Thursday, November 25, 2010

Kiffles from a Slovenian American Kitchen

In my previous post I talked a little about one of Pennsylvania's lesser-known ethnic groups, the Slovenians. Here is a holiday recipe from that tradition. It is taken from the uncopyrighted "Ethnic Recipes, Traditions and Customs" by the people of St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church in Bethlehem. Founded in 1913, this Slovenian-American parish was closed a few years ago, to the anguish of many of its parishioners.
Kiffles are a well-known kind of stuffed cookie, seen most often around Christmas time although I've seen them at Easter, too. They are almost endemic in Central Europe and the places where Central Europeans have moved. Sometimes it seems that every household has its own version.
The following recipe is, in essence, that of Mary T. Martin, sponsored in the book by the Grasic family.


1 pound flour
3/4 pound soft butter, softened
1 shot whiskey
2 to 3 tablespoons sour cream
6 egg yolks, beaten

Mix all ingredients well and shape into walnut-sized balls. Refrigerate overnight. Roll out on floured or sugared board. Fill with nut, lekvar or your favorite filling. Fold in half and crimp closed Place on greased and floured cookie sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, or until done.

A note on fillings: Mrs. Martin may mean some sort of nut paste. Lekvar is prune butter, and if you live in an East European ethnic-type neighborhood you may find it for sale in jars. Otherwise, there are some simple recipes for it online. I have not offered one here, because I don't know their copyright status. Other popular fillings may include preserves such as apricot or raspberry. Poppy seeds may sometimes be used as well.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Joan! Are you still blogging? I found this today randomly... Mary T Martin was my grandmother. I hope you liked this recipe. It is one of our wonderful memories of her amazing baking and cooking!