Reach for the Moon

November 22, 2011

 © 2011 Viviane Perenyi Hungarian Almond Kifli Cookies

The end of the year is fast approaching and everyone seems to anticipate the festive time ahead. I've already seen shops displayed their glittery decoration. And I'm completely astound how this year has gone so fast...

I can't really say that I'm on a Christmas mode yet. I'm fine for now enjoying Spring. In the plate. And outside. Or maybe because I'm more last minute and improvisation than planning ahead.

So I was the first surprised when I uploaded the picture above and thought to myself: this really looks christmas-y...

 © 2011 Viviane Perenyi Asparagus and Buckwheat Lunch

Well, Paprika has been waiting for a while that I bake these vaníliás kifli. The Hungarian name comes from the crescent shape -kifli- and the vanilla flavour -vaníliás.

Researching afterwards about these cookies, I found out they were traditionally baked at Christmas time (once again !) but now enjoy all year round. The eggless dough is commonly made with walnut meal, but almond works just fine too. Heavily sprinkled with icing sugar they look like little moon.

They were gone in a blink of an eye…

© 2011 Viviane Perenyi Hungarian Almond Kifli Cookies

The recipe has been given to me by the teacher of my Hungarian course. The slight changes I've made are between brackets.

Vaníliás Kifli - Hungarian Walnut Biscuit Makes about 70

250gr or 2 cups flour (210gr) 200gr or 2/3 cup + 1/4 cup unsalted butter, soften (+ if you make it with almond meal) 80gr or 2/3 cup icing sugar 60gr or 1/3 cup ground walnut (100gr ground almond) 5-6 drops vanilla essence (Good pinch of vanilla powder) Icing sugar for dusting

In a bowl mix with your hand all the ingredients to form smooth paste. Let it rest covered in a cool place (not the fridge) for 30 minutes. Butter two baking trays -or line them with baking paper. Preheat oven to 180°C/356°F. Cut the dough in 4 equal parts and roll to shape it like a log of 2cm/1 inch diameter. Cut the log every 5cm/2 inches and shape each piece like a crescent. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove from oven and sprinkle with icing sugar.

 © 2011 Viviane Perenyi Milk and Hungarian Kifli Cookies

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This is also my entry to Sweet NZ hosted this month by Mairi at Toast. Round up here

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La fin de l'année approche à grands pas et tout le monde semble anticiper les festivités qui arrivent. J'ai déjà vu les décorations scintillantes dans les devantures des boutiques. Et je suis un peu abasourdie de voir à quel point cette année est passée si vite...

Je ne peux pas vraiment dire que je sois déjà sur le mode Noël. Je suis parfaitement bien pour l'instant à profiter du printemps. Dans l'assiette. Et à l'extérieur. Ou peut-être est-ce parce que je suis plus dernière minute et improvisation que plan bien rôdé.

Donc, j'ai été quelque peu étonnée lorsque j'ai téléchargé la première photo et me suis dit: Ca fait vraiment Noël...

Il faut dire que Paprika attendait que je fasse ces vaníliás kifli depuis un moment déjà. Le nom hongrois vient de leur forme en croissant -kifli- et de l'arôme de vanille -vaníliás.

Après quelques recherches sur ces biscuits, j'ai trouvé qu'ils étaient traditionnellement préparés au moment de Noël (décidément!) mais consommés à présent toute l'année. La pâte sans oeuf est habituellement faite avec la poudre de noix, mais l'amande marche tout aussi bien. Généreusement saupoudrés de sucre glace, ils ressemblent à des petites lunes.

Ils ont disparus en un clin d'oeil...

La recette m'a été donnée par mon professeur de Hongrois. Les quelques changements que j'ai fait sont entre parenthèses.

Vaníliás Kifli - Biscuits Hongrois aux Noix Pour environ 70

250g farine (210g) 200g beurre doux, ramolli (+ si vous utilisez de la poudre d’amande) 80g sucre glace 60g poudre de noix (100g poudre d’amande) 5-6 gouttes d’essence de vanille (bonne pincée de vanille en poudre) Sucre en poudre pour saupoudrer.

Dans une jatte mélanger à la main tous les ingrédients for obtenir une pâte lisse. Laisser reposer couvert pendant 30 minutes dans un endroit frais (pas le réfrigérateur). Graisser deux plaques de cuisson -ou les doubler de papier sulfurisé. Préchauffer le four à 180°C. Couper la pâte en 4 parts égales et former un boudin d'environ 2cm de diamètre. Couper le boudin tous les 5cm et former chaque morceau en croissant. Cuire pendant 8-10 minutes ou jusqu'à ce qu'ils soient légèrement dorés. Retirer du four et saupoudrer de sucre glace.</em>


Great entry for Sweet New Zealand Vanille! I had these biscuits, made with walnuts, and I really like them, I am sure that the almond version is good too, and I often make similar versions, but mostly I am too lazy to shape them like little moons :-). I also keep a jar of icing sugar with a stick of vanilla in to flavour it, so I can dust biscuits with it, I have a weakness for biscuits completely coated with icing sugar :-)! Ciao Alessandra Alessandra

The cookies are adorable and yes, they do look Christmas-y. The remind me of a type of round ball cookie we make here in the U.S. called “snowballs” or some people call them “Russian tea cakes”. Such beautiful soft photos! Snippets of Thyme

