his eyes and then insisted he’d rather not share, and plus “they’d never make it all that way”. Ah… sure that grueling 15 minute commute. I’m sure it was just the sugar talking…
KIFFLES (makes 8-9 dozen)
7 cups flour
1# unsalted butter
2 tsp baking powder
1 pkg dry yeast
1 cup sour cream
3 Tbs powdered sugar
3 large eggs
1. Dissolve yeast in sour cream
2. cut cold butter into flour using food processor (just like when making pie crust) Do it in 2 steps if making the whole recipe.
3. Combine other ingredients in bowl, whisk together briefly. Add yeast-sour cream mixture. Combine half of flour mixture with half of wet ingredients in bowl of stand up mixer fitted with dough hook. Mix well. Repeat with remaining half. Combine both batches in large bowl and knead to combine.
4. Pinch walnut sized balls from dough and roll into balls. Place on cookie sheet, cover with saran, and refrigerate for 3 hours.
5. Preheat oven to 350-375. Roll out in granulated sugar. Fill with small amount of filling. Pinch dough closed at the ends, clip excess dough decoratively.
6. Place on parchment lined cookie sheet, bake about 12-15 minutes.
7. Transfer to cooling racks.