My Grandma's Hungarian Keflee Cookies

by Barbara Pakan
(Munster, IN, USA)

My Grandma's Hungarian Keflee Cookies

My Grandma's Hungarian Keflee Cookies

When I was about 12, I was rummaging through recipes in my mom's recipe box. There I found an old, ripped and yellowed sheet of paper with my Grandma's handwriting. It read "Hungarian Keflee Cookie." I told my mom I wanted to try to make these cookies, and we started a new tradition. From then on Keflee Cookies were part of my Christmas tradition.

I am now 52 years old and have made them practically every Christmas since. My children and husband love these cookies. The cookies are an old world classic. I have won two different cookie contests near my hometown of Munster, Indiana. The most recent, winning Best Overall Cookie. That contest was at the annual tribute to the movie “A Christmas Story” in Hammond, Indiana where the story took place, and where the writer, Gene Sheppard was from.

The other contest was eight years ago, and took place two weeks after my mom passed away. I entered the contest at the last minute, delivering the cookies that morning, barely getting them in there on time. I felt I owed this to my mom for helping me roll out the cookie dough as she did 40 years ago. You see I hated rolling out the dough for all these cookies, so she would do it for me. I won first place in "Best Fruit and Nut Category." This award best resembles my families character… Fruit and Nuts.


Barb Pakan

Humgarian Keflee Cookie Recipe

  • 6 cups flour
  • 1 pound butter
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1/2 pint (1 cup) sour cream
  • 1 package of dry yeast – dissolved in 1/4 cup of warm water
  • Solo filling – apricot or cherry
  • Granulated sugar for rolling cookies

Mix flour and butter in a large bowl with hands until crumbly. Add egg yolks, sour cream and yeast mixture. Knead until smooth. If you have a KitchenAid stand mixer, the paddle works great.

Divide dough into 10 – 12 balls about the size of a baseball. Place in refrigerator until chilled.

Roll out each ball in a circle, like a piecrust using sugar. Cut dough circle into 8-10 triangular sections through the center and across like a pizza. Place about 1/2-1 teaspoon of filling in each triangle piece and roll into a small crescent. Sprinkle sugar on top.

Bake at 400 degrees F for 10 minutes.

Makes 80 to 96 cookies.

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Dec 18, 2015
Christmas Cookie Tradition NEW
by: Gail Mercer

When I was 18 years old (60 years ago!) I worked in a restaurant playing a Hammond Organ. The kitchen workers were all from Hungary. My recipe came from these wonderful ladies. They also rolled the dough in a big rectangle, cut it in squares The nut filling was made from scratch. Finely grind one pound of walnuts. Add three egg whites and a cup of sugar. Put a scant teaspoonin the middle of the square, roll up corner to corner and bend slightly to a crescent, place seam side on the bottom,cut three slits in the bend. When baked and slightly warm, shake gently in a bag with confectionary sugar. I now play piano in a restaurant where the servers are hired annually for the winter season from Europe, mostly Hungary! So my pleasure is baking for them and reminding them of their traditional keflees !

Mar 17, 2014
My grandmother's NEW
by: Anonymous

My grandmother , Mother and Aunts would make Keflee's every year. They had a long recipe and a fast recipe. The long one would take the dough a week or more to prep.
The fast recipe sounds a lot like yours with out the sugar.

They would cut the dough into squares. Then at each corner they would make a small cut towards the center. Add the filling in the middle then fold every other piece in to form a pinwheel shaped cookie.

Once done powered sugar would be sprinkled on.

Jan 03, 2013
by: Anonymous

I love your story!!!!!!!!!!! And the cookie sounds great too!!! :)

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