Kiffles...A Christmas Tradition

Every Christmas, I make kiffles, lots and lots of kiffles.

Many years ago (10 give or take), I swiped the recipe from my mother's kitchen drawer. However, the word recipe may be stretching it a bit...

The recipe originally came from my aunt's aunt. That would be my father's brother's wife's mother or father's sister (or possibly sister-in-law). Did you get that? Gotta love a recipe with some family history!

It's your traditional cream cheese kiffle dough, maybe not quite as flaky as some other recipes out there, but trust me, they melt in your mouth. Mmmmm! There was a time or two when I thought about toying with a different recipe, but the consensus around here was 'DO NOT CHANGE A THING!' So if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Now, as far as filling...lekvar for mom, raspberry in the annual attempt to entice my hubby*, and apricot for everyone else, but most importantly...the more, the better!

That's a matter of taste though, some like just a hint of flavor. Not my gang. My gang goes more for the jelly donut concept, bite in to one end, the filling squishes out the other. Time to make the kiffles!

*Much to my dismay, my husband is not a fan of the kiffle. He wants to know where the chocolate chip cookies are...ugggh!

24 oz cream cheese
1 1/2 lb unsalted butter (6 sticks)
6 cups flour

Cream butter and cheese, slowing add flour until soft dough forms. Form ball and chill dough for 2-3 hours, or 2-3 days in my case ( I just don't have a whole day to commit to kiffles, so I make the dough and hope for the best). Split dough into smaller balls and roll in confectioner's sugar before rolling flat with a rolling pin, cut into 2" squares, place dollop of filling in center of each square and roll corner to corner. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 10-12 minutes. Sprinkle with confectioner's sugar when cool.



  1. I see and eat plenty of these every holiday season but never knew what they were called. They are always so delicious! Have a happy and safe holiday!

  2. It's so nice to have memories from our moms and grandmothers, and such as yours, I would treasure it for many yearts to come...which you have already done so. Such beautiful kiffles. Love the recipe, and it is so yummy.
    Thanks for sharing, and a Happy Holiday to you, and yours!

    1. Do you let the butter warm up or do you blend it cold?

    2. I use the butter at room temperature as well as the cream cheese to blend because afterwards you chill the dough

  3. They look delicious and are delicious! I am glad that you keep on making them for all of us to enjoy.

  4. Alexandra, those are beautiful kiffles. I have that in my family tradition too..but in general on every big occasion somebody would bring them. :)

  5. I've often seen these in a bakeries, but never knew they were called kiffles until now. They look great! Can you fill them with anything (like chocolate)?

  6. So pretty! Are they like rugulach? And I, like you, love the apricot ... and a great family recipe! Thanks for sharing :)

  7. Thanks everyone! Made the last batch last night. Whew!
    Yes rugulach and kiffles use the same dough, so they are similar, if not just a version of each other. As for filling, I'm not familiar with the traditional fillings used in rugulach, but you can never go wrong with apricot in my opinion. yum! Nut filling is another option for kiffles, but I'm not sure about chocolate, never tried it. You'd have to find a chocolate filling that would be able to stand up to the 10 minute baking time without melting everywhere?
    Sounds delicious though!

  8. I always make a variation of this that my Mother called "Italian filled cookies". The dough is made with yeast, egg yolks, flour and sour cream...but you roll and fill with fruit the same way...apricot, plum, raspberry, or my favorite almond...bake then dust with powdered sugar. Don't suppose you'd know what the real name for these are?

  9. What do you use as filling? Apricot jam? Something else? These look so good and seem to be fairly easy. Can't wait to try them!!

  10. I roll the dough in a circle and make mine in a crescent shape but the jelly always flows out. I like the the way you have a square. Do you ever have a problem with the jelly flowing out the sides onto the baking sheet?

  11. I rarely have fillings ooze out...the secret is to put less than 1/2 tsp filling

  12. The Kifels my family has made for generations are filled with chopped walnuts. Mix 1 lb finely chopped walnuts, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, and just enough milk (start with 1 Tbs) to moisten so it holds together lightly. Oh my! No wonder they are the favorite family cookie!

  13. I think these would be wonderful with a walnut Apple Butter! I'm drooling! Lol


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