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A CULINARY CHRISTMAS: Chef Ilona Daniel's Kifli Cookies

Chef Ilona Daniel. -The Guardian
Chef Ilona Daniel. -The Guardian

My Mom’s Kifli Cookies

Makes approximately 72 cookies


For the pastry:

2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

½ tsp. salt

8 oz. cream cheese

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

½ cup granulated sugar for rolling



-Sift flour and salt together in a medium bowl and set aside.

-Beat the cream cheese and butter together with a stand mixer or a hand mixer until completely incorporated and creamy (3-5 minutes).

-Reduce the speed of the mixer and slowly add in the flour. I used 5 additions and completely mixed in the flour each time. The dough will be soft but not sticky.

-Divide the dough into 5 equal parts and flatten each to ¾” thick. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until hard, at least 2 hours.

-You will need approximately ¼ cup of apricot preserves and ¼ cup ground walnuts for each round.

-Roll out each disk into a thin 9" round, and spread with apricot preserves, ensuring to leave a 1" border at the edge of the round. Sprinkle the preserves with ground walnuts.

-Cut each round into 16 (pizza style) slices, and starting from the outer edge, roll each cookie into a crescent shape. Place all the cookies on a parchment lined cookie sheet.

-Bake in a preheated 325C oven until cookies are barely golden, (you don’t want them browned at all) approximately 30 minutes.

-Once cookies are cooled, put ½ cup of icing sugar into a zipper seal bag, and place cookies in the bag. Give the cookies the shake and bake treatment until the cookies are coated in the icing sugar.

Chef Ilona Daniel writes The Guardian's Food Seductress column and teaches at the Culinary Institute of Canada in Charlottetown

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