Monday, October 3, 2011

Kipfel Cookies

I am BACK!

We have officially made it to Germany and have a place to live along with all of our furniture as well as all the other important necessities in life... such as the internet : ) And now that we are equipped, I can start sharing all the recipes that I've been indulging in since I last left you!

What better way to begin posting again than with a traditional German sweet- the kipfel.

I would like to take this moment to specially thank my good friends mother, Deb, for sharing this cherished family recipe with me. I am SO thankful and will be adding these cookies to my baking repertoire of most enjoyed treats!

Alright now lets get serious about these kipfel's. First of all, now that I am in Germany and have explored the world of kipfel's more directly, I've come to understand that there are two types of kipfels. One is a shortbread type cookie made with ground nuts that is shaped into a crescent.... which to me actually says crescent cookie (or even crescent shaped mexican wedding cookies...), but we'll just go with it. Then you have the kipfel's that I am about to share with you, which although quite a bit more labor intensive, I find to be superior : )

You start out with a verrrry rich dough that is loaded with all the deliciousness of butter, egg yolks, and full fat sour cream (don't you dare do it.... you, the one thinking you can substitute lower fat sour cream!)

Does somebody want to argue with me about the deliciousness of saturated fats? Yeah, didn't think so.

Sorry, I'll go on now. So! Once you have very easily put together this dough you let it chill so it is easier to handle. You then continue on by shaping the dough into balls. I actually weighed each and every one of mine... because I am that person. I started doing 1 oz balls but then decided that was a bit too big, so I scooted down to .8 oz which I found more pleasing hehe

And I hate to say it, but then you have to chill the dough balls... I know, I hate waiting on recipes too, but hey- good food takes time! Plus, now you have time to make the filling. So go ahead and finely chop the walnuts and mix them with egg whites, sugar, and vanilla extract. YUM!

Now- assemble! If I was good to you I would have taken step by step pictures... unfortunately my kitchen isn't good to me and natural light just doesn't exist. Sorry that it didn't work out that I could be that good to you : ( Maybe I'll be better to you now that I am in Germany and I have a new kitchen...

But, I have faith that you can figure this out on your own. One at a time, roll out the dough balls into a pretty flat circle. Use your judgement on thickness. I think my circles were like 6" in diameter....? I can't really remember- Sorry : / Then use about a teaspoon full of filling- don't get too over excited and overfill the cookies! The egg whites DO cause them to puff up and in must cases the dough cracks a little... So try to reign yourself back when you are filling these up. Roll them into crescents and pinch and seal the edges until you have beautiful looking cookies!

Alright, if you are super nervous about cookies spreading too much or melting into a pile of butter *cough* me *cough* refrigerate those bad boys! Trust me, sometimes its worth the extra insurance to wait 30 minutes for them to chill. I mean, you just spent half a day working on these and you were way too perfectionistic about shaping them- do you want to gamble here? haha I guess all my disasters have made me paranoid (melted piles of shortbread..). Ya know what? You're probably more daring than I am, so why don't you just go ahead and put those in then. You should be fine.

Now because the dough isn't sweetened I think a little toss in confectioner's sugar while they are still warm from the oven is appropriate.

Yup. Perfect.

One of my favorite things about these cookies was that they froze perfect. Even with the confectionary sugar! And they were even SO good straight from the freezer (what can I say, sometimes I get a craving and I don't have the time to wait for a cookie to thaw...)

And I love that the dough isn't overly sweet, really quite addicting. When I brought them home to my family they were gone within 24 hours. And I brought home 4 different baked goods... these were by far the favorite.

So go ahead and treat yourself to some German goodness and bake up a batch of these cookies!

Kipfel Cookies
Courtesy of Deb Keener
Print Recipe

4 cups flour
1 lb butter (4 sticks), room temperature
8 Tb sour cream (1/2 cup)
8 egg yolks

12 oz walnuts, finely chopped
2 cups sugar
3 egg whites
1 tsp vanilla extract

powdered sugar, for dusting

Beat the butter until smooth, add sour cream and mix until incorporated and smooth again. Beat in egg yolks until batter is uniform and once more smooth. Add flour and mix until just incorporated. Refrigerate until chilled (several hours or overnight).

Make dough balls about the size of walnut and place them in the refrigerator to chill for several hours.

While dough is chilling make the filling by mixing together all the ingredients until fully incorporated.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Roll doughs balls into a thin circle on a lightly floured surface. Place about a teaspoonful of filling in the center. Roll dough over filling and shape into a crescent, pinching the edges to create a seal (if you want to be extra cautious, brush water around the edge where the seal is going to be created before you begin to shape.)

Place on cookies sheets and bake 12-15 minutes or until bottoms are golden brown. Toss in bowl of powdered sugar or sprinkle with powdered sugar while still warm. Cool on wire rack.

*The original recipe given to me for these cookies had double the amount of filling that I wrote in the recipe. I didn't even use up half the filling, thats why I scaled it down to half, but if you want to stick to the orignal, double the filling written in the recipe.*

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