These cookies look wonderful, Vanille! The soft photos capture their beauty perfectly. pandaball

I’ve eaten these biscuits many times in the past - love them! They would make such a great Christmas present as well. And loving your photos. :-) Sugar and Spice

Divine cookies! They look so delicate and must taste heavenly. Cheers, Rosa Rosa May (@RosasYummyYums)

I made these last year as gifts. I think I made them with almonds. barbara

YES, it is typical Hungarian, I love it. My Grandma does it so many times. It is a bit so sweet, but at Christmas time it is compulsory ;) Alacarte

These cookies look so much like the Greek kourabiedes we make for Christmas. I love their shape and the fact that they’re made with walnut flour. You have put me in a Christmas mood :) Magda

Snippet of Thyme, thank you. Like to discover new treats and will check out about those russian tea cakes. Pandaball, thank you ;) Alessandra, I do have a jar of sugar cane flavoured with vanilla bean, but would never think to do the same with icing sugar actually. Good idea ! Sugar and Spice, yes homemade gifts are the best ! Rosa, I like their very fine texture. Barbara, next time I’ll have to try them with walnuts too. Such a sweet gift. Magda, I like to hear about the different versions from different parts of the world. Happy baking then ! Asha, thanks ;) I’ll have to check the mexican ones too ! A la Carte, you’re lucky to have your grandma spoiling you that way ! Vanille

Hello, thanks for the entry in to Sweet NZ….these look, well heavenly ;) Perfect for the festive season. Beautiful photos as always :) Mairi @ Toast

Christina, yes, let’s be creative ! Mairi, it’s my pleasure to participate and I look forward to see all the entries. Peasepudding, thank you Vanille

I love these!!! similar to Mexican wedding cookies I presume? which are made with almonds…. Asha

My mother made these when I was little. it’s been so long. Thank you for bringing back such a lovely memory. i will make these for presents this year. happy Holidays! Stephanie Needham

Beautiful pictures! It’s been way too long since I ate any of the kiflis but it might be a good idea to put on my menu for this christmas.. Thanks for the idea :) Csilla

I’ve wanted to try making these for a long time - so beautiful and fragile and pale! I wish walnut meal was more accessible in New Zealand, it sounds delicious. hungryandfrozen

Lovely photos. These cookies certainly look Christmassy. I’ll be making them for our Christmas tea we make every year the week before Christmas. GG Glamorous Glutton

Your photos really are a bit Christmasy, I love the one of the purple asparagus! My grandma used to make a variation of these biscuits, but instead of moon shapes she cut the dough into strips and the twisted them into fancy designs. I bet a mix of the two different designs would look lovely together! Christina

I’m not surprised they were gone in a blink of an eye, I love these cookies and yours look beautiful peasepudding

These are just perfect! As the granddaughter of a hungarian can I just say köszönöm for this post, i think i will be needing this recipe as we approach Christmas! Sarah

Deliciously delicate! I might try them -for my food intolerant family- with a GF flour mix and non hydrogenated organic margarine, do you think they would still be good ? Maybe a little bit more of poudre de noix? flomakanai

These look so “Xmas-sy”. You’re right. They also look like a similar biscuit we do in Greece. Peter G @ Souvlaki For The Soul

Sarah, szívesen ! And happy baking ! Stephanie, so happy to read they bring you back good souvenirs. Happy holidays for you too ! Glamourous Glutton, Thank you. They’ll be perfect for a Christmas tea. Csilla, thank you ! And you’re welcome ! Laura [HungryAndFrozen] Thanks. I usually grind nuts myself. Flo, it’s you who will tell me if the gluten/lactose free version was good ! I bet they will ;) Peter, yes, as Magda said they are similar to Greek kourabiedes. Vanille

One of my favourite…and in the countryside - it is often baked as a wedding cookie, too. When I was a kid I ate a lot when our family was invited to a wedding party. piszke

Vanille these are so delicate and pretty. Bookmarking them. Not sure I will have time to bake it before the holidays, but I will do it sometimes. I love the use of nut flour here. Soma

Gorgeous looking little cookies - I would love to try making these - I think I would definitely go for the almond version. Sue xo Couscous & Consciousness

Ils ont vraiment l’air délicieux j’essayerai bien d’en faire je n’ai encore jamais osé! thaïs cecileetthais

Hi why dud mine remain soft after 10mins of cooking :/ Romina

Romina, they may be soft when they come out from the oven, but they firm up after complete cooling. The final texture is more melt-in-your-mouth kind of cookie than the crunchy type. Vanille

Thank you so much for this recipe! I’m going to try making these this week. My great-aunt was Hungarian; she made them every Christmas (along with many other kinds of cookies) but she never shared her recipe. I’m feeling very nostalgic this year and seeing your photos brought back some happy memories! Arwen

Great recipe!! Reminds me of when I was a kid at Christmas!! Thanks for sharing!! SW

Love these! My mom’s grandchildren also called these “moon cookies.” These were worth their weight in gold! Maggie

Hi, I doubled the recipe and mine did not turn into paste but is crumbly. Can I add applesauce or something else before baking? Marta Chamberlain

Hello my grandma was from hungry I can remember when I was very young she would make some kind of a noodle that I would roll in my hands to make it long like a worm and it had cinnamon and sugar on it I don’t know if it was baked or fried do you have any idea what it was ? Thank u Shelley